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Old 05-10-2004, 11:19 PM   #1
HawaiianGekko
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Question Overall opinion

I am considering trading my SC2 in for an Ion 3 Quad Coupe. I have been reading some of the threads, issues people have had with engine noise and 22K mile front end issues.

But overall, are you guys happy with your purchases? The reviews at Edmunds were not all that great, but the consumer reviews were fair. I know they didn't give the SC2 great reviews and I have been more than happy with mine.

So, should I do it? Or stick with my SC2 until the Curve comes out and get a new car then......

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Old 05-10-2004, 11:43 PM   #2
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2003 ION-1 Sedan
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Well, I have an ION1 sedan, when I bought it (first new car) all I wanted was AC, ABS, and TC. I got all three and a CD Player to boot. I was happy, a year and a half later, I wish I had power windows, and a sunroof. That's about it.
Last week my rear brakes started making loud grinding noise, but that was because when they rotated my tires and adjusted my brakes at 18000 they misadjusted something.

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Old 05-11-2004, 05:51 AM   #3
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If you had asked me six months ago, I would have gave you a thumbs up. Right now, I'd tell you to shop around before bying an Ion. The Mazda 3 is looking tempting as well as the new Scion tC. Good luck!

...
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Old 05-11-2004, 07:20 AM   #4
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If you gave more info on your SC2 I would be able to give you a better opinion... It really depends on what you are looking to spend. The ION is an exceptional value. After all the rebates and 0% financing I paid about $16,000 with no money down and my payments are $277/month. My insurance is a reasonable $60/month. I get great gas mileage also. If I had $20k to spend I would have waited for a Redline, SRT-4, or went elsewhere.

I have an '04 ION 3 Quad Coupe and I love it! I drove a '97 SC2 for a few years and loved it also. The only reason I got rid of it was because it had real high mileage and was due to become unreliable. So, I would say if your SC2 is in good condition and reliable, keep it for a while longer and save some cash.

Someone mentioned the Mazda 3... I drove one along with a Protege5 and a Focus ZX3 and decided I like the ION better. The mazda has a good base price, but once you add comparable options it is over $20k. Outta my price range.

I made my decision mostly based on price. I was paying ~$250/month for my Nissan pickup 4x4 and wanted a sporty car instead. That put me in the price range of about $16,000 with 0% or ~$14,000 with paying interest. Only a few cars fell in that category, and most I didn't like (ex. KIA, Hyundai, Cavalier, Sunfire, etc). So, my choice was '04 Focus ZX3, leftover '03 Protege5 (If this car was anything but bright yellow I probably would have bought it), '04 ION 3 QC... All the same payment/price range.

My local dealership has a brand new ION 2 QC with the special edition package (polished 16" wheels, all power, cool looking interior) for $13,500 after rebates! I actually like it better than my ION 3 QC (which has a sticker of $17,800) because of the polished wheels and interior!

I have read of a few people that were not satisfied with their ION, but I there are bad apples in EVERY bunch. If you have a good service department around everything will be fine. Most people are extremely satirsfied.

Bill

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Old 05-11-2004, 08:44 AM   #5
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I learned how to drive on a 1995 SL1m, so I was incredibly attached to the S-Series. At the time, I thought I couldn't afford an Ion, so I was looking at first-gen coupes, and a couple of '97s. However, when the chance came to buy an Ion, I leaped on my sedan. It's been a rugged, stable car with more personality than some of the others I've driven. I like it. It's good to ask for opinions from us Ion owners (and I'm hoping you asked the same question in the S-Series forum) but please, test drive extensively. I drove over 25 vehicles before settling on the Ion, because that car fitted what I needed.

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Old 05-11-2004, 10:30 AM   #6
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I think you really need to test drive extensively and compare all cars in your test range. Make sure YOU are comfortable with whatever car you pick because no matter how any of us feel about the Ion, if you pick one it is going to be your car, so it has to please you.

If finances are a concern and your SC is still in good shape I would hold off on a new car and really save the money for the car payments, so later on you can treat yourself or buy a newer car with less money down.

Don't be one of these people here who complain about the seat, sound of the engine, feel of the steering, center IP, or interior or any of the things you should have known within a test drive or after 30 days. I can't stand it when someone has these types of complaints and then buys the Ion.

I owned my SL2 for 11+ years and was very biased for Saturn. I really loved the polymer and how it held up, dealer service, the company, etc., so even with the harsh reviews of the Ion I test drove it and decided it was the best bang for my buck for a new econobox car and picked one up.

