Ion vs. Chevy Cobalt: same car?

Discussion in 'Saturn ION' started by emark, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. emark

    emark Guest

    I might be in the mrket for a new car next year and two of the
    reasonable choices in my price range are the Saturn Ion and the
    Cevrolet Coabalt. (Of course another option is to buy a bigger, safer
    higher-end vehicle used, but I want to go new if I can; I've fought
    most of the used car battles over the years, though for the most part
    I'm satisfied with my current Saturn SL2, bought used with 30K miles in
    April 2003.)

    Anyway, I've been looking into both cars online and I was struck by the
    many similarities or identical features between the two, even
    considering they are both compacts made by GM. Then of course I read
    that they are built on the same platform and the light bulb went

    What if any are the key differences between the Ion and the Cobalt? Is
    anyone out there in the sane boat as me: looking at both cars and
    scratching your head? Anyone driven both?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


    Eric M
    emark, Oct 24, 2005
  2. emark

    emark Guest

    Sorry for the typos above. Yes I speak English and no I am not drunk;
    just need to force myself to review the message before I hit

    BTW the gas mileage for both gives me pause. I will likely get the
    automatic tranny, which only yields 24/32 per EPA. That seems a bit low
    to me for a car this size with a 4-cylinder engine....ERM
    emark, Oct 24, 2005
  3. typed until their fingers bled, and came up with:

    They are basically the same, in terms of size and performance. Obviously,
    the Saturn has polymer panels, and the quad coupe. Cobalt has traditional
    guage placement. I've driven them both at work (from the parking lot into
    the shop), but that's maybe 500', so I'm not realy well versed in the
    Cobalt. I've driven an ION Red Line a bit more.
    Kevin M. Keller, Oct 24, 2005
  4. emark

    Steve Mackie Guest

    Car and Driver seems to prefer the Cobalt over the Ion. I would say go look
    over the "fit and finish" and "touchy feely" of both cars in person. From my
    first impressions I would prefer the Cobalt over the Ion, but that's my
    opinion. Other people will probably say "same shit, different pile."

    Steve Mackie, Oct 24, 2005
  5. emark

    emark Guest

    Thanks. I'm in the market for a small sedan, not a coupe. I like the
    polymer panels on my SL2---no dings or dents, as advertised---but
    that's not a huge issue for me. It does seem strange the Cobalt got
    relatively good reviews from the so-called experts, while the Ion got
    hammered or at least was not praised very much.

    Also, one more question, if I may: Does the L300 still come with the
    4-cylinder engine that everyone raved about? A quick check at MSN Auto
    indicates the L300 can only be had with the V-6 now.

    Eric M
    emark, Oct 24, 2005
  6. emark

    emark Guest

    Thanks. It is amazing the difference in the reviews for what is in many
    ways almost the same car. I'd still like to see better gas mileage for
    a car this size with a four-cylinder, but if I decide to go through
    with my plan to buy a new car early next year I will look closely at
    both the Ion and the Cobalt---and might consider the Saturn L-series,
    if it still comes with a four-cylinder, which does not appear to be the

    That's at the high end of my price range, but I have this dream of
    getting a quality new car, taking great care of it, paying it off and
    then riding off to Paradise in it, without major problems, for a few
    years after that, Just because it's never happended to me or anyone I
    know so far, does not mean it can't happen now....

    Eric M
    emark, Oct 24, 2005
  7. typed until their fingers bled, and came up with:

    The L series is over after the '05 model year. The L200 had the EcoTec 4
    banger in it - the L300 only had the V6.
    Kevin M. Keller, Oct 24, 2005
  8. emark

    Art Guest

    My wife rents cars from National several times per month on company trips.
    The Cobalt was the first car that she thought was decent. Normally she
    dreads the GM stuff she has to choose from. From what I've read, GM spent a
    few hundred bucks extra per car to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.
    About time. Notwithstanding, Consumer Reports was less then thrilled.

    My father has a L300 wagon with the 6. Quite frankly, I cannot believe how
    bad it is. The steering is numb and the engine has no power at the low end
    unless you use mid grade gas. The AC evaporator fan is incredibly noisy
    when it is running high speed. The rear seats are uncomfortable. His is
    all optioned up with leather.

