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Discussion Starter #1
What is it that got you guys sold on the ION RL?? For me it was the sleek lines that reflected the styling potential of the original Ion coupe. My sister bought one in april of 04' and I loved the look of it. The inside, as most GM cars, left a bit to be desired. Then, I attended the 2004 Dayton Auto Show in late May that same year. I had heard about the upcoming performance version of the Ion, the Ion Redline. I had heard some power figures, yet, I had not seen the car. There was one at the show. Electric Blue and every bit as sexy as the XK8 they parked it next to. With the exception of the wing, it was almost exactly what I'd invisioned my version of the Ion would look like. The seats were a hundred time better that the "chairs" they put in my sister's Ion3. The revised gauges, the steering wheel was buttery soft and just the right diameter, with bolstering at 10' and 2'. My sis said it was too big, right, she had to bitch. The wheels. Probably the best I've seen on a sports compact, and rolling stock at that! As well as the meaty Dunlop Z-rated rubber that wrapped them. But the real item for me was the drivetrain. The fact that GM, with all it's penny-pinching and by-the-book business ethic, put a blown four in a Saturn. The numbers spoke volumes as to where the brand will soon go. That's 205hp with nearly 200lb/ft of torque, under rated and at the wheels mind you. I was beside myself. Do a little research on me and you'll fine that I'm a gearhead from origin. Day one. My earliest recalection was that of the beautiful sound of a small black 327 coming from my father's 1965 Corvette Stingray. She popped my cherry. And it popped again when I sat into the freash Ion Redline at that show. Finally, at 23, a driver's car I could afford! I worked my ass of at my as an EMT, we don't make that much mind you. Worked a private Ambulance service as well as Union FD. On October 27, 2004 I signed my name about a thousand times and drove off in my first new car, with a smile ear to ear! Despite all the "bugs" that those at this forum have addressed, I still have faith. This is a totally new endeavor for GM, god know they don't always get 'em right the first time...then the Chevette came out a second year! When they should have killed it and the designer. My aunt had one...long story. Anywho, I have opened this thread for those of you who want to tell your story of want made you say...,"The Ion's better". Now, don't get me wrong, with a few exceptions, I love ALL CARS! If you've not got a RL, no matter. Just post your love of the car you've got. 'Nuff said, Ya'll...I'm out! :p
 

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Well, I have always had a fascination with tuner cars, and having all the go-fast goodies (spoilers, loud exhausts, superchargers, racing seats, big wheels, etc.), but I've never really had enough liquid assets to purchase said things for slow cars. So my dad was telling me about the Saturn that is basically already modded. I never really cared until I saw a blue one on the road in my hometown of Hartland, and it was howling down the road in a big damn hurry.

So I decided, "Hey, what the hell could it hurt to test drive one?" Well, four test drives at 2 dealerships and one intense desire later, I crave one still. I don't know if it was the 1-2 shift that left a black mark on the pavement and rocketed me ahead of every other car on the road. I don't know if it was getting onto the interstate at what I thought was a perfectly reasonable speed and the salesman saying "you're going 110 mph". It COULD have been taking the 15 mph turn in Ann Arbor at 35, with my best friend & aforementioned salesman holding on for dear life, and coming out of it with nothing so much as a single protest from the tires. Not too sure.

Ever since that first test drive 2 1/2 months ago, however, I've been obsessed. The only thing I've ever wanted as bad as I want my Redline was a couple of girls I was in love with from first sight. It's a deep-seated desire, one that itches in the back of my mind and every time I close my eyes I see pavement & other cars flying by as I tally in my mind just how much the impending ticket will cost me. "Okay, $95 . . . $100 . . . $105 . . . $150 . . . $250 . . . I should shut it down . . . **** it." (shift to next gear, bury throttle.)

It makes me feel like a little boy again. A 16-year old boy who just got his license throwing caution to the wind. It is truly a car of passion, in my opinion. Those who get it, know. Those who don't understand it never will. And that's fine; why should everybody know that feeling?

Now all I have to do is sell that damn Vibe.

I'm going to call the dealer & beg him for pity tomorrow.

Adios.
 

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I've always been a Saturn fan. My SC2 is my second Saturn, and before that I owned an SL1. I've always loved the look of the ION QCs, and I started thinking I wanted a new car since my SC2 is getting up there in miles and is start to literally fall to pieces. I never saw a Red Line in person before I fell for them - just the stock photos Saturn released. I couldn't believe they finally came to their senses and put an amazing drivetrain into a Saturn. It was everything I could ever want, and every time I'm around one, I'm just reminded of what a great car it is. I've loved the Red Line ION since day one.

And by the end of this year, I swear, I will own one.
 

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What sold me on the RL....

First, my SW2 saved my life in a bad accident... last November poor SW2 gave its life so that I might live. RIP, noble SW2. Saturns protect the occupants in a crash.

I researched crash-worthiness of all the smaller, sportier cars in my price range (up to $30K), even the Mercedes SC320, and the Ions were always among the best. The crash tests limited me to about five or six different choices.