I'm satisfied. The only change I would have made is perhaps saving the cash for the past 1.5 years and saving for another year to put down on a 2005 Red Line Ion if it had a LSD and other improvements.

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Old 05-11-2004, 10:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jaseball
If finances are a concern and your SC is still in good shape I would hold off on a new car and really save the money for the car payments, so later on you can treat yourself or buy a newer car with less money down.
one other thing to consider though is that car companies are giving great incentives on cars just to sell them so right now is a pretty good time to buy. If you decide on purchasing a Saturn or any other GM vehicle for that matter, check out

GM Regional Incentives

and if you are serious about purchasing a saturn, give me a buzz because I'm capable of giving out 2 GM employee referal bonuses that give you atleast a $1000 discount on Certain GM cars. Unfortunately I've already given out my 2 for this month but let me know in advance for next month.

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Old 05-11-2004, 10:46 AM   #8
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We recently traded our 1992 SC for a 2004 ION 2 with manual transmission. We had originally looked at the ION 1 but the ION 2 at $16,350 had the travel package and the sport package and a bunch of other stuff. The ION 2 also had a $2,000 factory rebate, a $1,500 dealer rebate, and our $1,000 QVC certificate, plus $1,500 trade in on the coupe. That's $6,000 off the total price and was too good to pass up.

So far there have been no problems and fit and finish are good, the seats are comfortable, and it's fun to drive (it's my wifes car). We looked at the Mazda 3, the Toyota Corolla, the Forenza, plus several other small cars and we kept coming back to the ION and got a bargain. Also, it was the last day of the month so we got just about every rebate we could. The center IP is neat and we got used to it quickly. We also like the small steering wheel.

And don't take any notice of Edmunds, Consumer Reports, or any other so-called "reviews"--just look at what's on the market and find where you can get the best bang for the buck commensurate with what you want in a car. The ION is supposed to be a very reliable car with good mileage at City MPG 26 and Highway 35. We have thre 2.3L engine which is more than adequate for what we want.

Laurence

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Old 05-11-2004, 11:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by bama

Someone mentioned the Mazda 3... I drove one along with a Protege5 and a Focus ZX3 and decided I like the ION better. The mazda has a good base price, but once you add comparable options it is over $20k. Bill
That's what I thoght when I bought my VUE. I will never foresake quality for more options ever again!

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Old 05-11-2004, 11:06 AM   #10
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Watch out for the Mazda 3. I heard insurance rates are thru the roof on that one!

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Old 05-11-2004, 11:16 AM   #11
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The reason I bought my QC3 was because of my fondness for my old '96 SC2. The ION, in my opinion, more than fills the void from the old SC2. I'm very happy with the purchase. Far and away a much better car.

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Old 05-11-2004, 11:17 AM   #12
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I was so deadset on buying a Saturn that the only car I test drove was the ION. I have no regrets except that I didn't at least try out some of the other car maker's offerings out there. I'm 99% sure I still would've bought my ION, but you never know.

Definitely test drive other vehicles. That way you won't ever have to wonder the way I sometimes do.

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Old 05-11-2004, 12:41 PM   #13
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Thanks guys.

The reason I am looking is because they are offering 0% financing or $2500 cash back with 1.9% financing, either of which would shave some money off my current payment. I also called my insurance co and my insurance would go down about $10 a month.

I plan on test driving the car before I buy it, I am a saturn fan, but I am not a saturn fool. I don't jump into anything half assed. But I am also not in the market for a new car that is not a Saturn, so if I were to drive the Ion and NOT like it, I am not going to go buy something else instead. I will bide my time for the Curve (if it ever comes out).

My current saturn is an SC2 with all the bells and whistles. I would get the same in the Ion.

I will go down and talk to my friend that works at Saturn of Honolulu. It all hinges on what they are willing to do for me on my trade in. I am not interested in a new car at the expense of a higher car payment.

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Old 05-11-2004, 12:54 PM   #14
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Don't just consider the monthly payment. If you already have 1-2 years into the SC, then even with a lowering of your monthly payment you'll start that payment cycle over again and add on 12-24+ more payments.

Your SC has already gone through the massive depreciation, so if you buy a new Ion it will also immediately go through another massive depreciation, so you could very well be upside down on the loan, while enduring two massive depreciations in short order.

This is the main reason I was so happy there were mechanical and other drawbacks with the Red Line - I didn't want to be tempted so bad into taking massive hits, just so I could have a Red Line.