    I would look at the PT Cruiser which has an excellent repair record,
    comparable to imports, and Toyota. Also the quality of the Focus has
    improved dramatically. A friend of mine has one and loves it.
    Art, Oct 24, 2005
  9. emark

    blah blah Guest

    Oh so its terrible and expensive to maintain?
    Screw the 3.0's and PT Loser's. The only rare Limited edition PT is the
    non Limited edition. Chryslers are a b*tch to work on, just like working
    on 3.0's in Saturns....

    Eric, step up a little from the Cobalt (man that really doesnt roll of
    the tongue) and take a look at a 2.2L Malibu. Its a bit more in base
    price but you do get more car for the money and you get about the same
    MPG. Just stay away from the 3.5L.
    blah blah, Oct 24, 2005
  10. emark

    Art Guest

    I test drove a Malibu Maxx. Not a bad ride but check out the rear roof
    shade. If they haven't fixed the design it is ridiculously cheap. Details
    like that are why people give up on GM cars. Instead of fixing the details,
    GM spends a billion on a new platform. I can't figure it out. Just sweat
    the details and people would like the cars they have.
    Art, Oct 24, 2005
  11. emark

    emark Guest

    Ah, that explains it. I shouild have paid closer attention.
    emark, Oct 25, 2005
  12. emark

    emark Guest

    blah blah wrote:

    Thanks for the advice. The Malibu 4-cylinder might be worth a look. I
    was told several times never to buy the old version of the Malibu,
    circa 1999, because it had a horrible side-crash-test rating and some
    said it also had a propensity to catch fire in crashes, though I never
    saw a convincing cite for that.

    The 'new' version seems to be better. It's almost the perfect size for
    my wants and needs and it has pretty decent standard equipment, but as
    always it comes down to money. As noted, I really want to buy new if I
    can afford it and a new Malibu with ABS will be just about $20K with
    tax, transfer, etc.

    Of course I will get a decent trade-in on my 2000 SL2, and maybe I can
    negotiate a few hundred off the list price---truth be told, I prefer
    Saturn's no-haggling policy, but I'll take what I can get---but it's
    still a chuck of change. Cars are just too damn expensive.

    Also, getting back to gas mileage: It amazes me the Malibu 4-cylinder
    automatic actually gets better mileage on the highway, at least per EPA
    tests, than the much smaller and lighter Colbalt or Ion. Whatever
    happened to the laws of physics?


    Eric M
    emark, Oct 25, 2005
  13. emark

    blah blah Guest

    Physics still apply but they are less obvious

    06' 2.2 Cobalt/Ion
    Final Drive Ratio 3.63

    06' 2.2 Malibu
    Final Drive Ratio 3.29

    Either one should easily meet or exceed they're rated mpg from the EPA.
    Both are about 3100 pounds. The earlier Malibu's didnt use an Ecotec so
    its not what you're looking for anyway.
    blah blah, Oct 25, 2005
  14. emark

    Art Guest

    Check the weekend ads. You should get the Malibu for invoice. Check out and to get a handle on what the new car should
    cost and what your trade is worth. You might try selling the car privately
    although be careful on the form of payment because people can forge bank
    checks. Last time I sold a car, we did the deal at the bank and I watched
    him get the check. I explained why and he wasn't insulted. I wouldn't be
    Art, Oct 25, 2005
  15. emark

    SMS Guest

    Look at the Corolla. Built in Fremont, California in a UAW factory.

    For the people I know, paying a car off and riding into paradise is the
    rule, rather than the exception. The problem is more that they get a
    little tired of having the same car for ten years.

    I've been looking at small sedans with the following criteria:

    Minimum of 40 mpg hwy
    Maximum of 9 seconds, 0-60
    Maximum street price of $14K
    No hyrids
    Minimum of "G" for IIHS front crash test.
    Minimum of "A" for IIHS side crash test (there are no "G's" in this segment)

    The only vehicle that meets this criteria is the Corolla, though the new
    Civic may also meet it, but it hasn't been crash tested yet.

    The Ion doesn't do as well as the Cobalt in crash testing. In fact the
    Cobalt is top-rated for safety, in its segement.
    SMS, Oct 25, 2005
  16. emark

    teem Guest

    My '03 Ion should get way bettere gas milage,it sucks,had it almost 3
    years w/37K now,11 gallon tank & without a/c i'm lucky to get 390
    miles.On Tue, 25 Oct 2005 15:40:50 GMT, SMS
    teem, Oct 26, 2005
  17. emark

    J Guest

    Better gas mileage than I get.

    I drive an Ion3 5spd and the most I can usually get about 450km (city
    driving) which I
    believe is about 280miles.
    J, Oct 27, 2005
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