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Old 08-09-2004, 02:40 PM   #1
Diago
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Default Fuel efficient Saturn

Does anyone know if Saturn has plans for a high mileage (40 MPG+) model or do I have to go and buy a Honda Civic?

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Old 08-09-2004, 03:04 PM   #2
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My '95 SW-1 is good for 41 mpg with 342,000 on the clock. High mileage, and it still gets high mileage!

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Old 08-09-2004, 03:39 PM   #3
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I can get 40 in my SC2 and my former SL2.

I get 34 on my mostly highway commute.

Just keep aware that you may have to spend more for a more economical vehicle, but you may not realize any savings on fuel cost vs. vehicle cost. The hybrid Civic gets better gas mileage, but cost $2,000 more. You have have to drive the car at least 150,000 miles before you actually start saving money.

The ION and Civic's MPG are not all that different. You may get an ION for a couple of thousand less than a Civic, so THERE'S the money saver. It would take years to get that money back in gas savings.

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Old 08-09-2004, 03:40 PM   #4
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My 97 SW2 is starting to die (310,000) and I want to replace it with another Saturn. The only thing is that they just don't have a high MPG car anymore. The difference between 35 MPG and 40 MPG is significant whan you travel 50,000 miles per year as I do. That is the reason I have posed the question. If I knew they were coming out with a good replacement for the S series, I would milk my old car for a while longer. Buying used is not an option for me.

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Old 08-09-2004, 05:17 PM   #5
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My biggest disappointment with the ION when it was announced as the SL replacement was the gas mileage. I was getting 43-45 mpg on the highway at 65mph with my 5spd SL1. I might have gone for an ION if it got better mileage.

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Old 08-09-2004, 07:53 PM   #6
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Dude, if you want to go buy a Honda you're free to do so...but I think the Ion does pretty well. And I think it get's better as it ages.

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Old 08-09-2004, 08:35 PM   #7
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My SL2 now gets 33 mpg city driving with a 5 speed. This is with the catch can and 2 tank fulls getting roughly the same average.

Before it was 28-30

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Old 08-09-2004, 08:48 PM   #8
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For me and probably allot of Americans buying American is one of several important factors when plunking down all that money for a car.

With what's going on in the middle east, with the millions of additional consumers of oil products in places like India and China and with an ever degrading environment, fuel economy is taking on increasing importance in my car buying equation.

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Old 08-09-2004, 09:21 PM   #9
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I've only hit 30 once in with a ecotec powered Saturn.

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Old 08-09-2004, 09:37 PM   #10
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Buy a used S-series :-)
As far as the cells go on hybrid vehicles, you'd do well to research into their longevity and replacement cost. You might be surprised at what you find out.

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Old 08-09-2004, 09:51 PM   #11
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Diago, your question is my concern. When I purchase my Saturn, I wanted to get the most fuel efficient car I could afford. I was mislead and told I would get 28 city and 38 highway. I am getting just about 25 city and 35 highway. That is the EPA rating. Disappointed to see those figures drop with the ION. Seems like the gap keeps on getting larger. I wrote my concerns to Saturn; my response was they were coming up with a hybrid Vue that is not a full hybrid. If I were in your shoes, I would get a Civic or Corolla. Love Saturn, but seems they are not addressing the need some of us have for increased fuel efficiency. Because my fuel efficiency is less than I was told, I have to drive less. Not able to afford the gas.

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Old 08-10-2004, 07:48 AM   #12
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find a 2002 SL or SL1 manual. those are good for 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway. or a 2002 SC1 manual with 28 mpg city, 40 mpg highway.

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Old 08-10-2004, 08:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diago
...The difference between 35 MPG and 40 MPG is significant whan you travel 50,000 miles per year as I do. That is the reason I have posed the question.
35 to 40 MPG will save you about $350 a year. You just have to run the numbers to determine an acceptable payoff period for the gas savings. Paying $2,000 more for a car to get better mileage will take 5-6 years to realize any savings. That's still not enough payoff in my opinion to get a hybrid, but it may be worth it to look at other models for better mileage. If you can get a Civic, for instance, at a price near an ION, then that is an even better deal.

