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I currently own a 2003 SC Matrix. It's been a great car but I'm debating going for something with more power. I prefer the Ion Redling over the Cobalt SS because of the rear doors. I was impressed with the test drive. The power and torque is very nice! I also like the fact that the car doesn't yell out, "Officer, look at me!" I have a few questions:

1. I live in Orange County, CA. What's a typical price to pay for this car? The salesperson said Saturn doesn't negotiate and the customers pay what the sticker says. The sticker was close to $22,000 with 5 year no interest financing.

2. I've read on other forums that the gear ratio isn't as good as the Cobalt SS. Is that true? The ratio seemed fine to me but it's hard to get a full feel of a car on a 5 minute test drive.

3. What's the reliability rating on this car?

4. How does it hold up in an accident?

5. What are the real world 1/4 mile times for a stock car?

Thanks in advance.
 

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to answer your questions, in order of asking:

1. You'll probably pay sticker; especially in the OC in Cali where the cost of living is through the roof. The dealer actually DID haggle with me; he shot out $405 a month and I got him down to $375 (it's not as bad as it sounds - I had to roll $3,201 of Vibe into my Redline!)

2. It uses the exact same transmission, from the synchros, ratios, and linkage to the damn shift knob. Same thing. Great transmission, IMHO.

3. Don't quite know; Saturns seem to be fairly reliable vehicles and should serve you well.

4. The Ion recieved a very good crash test rating; I believe there was a post on here regarding the Ion vs. the Neon's crash ratings.

5. For a stock car, it's hard to say, I haven't seen a lot of drag strip time slips here. However, I believe there was a gentleman on here with a minor intake mod and MAYBE an exhaust who got a 13.9xx in the quarter.

My 2 cents? If you live in California where premium 91 octane gas is $3.31 a gallon or whatever, don't buy it, because even though I've only had mine for 2 days now, the mileage is NOT very friendly if you're a spirited driver. If you can afford the gas & payments though, do it, do it, do it. You will NOT be disappointed.
 

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Superd00d
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Larry said:
I currently own a 2003 SC Matrix. It's been a great car but I'm debating going for something with more power. I prefer the Ion Redling over the Cobalt SS because of the rear doors. I was impressed with the test drive. The power and torque is very nice! I also like the fact that the car doesn't yell out, "Officer, look at me!" I have a few questions:

1. I live in Orange County, CA. What's a typical price to pay for this car? The salesperson said Saturn doesn't negotiate and the customers pay what the sticker says. The sticker was close to $22,000 with 5 year no interest financing.

2. I've read on other forums that the gear ratio isn't as good as the Cobalt SS. Is that true? The ratio seemed fine to me but it's hard to get a full feel of a car on a 5 minute test drive.

3. What's the reliability rating on this car?

4. How does it hold up in an accident?

5. What are the real world 1/4 mile times for a stock car?

Thanks in advance.
You're not going to read anything good about the Redline on other forums, you should see the morons that we have to deal with daily. No one thinks that the Saturn is fast. It funny as hell after you hand someone their ass in it.

I'm not sure about the gearing, it's hard to nail down exactly what's in the two cars. We had a hard time trying to find out what transmission that we have in here, let alone the gearing. Here's what I can tell you though, when you hammer it through the gears, you shift at 6,300+ and it drops you right into 12lbs of boost from the supercharger at 4,000ish rpms. I've never understood what people mean when they say the gearing is poor, hell, the thing has steeper final gears than my Camaro. It also has equal spaced gears, the shift points are so easy to remember, every 31mph or so.

I would say real-world 1/4 mile times are in the mid to low 14's. If you get one with the LSD I would say better, the tires can smoke on this thing into second gear if you dump it hard.

Accident wise, one of our members was T-boned at an intersection at around 45mph, he was fine. The car was totaled as you can imagine, he was dinged up pretty good, but I'm under the impression that there was no serious injury caused. I don't believe he had the side curtain airbags either, which are also an option. He may have though.

Reliability, hmmm. Kinda hard to answer since the cars are so new. The enigine should be the longest lasting thing on the car, it's built solid as hell. Coming from a small-block Chevy background, I'd love to have to features this thing does in my Camaro or Vette. Oil jet cooled pistons, sodium filled valves, timing CHAIN, forged internals, balanced rotating assembly, etc.

Hope that's helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the informative answers. As for using 91 octane, I already have to use it since my Matrix is supercharged so no biggie.
 

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Regarding your short test drive; Saturn offered me a 24 hour test drive so you should ask for that to make a more informed decision. If they don't give it to you find a dealer that will.

Regarding crash tests; The ion got good marks for front crash but was slightly below grade on side impact. The review did say it was due to not having side airbag so if that is a concern you can get side airbag as an option.
 

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Sp00ner said:
I'm not sure about the gearing, it's hard to nail down exactly what's in the two cars. We had a hard time trying to find out what transmission that we have in here, let alone the gearing. ...
The only ratios I've found posted for Redline are on the Canadian Saturn site:
http://www.gmcanada.com/ssi/static/english/vehicles/2005/saturn/icoupe/icoupe_options.html

They are not the same ratios as posted on GM sites for Cobalt SS or the Saab 9-3. When I bought my RL the Cobalt specs were out so I compared them. Using the ratios and revs per mile posted on tirerack.com for the respective tires (had to guess a brand for Cobalt), I calculated max speed in gears at 6250 rpm :
RL ....... SS
33.4 .... 29.0
64.1 .... 58.1
95.6 .... 86.9
126.7 .. 119.8
161.1 .. 170.1
The progressions are very similar except for the 4-5 shift. Redline is better there IMO. Cobalt SS should have the edge off the line due to lower ratios and a tiny bit more rubber on the road. But 0-60 might suffer since another shift is apparently required. I didn't see any clear advantage for Cobalt SS so I didn't wait.
 

