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Old 12-22-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
eRic 02sc2
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Post Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

Saturn IonIt's impossible to top the Aztek on this list, but at least it seems as if The General was really trying something new with Pontiac's disaster. The Saturn Ion, on the other hand, seems to have been designed and built by a group of people who had just completely given up all hope of designing a competitive product.

Stylish? No. Quick? Barring the supercharged Redline, no. Reliable? No. Making matters worse was the almost universally-hated central gauge cluster, which was surrounded by hard plastic bits with nary a soft touch covering in sight. Was there anything good about the Ion? If we're being honest, no, not really. No surprise, then, that the Ion kicked off the planetary brand's unfortunate death march.

http://autos.aol.com/gallery/decade-worst-cars

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Old 12-22-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

When it comes to central mounted gauge clusters, by that logic the Yaris should've been a flop, since their gauge clusters are also center mounted.

however those still sell..

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Old 12-22-2009, 05:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

I never thought our Quad Coupe was all that bad looking.
The 4-door version was a bit on the homely side in my eyes though.

My wife who drove the car daily often told me of instances where strangers would ask what kind of car it was, and that it was cool looking.

"That's a Saturn?!"

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Old 12-22-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

I'd have to completely disagree with pretty much all of the vehicles on that list. None of the vehicles listed there were just downright BAD. But then again, that list is just one guy's opinion, with no facts or sales numbers or logic behind them, and you know what they say about opinions.

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Old 12-22-2009, 08:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

Surprised the STS is on that list. The main thing holding it back is a more robust V8 because the Northstar is a throwback to the time when 300-hp was an exception, not the rule. Today, you have midsized and premium full-sized family haulers closing in on the Northstar's power figures.


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Old 12-22-2009, 10:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
When it comes to central mounted gauge clusters, by that logic the Yaris should've been a flop, since their gauge clusters are also center mounted.

however those still sell..
Center mount gauge clusters are only "universally hated" if its an American car.

Conversely, those found in Japanese cars are acceptable. I seem to remember Consumer Reports bashing the Ion for, among other things, the center cluster, but didn't seem bothered by the similar setup found in the Nissan Quest.

IMO, the center mounted cluster was the least of the Ion's issues. A horridly cheap interior, to me, would be the most crucial issue - hard ugly plastic everywhere, some of the flimsiest seats I have ever seen in a car and a security system that would malfunction in the cold and prevent the car from starting and just a generally cheap feeling car in all aspects.

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Old 12-23-2009, 08:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

Quote:
Originally Posted by kknobl View Post
Center mount gauge clusters are only "universally hated" if its an American car.

Conversely, those found in Japanese cars are acceptable. I seem to remember Consumer Reports bashing the Ion for, among other things, the center cluster, but didn't seem bothered by the similar setup found in the Nissan Quest.

IMO, the center mounted cluster was the least of the Ion's issues. A horridly cheap interior, to me, would be the most crucial issue - hard ugly plastic everywhere, some of the flimsiest seats I have ever seen in a car and a security system that would malfunction in the cold and prevent the car from starting and just a generally cheap feeling car in all aspects.
I agree with you completely, but that's pretty ironic for someone owning an L Series v6 and all of it's own dubious qualifications as a Saturn or even a competitive or reliable vehicle. It really should have taken the STS' or 500's place in the dirty dozen.

Another that probably should have been on the list and the real "start of the planetary brand's death march".

The Astra [ultra flop] and the Relay could have reasonably punted some of those others from the list as well......

Last edited by Citation84; 12-23-2009 at 08:52 AM..

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Old 12-23-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

My opinion is that the article's author is an idiot. -don't get me started....

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Old 12-24-2009, 12:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

I think this is a poorly written article. Besides, the Ion is no more anyway.

I haven't read many AOL Autos articles that I can agree with anyway.

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Old 12-24-2009, 07:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citation84 View Post
I agree with you completely, but that's pretty ironic for someone owning an L Series v6 and all of it's own dubious qualifications as a Saturn or even a competitive or reliable vehicle. It really should have taken the STS' or 500's place in the dirty dozen.

Another that probably should have been on the list and the real "start of the planetary brand's death march".

The Astra [ultra flop] and the Relay could have reasonably punted some of those others from the list as well......
Other than the oil cooler issue, I've had zero problems with my L300 [knocks on wood]. Never had any problems with my wifes LS2 either other than a bad instrument cluster at 36K (not really accpetable, but given the general laundry list of potential issues with the 2000s, I'll take it). In terms of L interior quality, while not the best in class, was certainly better than that of the ION.

Guess I just am one of the lucky ones not to have had too many issues with these cars.

You can make the argument that these cars could have been the ones to start the "death spiral" for Saturn, but from sales of the L increased every year until the 2003 redesign (2002 was the best sales year for them), which, in light of the issues with the 2000 MY Ls, is pretty remarkable. Maybe if Saturn had focused more on substantively upgrading/updating the Ls every year over the doing the 2003 restyling, things may have been different.

In 2003, we got the ION, which really needed to be as much of a success, if not more of one, than the original S cars were. Had that happened, and the sales trend for the Ls continued its upward trend in 2003, things really may have been different, because the VUE always did pretty well (relatively speaking) in terms of sales.

The Relay, well, let's not even go there.

The Astra?? What's that?????

Last edited by kknobl; 12-24-2009 at 07:13 AM..

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Old 12-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Flops Of The Last Decade

Quote:
Originally Posted by kknobl View Post
Other than the oil cooler issue, I've had zero problems with my L300 [knocks on wood]. Never had any problems with my wifes LS2 either other than a bad instrument cluster at 36K (not really accpetable, but given the general laundry list of potential issues with the 2000s, I'll take it). In terms of L interior quality, while not the best in class, was certainly better than that of the ION.

Guess I just am one of the lucky ones not to have had too many issues with these cars.

You can make the argument that these cars could have been the ones to start the "death spiral" for Saturn, but from sales of the L increased every year until the 2003 redesign (2002 was the best sales year for them), which, in light of the issues with the 2000 MY Ls, is pretty remarkable. Maybe if Saturn had focused more on substantively upgrading/updating the Ls every year over the doing the 2003 restyling, things may have been different.

In 2003, we got the ION, which really needed to be as much of a success, if not more of one, than the original S cars were. Had that happened, and the sales trend for the Ls continued its upward trend in 2003, things really may have been different, because the VUE always did pretty well (relatively speaking) in terms of sales.

The Relay, well, let's not even go there.

The Astra?? What's that?????
Agree totally. Saturn has taken so much bashing from the automotive press we have to watch absorbing such writing and becoming self loathing Saturn Fans.

There are many points in Saturn's history where one could point to the beginning of the "death spiral". I think the ION was a prime example of GM's contempt for the small car buyer, cluelessness about what that Saturn buyer wanted, GM's own mismanagement as well a continuation of their one from column A one from column B "engineering" bad habits.Too bad.

I still love my ION but it's blatantly obvious what GM thought of the product.

Still and all: after I bit the bullet, raided my savings and paid it off, that ION is the most beautiful car in the world now.

You can trust this: the Internet has nothing but experts, gourmets, enthusiasts,self appointed "journalists", professionals and geniuses, it's hard to sort the crap from the spreader.This is another of those seasonal lists. Mine would be different. [But the Aztek would still be on it....]

Have a Merry Christmas Kknobl and everyone.

BTW: Saturn Fans gave me an apprciation for the L Series I never would have had otherwise as well as all the other models they've offered. Keep em running folks, it's the best revenge

Last edited by Citation84; 12-24-2009 at 09:47 AM..

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