There are so many other variables that you can't predict. An ION may cost less but require more in repair costs, or vis versa. YOu may get a Civic for the mileage but lose that cost advantage if it turns out to be a lemon. The car may get totalled before you have it long enough to get a payoff from gas savings.

If it were me, I would chose the car with 30+ MPG that can be had for a reasonable price. More importantly, I would get the car that I actually like the most. If you like the Honda better and it's not that much more expensive than a Saturn or Hyundai or whatever, then go for it.

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Old 08-10-2004, 08:13 AM   #14
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One thing to remember when you are looking at high milage vehicle is where you drive the vehicle and how much of a load is in it most of the time. Please remember that in the hilly north east and some other parts of our great nation the small fuel sipping cars do not do near as well as there stickers claim because there working to hard to climb the hills. This same thing holds true to them amount of weight you may have in the vehicle. Please be sure to keep this in mind when you are looking at vehicle. I hope this helps.

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Old 08-10-2004, 08:26 AM   #15
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Your 40 mpg is hard to beat. More power to you.

Quote:
Originally posted by spencerb
I can get 40 in my SC2 and my former SL2.

I get 34 on my mostly highway commute.

Just keep aware that you may have to spend more for a more economical vehicle, but you may not realize any savings on fuel cost vs. vehicle cost. The hybrid Civic gets better gas mileage, but cost $2,000 more. You have have to drive the car at least 150,000 miles before you actually start saving money.
...
With gas prices around $2 per gallon, I think you mean 40,000 miles is the break even point.
40,000 miles = $2000 / $2 per gallon * 40 mpg

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Old 08-10-2004, 08:39 AM   #16
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You may want to look at a VW TDI. A friend of mine has a Jetta TDI and gets 52 mpg on the highway, 48 city.

There are conversion kits available that will let you burn used french fry grease if you want! LOL. Diesel engines will burn just about anything.

Have fun with whatever you choose. Good luck!

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Old 08-10-2004, 08:55 AM   #17
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I had a '99 VW Beetle TDI and got 50 mpg highway. But I racked up $1,600 in maintenance and repair cost in the first 40,000 miles. Needless to say, that car is history.

My advice is to run away from any VW TDI as fast as you can unless you do ALL your own maintenance and repairs.

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Old 08-10-2004, 09:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by HV Fam Wagon
...With gas prices around $2 per gallon, I think you mean 40,000 miles is the break even point.
40,000 miles = $2000 / $2 per gallon * 40 mpg
I'm not understanding your calculations. To get the break even point you have to take into account the difference in MPG of two vehicles. In that post I was saying that I've gotten up to 40 in my SC2, but usually average 34.

To figure the break even point (there are several ways to do this):

Miles driven per year divided by MPG of lesser efficient vehicle
Subtract (the miles driven per year divided by MPG of more efficient vehicle).

That is your gallons saved per year. Multiply by $2 or whatever and that's the dollar savings per year. Divide that into the extra cost for the more efficient car, and that will give you the years to break even.

Example:

Car X: 50,000 miles driven / 40MPG = 1,250 gallons used a year
Car Y: 50,000 miles driven / 35 MPG = 1,430 gallons used a year
That's 180 more gallons a year, or $360 a year more for gas
If Car X cost $2,000 more, then that's about $2,000 / $360 = 5.6 years to break even.

In the example of the Civic Hybrid, that was an actual road test. Two Civics, one regular and one hybrid, were driven in caravan cross country in varying road conditions. The ACTUAL MPG was computed on both in real world driving, and the break even mileage was 150,000. Add one moderately priced repair to the hybrid system and the hybrid will never save you money over its life.

...
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Old 08-10-2004, 11:11 AM   #19
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The sohc s-series will exceed 40 mpg. The dohc s-series is very close to 40 mpg. The 6 cyl vue gets mid-high 20s.
Driving habits will influence these numbers

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Old 08-10-2004, 11:49 AM   #20
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I drive 100K plus miles per year and I seriously considered getting one of the hybrid cars and also a VW TDI. I was real nervious about how much it would cost to repair the hybrid and the VW cost too much. Anyway, I went with the Ion even though the mileage rating wasn't as high.

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