Saturn VS Honda

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Blue Dragon, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. Blue Dragon

    Blue Dragon Guest

    I drive a 1997 Civic, never any problem other than replace timing belt,
    tires etc. Now have 180,000 miles and considering a Saturn. Honda gets
    about 36 MPG, Could I expect the miles and this type of problem free driving
    with a Saturn?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    Blue Dragon, Dec 3, 2004
  2. let me get this, you had one make and model, and never had any
    problems, and now you want to try out a totally new maker's product?

    Do you have money to burn? Stick with what works, especially a car


    tom @
    newsgroups01REMOVEME, Dec 3, 2004
  3. Blue Dragon

    Art Guest

    Quite frankly if you are happy with the Honda get another. My parents
    bought a L300 Saturn wagon several months ago and I have driven it quite a
    bit. Honda is well known for its tight steering. I do not believe you
    would be happy with the vague steering of at least this Saturn particularly
    when pointing the wheel straight. There is no road feel at all when the
    wheel is centered.
    Art, Dec 3, 2004
  4. Blue Dragon

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Saturns are not as trouble free as Hondas, but they're still darned good, and
    cheap to buy and fix. Mileage of the S-Series was excellent -- I've gotten 40
    MPG at 70 MPH in my mom's SW2 -- but the ION has gained over 400 LB, is bigger
    overall, and has a bigger engine, so I doubt it will do as well. Frankly I
    think it's a bit of a junker compared to the competition. A Civic, Corolla, or
    Focus is a much nicer car. The S-Series was relatively much better when it came

    Most cars will go 300k with little trouble these days. I'd just keep the Honda
    until it looks and feels so shabby you can't stand it any more.

    Matt O.
    Matt O'Toole, Dec 3, 2004
  5. I got about 32mpg on a recent trip in my new 2004 Saturn coupe and
    that was in rather hilly terrain at 75-80mph (cruise control on most
    of the trip between Irvine CA and Laughlin NV ), so it isn't that
    bad. If the original poster wants to look at getting an ION he should
    definately consider the leather interior, it makes a huge difference
    as far as comfort and overall feel of the car.

    This is my 3rd Saturn and I have never had a speck of trouble with any
    of them, a very reliable car IMHO.
    Or starts belching blue smoke as Hondas tend to do after awhile.
    Rev Turd Fredericks, Dec 3, 2004
  6. Blue Dragon

    Blah blah Guest

    30+ mpg Highway isnt hard for any modern car to get. City is usually
    the killer. Also there are big differences between auto's and manuals.
    Manuals will give you the best. Late model F-body's with V8's and 6
    speeds get superb gas mileage. No drag to speak of and hell of a lot of
    low end torque from the engine for cruising in 6th gear. Higher octane
    and insurance prices are the only reason I dont drive one... :(
    Blah blah, Dec 3, 2004
  7. Blue Dragon

    DAW Guest

    Buy a VUE V6 which has Honda V-Tech engine. Best of both worlds (sort of).
    DAW, Dec 4, 2004
  8. Blue Dragon

    David Guest

    We have a 2000 Saturn LS2 (SAAB V6 and 400 lb 4-speed auto) and 2 Chevys
    with 3100 V6 and 4-speed autos. We mostly just drive; repairs are few and
    far between. Can't find anything to fix on the 2000 Malibu or the Corsica
    (with 250,000 km on it).

    My neighbour just bought an Accura with 70,000 km on it and had to replace
    the timing chain. Any ride in any Honda I have had was like an old farm
    truck; rough and noisy.

    There is no comparison between Saturn and Honda, except the huge additional
    price for a Honda. And all I get for that several thousand dollars is a
    ride in an old truck!

    Yes, I know there are Honda die-hards out there, but as I approach
    retirement I appreciate a nice quiet, smooth ride.

    David, Dec 6, 2004
  9. Hondas are reliable, which is a good thing if you've ever seen a repair
    bill on one.

    Oh yeah, they can't build an automatic transmision that's worth a sack
    of shit.
    Philip Nasadowski, Dec 6, 2004
  10. Blue Dragon

    blue_x21 Guest

    blue_x21, Dec 6, 2004
  11. Blue Dragon

    blue_x21 Guest

    blue_x21, Dec 6, 2004
  12. Blue Dragon

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    According to all the usual industry surveys, the Malibu is actually the most
    reliable car sold in N. America -- even better than a Corolla or Civic. Then
    again all of 'em are pretty good these days. Personally, I'd rather have
    something with better seats, like a Saturn.

    Matt O.
    Matt O'Toole, Dec 6, 2004
  13. Blue Dragon

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    32 MPG on the open road in a modern small car simply stinks. A Corolla or Civic
    will do nearly 40. A BMW 3 Series can do 34 MPG, despite being much larger and
    heavier, and having 50% more horsepower. Heck, my '85 325e with over 300k on it
    did that well. The ION has not advanced technologically at all since the
    original S-Series.
    We've had 3 in our family too, and they've been mostly trouble free. The only
    problem we've all had were alternators, which go out every 70k like clockwork,
    and window regulators on an L-Series. Lots of others seem to have the same
    problems. At least the alternators were cheap to fix, probably half the cost of
    other makes'.
    Just from reading these boards I've learned that Saturns are the oil burning
    champs of the modern age. My brother's dealership (where he worked for 3 years)
    has seen the same thing. While there are many S-cars with half a million miles
    on them, there are also plenty that needed new engines. The new engines in the
    ION are probably better -- I hope so.

    I still think Saturn has lost its edge. The competition is better these days,
    even for the money. If you need a larger car, you can still score a great deal
    on an L.

