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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to decide whether I want an Ion Redline or the Cobalt SS. Just wanted to get some opinions. A lot of the reviews say that the SS is a much more solid built car than the Ion. Many of the reviews said the Ion did not have a very quiet interior and that it just seemed "cheap." I test drove a redline a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. I like the styling on the SS more but have not had a chance to drive one yet. What do you guys think.
 

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It all depends on what you're looking for. Yes, they both share the same s/c engine, but the Redline is actually 'faster' than the Cobalt because it's curb weight is less (advantage of plactic vs metal body pieces + 18" wheels). I think it's only be .2 or .3 seconds in the 1/4mi. I think the Ion has more trunk space also.

There is a big hype going on about this Cobalt SS which is awesome because us Redline owners can sit back and watch everyone talk about it when we've been driving it for a while. I still think we're the ultimate sleeper, and considering we've all pretty much picked up our cars for under $20k, we made out. Now people will be buying the Cobalt SS for $22k+, and we'll still have the faster of the cars.

One good thing about the hype about the Cobalt SS is that hopefully performance parts will start flying out of these companies that have been doing some R&D to develop them once the Cobalt SS is released later this year.
 

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Superd00d
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Here's my feelings on it. You can walk out today, pick up a Redline, and be driving it for a month before most people even see a Cobalt at the dealerships. You will pay $2000 less for the exact same car. I would bet the insurance will be a bit more on the Cobalt, than the Ion. Maybe not. The weight is pretty much the same, the plastic on the Ion is not light. Cobalt does have nice rims, better interior design, and MAY have been developed a little more than the Ion. All in all, it's the same car. Ion is here NOW, and cheaper, Cobalt will be soon and is more expensive.
 

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Before the end of the year, every time you turn around you will see a Cobalt.

If it would bother you that there are hundreds of cars exactly like yours, then you should go for the Ion Red Line.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The price is definitely a major factor. Saturn is offering a $3000 rebate on the '04s right now and there are still quite a few in the area. I went and looked at a Cobalt SS and was informed that I would not be able to apply the GM employee discount to one and it was also marked up $1000 for the market value. I think the final sticker on it was about $24,000.
 

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JDRedline said:
Before the end of the year, every time you turn around you will see a Cobalt.

If it would bother you that there are hundreds of cars exactly like yours, then you should go for the Ion Red Line.
Hit the nail on the head!

I thought about holding out for the Cobalt. But I tought why pay more for a car you will see everytime you turn your head and not have the 2 extra doors. <-----that is great! Plus I am driving it today. I'm not saying I don't like the cobolt, but the Ion just fit me better as for time and cost and my old '91 SL2 held up great for all 172,000 miles.
 

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I had every intention of holding out for the Cobalt, but I just didn't see a reason to. They only reason that I see to this day is the assumption that the Cobalt will have less 'glitches' than the Redline. I also thought that the Cobalt SS was out when I started looking. I have no patience, I like to be different, and my last Saturn was a great car! It helps that I got my '05 for $18,000 too.
 

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Sp00ner said:
I had every intention of holding out for the Cobalt, but I just didn't see a reason to. They only reason that I see to this day is the assumption that the Cobalt will have less 'glitches' than the Redline. I also thought that the Cobalt SS was out when I started looking. I have no patience, I like to be different, and my last Saturn was a great car! It helps that I got my '05 for $18,000 too.
I would not bet "on less glitches", it's still a first year car and will have it's share of problems. If you want to do something to your car, buy the Cobalt, there will be more aftermarket support for it, hands down. If you want style, ride and frustration with aftermarker support, buy the red line. Like previously stated, you'll spend less on the Red Line for IDENTICAL performance. $$ speaks loudly where most are concerned.

As far as driving the cars, with the longer wheelbase, the Red Line will always be the better handling car, and not enough can be said about the rear suicide doors. The rear seat room and ingress/egress from the vehicle is much better than a 2 door. Then there is trunk access, the trunk on the ION is huge!, and so is the entry area.

My personal vote between the two would be for the ION Red Line.
 

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JDRedline said:
Before the end of the year, every time you turn around you will see a Cobalt.

If it would bother you that there are hundreds of cars exactly like yours, then you should go for the Ion Red Line.
I agree with this 100%, especially since Cobalt is replacing the largely popular Cavalier and GM is showing ads non-stop. I live in DC metro area and am so glad Saturn only makes a few thousand of RLs each year so I would have to see one every time I go out. As a matter of fact, in 6 months of owning this car, I've only seen one other RL ever. The surprising factor on people I leave in the dust is another plus. The "Is that a Saturn?" look is priceless.
 