Next, going online, and looking at what I could get for the money. I wanted:
- manual transmission, 5 or 6 speed close ratio, short throw and clutch to match
- front AND side impact air bags
- great 0-60 speed
- great 60-0 braking
- great handling
- great sound system
- powered sun/moon roof

I looked both domestic and off-shore... when I priced out the packages I wanted, nothing came close to the RL within 2 or 3 thousand dollars.

Getting a supercharged/intercooled Ecotec 2.0L was a bonus, as were the Recaro buckets front and back, unique back ("suicide") doors, great styling, very nice wheels and -- My God! -- the trunk space for a little car! I was thinking black, possibly red... my eleven year-old daughter said go with the blue... I'm glad she did, that Pacific Blue really stands out!

When I went to test drive the RL (had just finished the Mercedes SC320 earlier that day) I also brought along my golf clubs to make sure they fit okay... that was the last remaining potential deal-breaker.

Clubs fit, I signed the papers, new car came home... all within a week of my total wreck.
 

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Besides being a previous Saturn owner, what sold me was it's overall look, it did'nt look like the other tuners, and it was affordable. I looked at the WRX,and the Evo, which are damn fine cars but my insurance would have been up my keister(the wife too) so when I saw the RL, and all the salesman said was "Drive it" & I did I was sold. And if they were to come out with that Rally version, I'd be damnned if I did'nt try to get that one too. :D :D
 

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This is the first car since my 72 datsun 240z that I just go stare at it from the window.I have had a ton of cars but this one just gets my juices flowing it is something that is hard to describe......to put it simply I am having a ball driving it. :) :)
 

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Holy **** that rally version is incredible. I didn't even know there was such a concept. Anyone know anything about it?
 

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Oh, let's see, it was the early 90s and I was at the Eastern States Expo selling apple cider under the guise of the Future Farmers of America (we were actually trying to raise money for a biotech project, not JUST scamming people)... In what is now the Better Living Complex (I want to say it was called the "Something of the Future" at the time), an exhibitor was showing off a car he had that had all polymer body panels. Being a nerd, I understood why polymer is a good thing. :)

Fast forward to the late 90s. I just started my first job out of college and my Toyota Corrola bites it (to its credit, it did have 300,000 miles on it). So I've gotta find a new car. I remember this company I saw at the Big E so many years ago and thought I'd give them a look. I fell in love with the SCs almost instantly and found myself driving away in a '99 SC1...

More years pass and I'm thinking about replacing the SC1 with another saturn, but saturn hasn't come out with anything I'd call sporty. Then my gf's car starts breaking down. Dating a Saturn evangelist, it's only natural that she look at Saturns (in the 6 years I had my SC1, I never had a single real problem with it). While helping her futz with the website, I decide to see how tricked out I can get a quad coupe. Then I find it. A link to something called a Red Line. I may have even clicked it by accident.

And there it was, an electric blue Red Line with the big aero wing. I may have shed a tear, it was so beautiful. Oh, THEN you tell me about the 205hp, 200 ft/lbs, Nurbering-tuned suspension goodness... And I'm hooked.

Fortunately, my SC1 is still running great, so I can take my time replacing her, but I know the way I'm going!
 

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IeatRice said:
Holy **** that rally version is incredible. I didn't even know there was such a concept. Anyone know anything about it?
Check out www.saturnfans.com. Look in the photo gallery under 2003 ION Rally Concept, lots of pics. :cool:
 

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Well here is my story. About a year and a half ago I had a great job (which I am still at), not married, no kids, no car except for my company truck. I had a few cars previuosly just to play with. Well when my brother's (Bro #1) car broke down I gave him my Ford Probe. I never asked him for a dime and even put a grand into it before I gave it over. Sometimes you just have to be a big brother. So, I make good money, I have no car of my own, and I can finnally afford a car that I want instead of need. So off shopping I went.

This was about the same time Fast and the Furious came out so the after market was exploding. And I have always been into tuners, long before the big screen made it popular. I would go to the dealer and then go online to see what was available. Then my Mom asked if I had gone to "the Dealership" yet. That was of course Saturn. She has had 7 of them. Completely destroyed 2 of them with only a few bumps and one brocken fingure from the airbag slamming her hand into the window. So she is loyal. And then one other brothers( bro #2) bought one. And then another brother (bro #3) bought one, wrecked it and bought another. So in all, including me it's 11 saturns between 4 ppl. So to Saturn I went looking for an SC. The girl was telling me it was being discontinued so we looked at Ions. I was not impressed, UNTIL we went to her desk and she had the Ion Redline concept drawing on her wall. I said "What is that?" She told me and then informed me that it wasn't out yet. I said "Call me when it is, I'll wait for THAT!" Auto Show of 04 comes around and I am in love. Come September I finnally had it. (Was waiting for the discounts to roll around) And it was worth the wait. I LOVE THIS CAR. I have never been so infatuated with a machine as I am with this one. I think honestly, It's the seats. And my mom is so happy I bought a saturn. She loves the look on my face when I am driving it. I feel like a 16 year old and I'm 26. BUT I LOVE THIS CAR, I don't care what anyone else thinks, cause It's mine. I paid for it all by my self. OK enough rambleing on for me. Thanks for reading
 

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It was the only vehicle that GM offered of it's type last Sept for purchase. I test drove the GTO, but didn't want to take the hosing that the dealership wanted to dish out on a trade in of a paid in full 2001 GMC conversion van. Off the the Saturn dealer next door to see a Red Line and what kind of deal they had to offer. Truthfullly, if the Cobalt SS's would have been on the lot down the road, I most likely would be driving one of them. Chevies Rock, Hooo Raaaah!. Ah em,... sorry.

