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Saturn or Elantra what do you think?

I will keep this brief as I am having trouble posting discussions once again- 2003 ION with 70K on it or 2004 Elantra with 115K on it. The Elantra is 2k cheaper in price.

The Saturn is an automatic and the Elantra is a 5 speed.

This could be a tough decision. I know someone who has an Ion and love it. However, it is now a GM orphan, and she is very concerned about that. Her mechanic advises her to go ahead and get rid of it, but that is contray to both of our natures. The $2K difference is mostly driven by the mileage difference. I also know several people who owne Elantras and are very happy also. Check on its timing belt replacement status (this also may apply to the Ion). At one time. Elantras had a 60K mile interval, and if so, then it is due in about 5K miles for another one. Normally, I would go for the lower mileage vehicle if all other things are equal.

The Elantra is more fun to drive but the Saturn looks way nicer. I know I am really having a hard time weighing this one out. The Elantra gets a little better gas mileage. I am not that concerned about the orphan issue for Saturn- there are places that will make the parts- There are a gazillion Saturns still on the road- it would be foolish for GM not to continue making replacement parts- there is still a good market for them.

What does “looks way nicer” mean? If the Saturn is in better condition than the Hyundai, that can outweigh the mileage. With older cars, it’s more about the way it was maintained than the brand.

Yeah- the Saturn is Black and it just looks stylish for an american car-LOL! It is also very clean everywhere- like it was not ridden hard. The Elantra is silver and looks like a relatively boring small car- which when I drove it was somewhat deceptive. It handles very well, drives very smooth and quiet and has a nice amount of pick-up. I had to be careful not to peel out in first gear! The Elantra definitely feels like more of a road course car whereas the ION probably handles more like a stock car- to use a racing metaphor.

Actually the Saturn is the car with less mileage on it :slight_smile: .

jayhawk
I believe all saturn 4s have timing chains.

Lower miles, timing chain on the Saturn would probably help seal the deal for me. “Sporty” handling is nice, but 45K miles less is also significant.

My current Saturn has a timing chain and has 135k on it and has never been changed- so if that is the case the ION may have a good way to go before it needs to be changed. I guess after driving a 5 speed for 10 years I have gotten used to that part of the experience. Of course I have an old Nova with a clutch if I feel the need to shift… I agree about the mileage. If it were the other way around I would not be asking the question at all- I would just get the Elantra. The only reason I guess that I am strongly considering the Saturn is because it is low mileage and looks like it was taken care of.

I know that last comment sounds a little disjointed- just thinking out loud. I tend to prefer manual transmissions overall but I have owned automatics before- My wife’s current car is an automatic also and I enjoy driving that (Mazda 3).

The auto trans could be a weak link in the Saturn. According to Wiki, the Ion has no way to change out ATF Fluid and has a “lifetime” fluid fill. Very few of us here believe that, and I don’t know the longevity of the auto trans. I do know that my Mazda auto trans on my MPV shows no signs of issues at 175K miles, but not sure if the Saturn Ion would do the same.

Personally I would go ION.

Both cars are likely 150k life before major stuff happens in increased frequency. At 70k you are only about half way there.

ION’s fall apart in elder years.

Yeah- I know neither of them are a perfect choice. Given my limited budget and the fact that I plan to put less than 10k per year in miles on whatever car I buy I am pretty well convinced to go with the ION. That is weird about the tranny- I wasn’t aware of such a design. Most automatics recommend changing out the fluid about every 30 to 60k I believe- depending on the vehicle. So, hopefully this ride will last 7 or 8 years before it becomes a pain to keep.

The ION seems like a good choice. Are you going to get a pre-purchase inspection? Any older car should get one to make sure all systems are functioning well. There could be a hidden problem, and you don’t need that cropping up a few months from now.

Ion us basically a cobalt with a different body/interior. It’s going to become a which one do you like best question.

The dealer I plan to purchase it from has had the car checked out by a tech pretty thoroughly and he gave it a thumbs up. They are also giving me a 3000 mile warranty- It’s as good or better than I can receive from a private seller. I will look up Cobalts just out of curiosity- did not know they were the same platform. Thanks for the info.