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I was looking for a cobalt ss and it was by accident that I found out about the redline and thanks to the good people here I now own one.
 

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I don't think the cars will drive quite the same. If you can believe the GM web sites, the Cobalt should be quicker off the line and cruise at lower rpm in 5th. Using GM's posted ratios I calculated top speed in gears using a slightly conservative 6300 rpms, and assuming Bridgestones for Cobalt (no Dunlaps listed in 215/45/18 size on tirerack.com):
Ion Redline Cobalt SS
33.6 29.2
64.6 58.6
96.3 87.6
127.7 120.7
162.4 171.4 (electronically limited of course)

The Redline is billed as a close ratio box and it is clearly is by those numbers. If your driving preferences lean towards sports/road courses, Redline would be more to your liking. Cobalt will probably have the edge in street racing. The 0-60 probably won't show it though with an extra shift required to hit 60.

Redline also has other euro influences like headlight & wiper switches. Those will take some getting used to for me. Its been almost 20 years since I gave up on euro cars. I haven't seen a Cobalt yet so I don't know if it uses standard GM or Euro switches.
 

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CarNut said:
...Redline also has other euro influences like headlight & wiper switches. Those will take some getting used to for me. Its been almost 20 years since I gave up on euro cars. I haven't seen a Cobalt yet so I don't know if it uses standard GM or Euro switches.
What "euro switches" do you refer to?

My Red Line's switches are not that different from my 1993 SC1.
 

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Some of the controls are right outta the Saab, but as far as the headlight and windows wiper controls, they're almost identical to my 2001 SC2. In fact they are completely identical. Maybe that's the same as some euro style cars or something? Not sure what he means either.
 

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By Euro witches I believe he means that Saturns have always had japanese and Euro type of switches for headlights, fog lights etc., whereas other GM and norht american cars have usually had americanized switches, such as push-button this and push-button that, etc. My 98 SC1 and my ION both have switches that resemble japanese and euro cars because the headlight switch is on the turn signal stalk as opposed to being a switch located on the dash (like other GM and american brand cars). It was made that way for saturns so that these cars appealed to japanese influenced buyers. Basically Saturn was created to give japanese enthusiats and fans, something japanese-like in design, but not with the high maintenance and service bills.
 

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i'm not sure about the production numbers for the cobalt but there are only around 7000 RL's being produced in this year and the last combined. Nothing better than having something different than everyone else.
 

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saturnd00d said:
...whereas other GM and north american cars have usually had americanized switches, such as push-button this and push-button that, etc. My 98 SC1 and my ION both have switches that resemble japanese and euro cars because the headlight switch is on the turn signal stalk as opposed to being a switch located on the dash (like other GM and american brand cars).
Well, my AMERICAN Pontiac Sunfire GT has the headlight switch on the turn signal stalk and the wiper control on a matching right side stalk. And oh, what do you know?, my AMERICAN Plymouth Neon has the headlight switch on the turn signal stalk... and a matching wiper stalk, just like the Sunfire.

I feel your statement of dash controls over steering column controls being the American way, doesn't hold much weight.
 

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Blu_Redline said:
I feel your statement of dash controls over steering column controls being the American way, doesn't hold much weight.
Sorry folks, I wasn't trying to start a debate about switches. brk 05 said he gets GM employee discount so I assumed he's familiar with GM. Of the 11 GM vehicles I've owned, 10 have used the single GM multi-function stalk. Even my 3 Jeeps with GM steering columns had the GM switch. I didn't mean to imply that euro was new to Saturn or completely unheard of at GM. But I'd bet serious money that over 95% of all GM vehicles produced in the past 25 years used the multi-function stalk.
 

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Really I've only seen "non-stalk" controls..meaning those with a switch on Ford built cars, I think a few Dodges too, I don't think GM has used this type. But every Ford I've ever been in, including my Mom's Mountaineer, and freinds of mines have switch controls for lights only, wipers usually are still on the stalks.
 

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EvenStar said:
Really I've only seen "non-stalk" controls..meaning those with a switch on Ford built cars, I think a few Dodges too, I don't think GM has used this type. But every Ford I've ever been in, including my Mom's Mountaineer, and freinds of mines have switch controls for lights only, wipers usually are still on the stalks.
That 'stalk' is actually patented by GM, or was. They call it something like the 'smart switch' or 'smart stalk'. It was in my '90 Camaro which had seperate headlight switches rather than on another stalk. The Firebirds were the same way. The Camaros I had all had pull switches for the lights, and the newer Firebird that I had (1986) had a rocker-type switch for them. They had the cruise control built into the stalk as well.
 
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