    Matt O.
    Matt O'Toole, Dec 6, 2004
  14. Blue Dragon

    tholen Guest

    Yep; I've had to replace the driver's side (most frequently used)
    window regulator, and I've replaced the battery twice now, with the
    service advisor claiming that the "generator" was also bad and had
    to be replaced (both times). The second time was too coincidental
    for my tastes, so I demanded to see the evidence that the "generator"
    was bad. Voltage was okay, diode was okay, and output current seemed
    okay, though I don't have a good feeling for how high it should be.
    At any rate, I decided against replacing the "generator". Service
    advisor warned me that I'd just drain the new battery, and even
    put it in writing on the service order. Here I am, a year later,
    still running with that allegedly bad "generator". Battery hasn't
    been drained at all.
    tholen, Dec 6, 2004
  15. Blue Dragon

    Ron Herfurth Guest

    I thought mileage was more a function of weight and aerodynamics rather than
    technology. The ION is more than 300 pounds heaver than the S, and bigger,
    so it seems obvious that it would get worse milage.


    70 ? boy are you lucky. I only got 31 on each of my first 2.

    I though the problem was the rings rather than the engine in general. Anyone
    know if Saturn is using better rings these days?
    It sort of looks like the S was beginers luck, Although I sort of regret not
    getting an 4 cylinder L wagon.
    Ron Herfurth, Dec 7, 2004
  16. Blue Dragon

    Blah blah Guest

    You can stick that Ecotec in a Fiero with a manual trans and get over
    45 mpg easy. Small engines in big cars or high drag cars can get
    overworked. Big engines in small cars hardly get worked. There is a
    balance that must be met for longevity and MPG. So a small engine in a
    small car is good for mpg and a big engine for a big car is good for
    There are many factors in MPG but people dont tell you all of them when
    they claim "this is what I get". Ok so the question becomes is it a
    manual or auto? Is it a coupe or sedan? Do you drive doing the speed
    limit or do you run 80mph? Do you wax it or not? Are you 130 lbs or are
    you 300 lbs? Are you the only one in the car or do you have 3 other fat
    people riding with you? Do you live in the mountains or flat lands? Do
    you have the trunk loaded down with junk or ....... You get the point.
    Not everything gets posted to a newsgroup.

    This has more to with habits IMO. You batteries become to discharged.

    Ok... First off. THE ECOTEC IS NOT THE OLD 1.9L! It has NOTHING to do
    with the previous 4cyl. Just because an engine burns oil it doesnt mean
    REPLACE IT! With the 1.9 it means your oil rings are either gummed up or
    loss their tension. Also Saturn does not "BUILD" engines. They are all
    outsourced. The Ecotecs and the 3.0's are German Opel based engines, the
    1.9's originate from England. England has almost always built
    cars/engines that had to be "tinkered" with like MG's. The later 1.9
    (not sure at which point) dont have the ring problems iirc and not all
    the older 1.9 burn oil. The Ecotecs are by far probably the best 4
    cylinders on the market now.

    So long as you got one with a manual trans but I cant recall any L300's
    with manuals. A automatic L Wagon would overwork that 4cyl I would

    Btw I have a car that probably totalled 4000lbs on a recent trip that
    has a 205hp 3800 II engine that got 28mpg running mostly 75mph. I
    consider that more than acceptable given the weight, speed, and ever
    increasing hilly terrain towards the destination.
    Blah blah, Dec 7, 2004
  17. Blue Dragon

    Bill Davis Guest

    What kind of habits? My '93 SL2 with 137K miles never needed an
    alternator replacement. Replaced 2 batteries over 11 years. Are you
    saying failed alternators are a result of frequent heavy use of the
    battery without the car running?
    As a 1.9L oil burner lottery loser, and new owner of an ION2, that's
    good to hear.

    Bill Davis
    Bill Davis, Dec 7, 2004
  18. Or frequent driving with bad batteries. Few look at the battery as a
    'wear item', and fewer replace it on a regular schedule, though there's
    convincing evidence that it's at least somewhat useful on saturns :)

    I don't think Saturn alternators are any more/less defective than any
    other GM ones, rather that they're marginal for the application.
    Beats me - mine leaks more oil than it burns. Some 1.9s were actually
    decent, I guess. Or, built on a wednesday?
    Philip Nasadowski, Dec 7, 2004
  19. You have obviously never driven in California. You climb to 5000ft,
    then go down a bit and then up another 1000ft down to 900ft etc. all
    at 80+ mph, 32mpg is pretty good. Maybe if driving in, say Iowa or
    Michigan it might not be good to get 32mpg but it's pretty good in
    I have never seen a Saturn belch blue smoke, or one stuck at the side
    of the road. Fords and Jaguars seem to have a lock on that.
    I have no complaints. I liked my L-series but the leasing company
    wanted too much money for me to purchase it at the end of the lease
    and I couldn't get an L with leather interior. What actually lead me
    to the L-series to begin with was the trunk, the S just didn't have a
    big enough trunk. The ION is pretty decent in that respect.
    Rev Turd Fredericks, Dec 8, 2004
  20. To be fair I don't think that Matt O'Toole comprehended the fact that
    I was driving in mountains at 75-80mph. The trip from Irvine CA to
    Laughlin NV is up (I guess the max is about 4500-5000ft and the min is
    900ft) and down for 300 miles, most of it highway, but (and anybody
    that has made the trip can say) there is also some stop and go as you
    fight your way out of Southern California along the 91 freeway. I
    thought 32mpg was pretty good. I had my wife and a suitcase in the
    Rev Turd Fredericks, Dec 8, 2004
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