I could care less about Saturn as a company, as I work for GM and we carried their dead asses for their first 10 years and caused me to not get bonus' because of their drain of our profits. (All of Saturn's charge offs were handled by C-P-C [Chevrolet-Pontiac-Canada Group] so they had a chance to grow into a profitable company). They have always been a GM company no matter how bad they wanted to hide the fact. In fact, you had to quit GM to be transfered to Saturn for a job. THat is all changed now, as of Feb. 1. 2005 Saturn is a full fold UAW represented unit covered by the main UAW GM contract.

Back on track... I do like the styling, especially the headlights and the front grill area. The quad doors are convenient, but I'd rather see it as a 2 door. The rear end treatment is stylish, I do like it. The center cluster is an ass-clown idea. I have gotten used to it, but would change it in a heartbeat. Also, not having any space under the dash on the console, who's brilliant idea was that? Every car that I've owned with a console had storage space there.
If it didn't have the high performance drive train, I probably would not buy the ION again.
 

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For the thousandth time: " NO CAR GIVES YOU FOR MORE GRINS FOR THE BUCK--PERIOD!!" Excelsior! :D :D :D
 

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For my wife and I it was a choice between the Mini and something with a bit of "life" to it. The Mini S was too much for the car, we stumbled on the Redline by accident. The Saturn dealer is adjacent to Costco and had a sign on it "205 hp", we were looking and I said, why not. My wife had driven the Mini S ( I didn't) and within 2 stop lights was sold. She's the boss !!!!!
 

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I have allways had Saturns, 93 SL, 98 SC2, 03 Ion Sedan, and now my new Redline. One of my family members worked at a retailer since they came out in 91. I then started to work at Saturn, since I was 18, now im 22, and It was time to trade in my ION sedan for a Redline. I got the Redline w/ all the discounts and 0% and my employee discount for just under 17,200. That was a steal and I couldnt resist so I got it! :)
 

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was looking into an xA for economy, wife talks me into looking at saturns, test drove ion sedan, liked it, went to pick one up, but in the meantime i find out about the "badass" version, so i told them to find me a black one, no test drive, not so much as a look at one on the lot, and we were signing papers on one the day they got it in. never regretted it for a moment
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm glad to hear such good remarks about our cars! When I started this thread, I was afraid I would'nt get to many folks who shared my enthusiasm about this car. I understand all the problems that you guys are having. I'm taking my car in Mon. to get the ECU reflash and cam pos. seal, both of which are recall items. I'm also getting my rear bumper and trunklid repainted due to the rubbing problem. So, I'm certainly not new to the issues plauging our cars. The one thing that gives me solace is when I turn that key and nail that pedal and four cylinders throw me back like I'm driving a small block! It's been said time and time again that this is the first run of a real budget performance car for GM. There will be problems. I'm sure when folks start buying up Cobalts, there will still be some bugs to work out. The nice thing about all this is when we all get our cars sorted mod-wise, there will be a new and formidable group of domestic tuners on the streets. Hang in there guys and happy motoring! :D
 

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I too an genuinely impressed by the responce to this thread. My family is not a stranger to Saturn (10 cars and counting). It is so nice that a car company can actually build sell cars, and the outcome is not just customers, but a community of owners and enthusists. And it not just only on the forum. I experience this kinsmaship every day on the road and everytime I am at the dealer. People not just talking about there cars as a machine, but almost as if it was a member of their own family. Something a person can be proud of. I for one am grateful to be a part of this, and a part of this forum. I am looking ofrward to the gathering this summer so that I can actually put a (sceen) name to a face.

I wonder if any of the higher ups at Saturn actually read any of this. It would do them well if they did. Perhaps we can actually get Saturn to sponcer our meet.
 

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It Just Fits

I was looking for a sporty 4-dr car. Had been thinking WRX or SRT-4, maybe Jetta 1.8T when my son (17 yrs old) showed me the RL. I fell in love with the looks and when I sat in the seats oh wow! I was hooked and I hadn't even started it up yet. When I got in and pulled it out of the dealers lot I felt like I had found my perfect match. Bought it that same evening. I can honestly say that I have yet to get anything but thumbs up type comments. I work near a middle school and if I am out when they are leaving I always get them yelling things like 'sweet car'. Is it just me or do other people feel really smart when driving this car!!!!! :D
 
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