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Superd00d
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CarNut said:
The only ratios I've found posted for Redline are on the Canadian Saturn site:
http://www.gmcanada.com/ssi/static/english/vehicles/2005/saturn/icoupe/icoupe_options.html

They are not the same ratios as posted on GM sites for Cobalt SS or the Saab 9-3. When I bought my RL the Cobalt specs were out so I compared them. Using the ratios and revs per mile posted on tirerack.com for the respective tires (had to guess a brand for Cobalt), I calculated max speed in gears at 6250 rpm :
RL ....... SS
33.4 .... 29.0
64.1 .... 58.1
95.6 .... 86.9
126.7 .. 119.8
161.1 .. 170.1
The progressions are very similar except for the 4-5 shift. Redline is better there IMO. Cobalt SS should have the edge off the line due to lower ratios and a tiny bit more rubber on the road. But 0-60 might suffer since another shift is apparently required. I didn't see any clear advantage for Cobalt SS so I didn't wait.
I've given up on the gear ratios myself, at least for now. I have heard that the Cobalt is a touch slower 0-60, perhaps due to the shift. Sport Compact Car said the Redline needed 3rd gear for 60, which is a bunch of crap, as we all know. The rumors I hear is that the Cobalt is a touch slower accelleration-wise...
 

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Sp00ner said:
I've given up on the gear ratios myself, at least for now. I have heard that the Cobalt is a touch slower 0-60, perhaps due to the shift. Sport Compact Car said the Redline needed 3rd gear for 60, which is a bunch of crap, as we all know. The rumors I hear is that the Cobalt is a touch slower accelleration-wise...
Well I've been waiting to try to clarify this Cobalt SS vs. Redline gear ratio BS for a while now but so far it's still a bit baffling.

Chevy recently updated the Cobalt site with ratio's right out of the printed brochure:
http://www.chevrolet.com/cobalt/specifications/
(Click on transmissions)
What's confusing is BOTH the regular Cobalt and the SS appear to be using GETRAG M86 numbers NOT FGP (Saab) F35 !! (The SS is showing slightly lower 1st and 5th gearing but those are STILL Getrag ratios!!)

The MM5 Option Code used in this spec sheet is equally confusing as that is a generic "merchandising pkg 5spd" code so I'm not sure just why the base Cobalt isnt just showing M86 which is FOR SURE what it has (I've seen one)
But why it's showing these odd ratios for the SS is just WEIRD!
I'm speculating right now that those are actually specs for the Getrag in the SS/NA that is going to use the 2.4 VVT Ecotec , but that engine isnt supposed to become available until the 06 model year (as it will for the ION)

Now I'm certain the SS is getting the same transmission as the Redline ie the FPG (Saab) F35 (rpo MU3) but to this point I cannot see ANY evidence that it is going to be equipped with any gear ratios that are different from those in the RL! In fact the spec sheet in eSI has them IDENTICAL! But there's SS boards all over the place claiming it's different but I cant see what their source would be when Chevy's own data is so obviously screwed up!

According to the Saab information I have the only variable that exists for the F35 transaxle is a change in the final drive ratio to the taller 3.82 s opposed to the RLs 4.05 , this would of course affect every gear rato by a factor of about +6%, I dont see the incentive for Chevy to do that but...

Color me confused
If anyone has a link to any reliable sources for the Cobalt SS/SC transaxle ratios- please post it up
Thanks
WopOnTour
 

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dam this is anoying me, im gonna take out my dealerships ss tomorrow, and ill let you know if i nip the limiter is 2nd before i get to 60.

keith-
 

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WopOnTour,

I don't know if anyone has brought this up before, but I just wanted to say I'm so glad you joined onto this forum. And I'm so glad you stayed on after your bumpy start with some of the members here.

I think the consistent flow of data you provide for our cars has proven that you are a member to respect and cherish.

I mostly have no idea what you're talking about, but I can tell you are a cornucopia of Saturn/Red Line information.

Please, don't ever leave us!

Also, never change that avatar! It is an absolutely perfect representation of you on this board. :)
 

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JDRedline said:
WopOnTour,

I don't know if anyone has brought this up before, but I just wanted to say I'm so glad you joined onto this forum. And I'm so glad you stayed on after your bumpy start with some of the members here.

I think the consistent flow of data you provide for our cars has proven that you are a member to respect and cherish.

I mostly have no idea what you're talking about, but I can tell you a cornucopia of Saturn/Red Line information.

Please, don't ever leave us!

Also, never change that avatar! It is an absolutely perfect representation of you on this board. :)
Thanks JD
What can I say, I'm just a gear-head!
Cornu... what???!!! ;)

Regards
WOT
 

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Superd00d
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JDRedline said:
I mostly have no idea what you're talking about, but I can tell you are a cornucopia of Saturn/Red Line information.
This was the best line!
 
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