It really sounds like in your case you would be better off waiting. Those incentives are not going anywhere because GM is pricing incentives into their new car costs and they know people expect these incentives now.

Even if the incentive go away they will come back even stronger in a month or two when their sales bottom out.

Only if you LOVE the Ion, you get an incredible tradein, and they throw in stuff for free, and you think it does make financial sense would I make the change.

You'll probably be far better off keeping the SC and seeing if GM makes massive improvements to Saturn like they keep promising.

Besides, you live in paradise, and it isn't like you can take some massive road trip accross the country or up into Canada or down into Mexico.

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Old 05-11-2004, 02:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jaseball
Don't just consider the monthly payment. If you already have 1-2 years into the SC, then even with a lowering of your monthly payment you'll start that payment cycle over again and add on 12-24+ more payments.

Your SC has already gone through the massive depreciation, so if you buy a new Ion it will also immediately go through another massive depreciation, so you could very well be upside down on the loan, while enduring two massive depreciations in short order.

...

Only if you LOVE the Ion, you get an incredible tradein, and they throw in stuff for free, and you think it does make financial sense would I make the change.

You'll probably be far better off keeping the SC and seeing if GM makes massive improvements to Saturn like they keep promising.

Besides, you live in paradise, and it isn't like you can take some massive road trip accross the country or up into Canada or down into Mexico.
All of these are very excellent points. But the lure of a shiny new Saturn still calls to me. To be honest, I am not one of those people that concerns themselves with the depreciation aspects of new cars (I know I should, but what can I say, I am a live in the moment kind of person). If I were to buy the car, I would buy it because it would make me happy (shiny, red, new car.....). Car payments, schmar payments. Fortunately for me, I make enough money that I can afford this kind of attitude, mind you, I can't afford this kind of attitude for, say, a Jaguar, but for a Saturn, I can have a *do what makes you happy* attitude.

And I am in total agreement about loving it, trade ins, etc. I am only willing to do this if all my *demands* are met. I am not really in the market for a new car, so I am only considering it if everything falls into place.

That was a very babbly post. Thanks for the excellent advice, guys. I will let you know how it turns out.

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Old 05-11-2004, 02:48 PM   #16
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I've been driving my '03 sedan since March 17, 2003. It's now at 27000 miles and it's had no problems.

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Old 05-11-2004, 03:06 PM   #17
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I test drove a red Ion Quad Coupe 3 and if it weren't for the redlines due out I would've bought it in a flash. Of course then I would've definately made some engine modifications to help quicken things up. I don't suspect the Red-Line will show as much depreciation as a regular Quad-coupe. If you look at how much a used Ford Taurus SHO sells for compared to a regular ford Taurus (yes I know its a ford) its a big enough difference to consider.

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Old 05-11-2004, 03:31 PM   #18
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Well, it's not looking so good for the home team. I just got off the phone with Saturn and they don't have what I want in stock. So all my dithering may have been for naught.

Thanks again for all the replies and advice.

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Old 05-11-2004, 07:49 PM   #19
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So, I test drove the Ion, a 5-speed red one with leather interior. I like the body style ALOT, I like the center mounted cluster, I really liked the handling, excellent braking, etc. I liked that it was bigger than my SC, I sat up higher, it seemed to have more substance.

Unfortunately, as much as I like it, I don't know that I liked it enough to trade out. They did not have a red automatic, as a matter of fact, the only automatic they had with a sunroof and everything else I wanted was black on black. No thank you.

So, maybe next year.

Interestingly, he said they probably wouldn't be getting any RedLines. He said they ordered 2, but he doesn't think they will actually get them.

*Besides, there is always the Curve.

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Old 05-11-2004, 07:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by HawaiianGekko
So, I test drove the Ion, a 5-speed red one with leather interior. I like the body style ALOT, I like the center mounted cluster, I really liked the handling, excellent braking, etc. I liked that it was bigger than my SC, I sat up higher, it seemed to have more substance.

Unfortunately, as much as I like it, I don't know that I liked it enough to trade out. They did not have a red automatic, as a matter of fact, the only automatic they had with a sunroof and everything else I wanted was black on black. No thank you.

So, maybe next year.

Interestingly, he said they probably wouldn't be getting any RedLines. He said they ordered 2, but he doesn't think they will actually get them.

*Besides, there is always the Curve.
I bet if you put a deposit down on a Red Line they'd find a way to get one to you. Money talks you know.

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