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sae gozashti

I was a big fan of VOLVO for many decades and gave up on them for very similar reasons that you gave up on GM. In my case it was the reliability and safety, which was ok but what did it for me eventually was when my unSUV late model VOLVO(2001 XC70) gave me a very SUV-like mpg: 9-11 mpg for city driving with dealer service! It was a great car but how do you justify driving a car from a major auto manufacturer like VOLVO that has a reputation for safety but pays little but lip service to "real green" technology like those from Toyota and Honda? I think GM and Saturn are not the only culprits here. There is a lack of green initiative on part of all majors around the world. Maybe the success of Toyota, Honda, Ford, and demand for "real hybrids" will change some minds-soon!

RayF

I have very similar feelings about Saturn. I've had and SW2 for almost 10 years, have put almost 230,000 miles on it, and it still gets between 27-30 MPG. It's been a real workhorse. However, those high ticket repairs are getting more frequent. I was hoping to switch to the Hybrid VUE, but like you was frustrated by the continued delays followed by dashed hopes with their latest "pseudo-hybrid" announcement. Yesterday I bought a Prius. Sorry Saturn (read GM), you snooze, you lose. The one thing I will truly miss is that the service team at Saturn of Torrance is absolutely great.

MGR

Glad to hear that blind brand loyalty is a thing of the past. Getting a Prius was a smart move. It's the best choice until more high fuel-economy hybrids come out.

Salmo

I bought a SC2 for my son, and it has been a profoundly disappointing experience. I have not been impressed with the dealers - one in Boston and a second in Denver. I agree with the original post. I thought that I was buying an American car designed to compete with Toyota and Honda, but what I got was more the image of competetition than a real effort.

Engineer-Poet

Unfortunately, the Big 3 have strongly conservative (reactionary?) elements both inside and outside management. Transmission engineers responsible for hydraulic torque converters aren't willing to volunteer for pink slips, and UAW contract terms may make it impossible for the companies to make a profit on small, efficient vehicles.

Trying to break this impasse in the short term means risking a long strike, which neither the stockholders nor the plaintiff's bar will abide. The auto companies appear to have no alternative under current securities law to going all the way to bankruptcy, breaking the union contract, and restructuring under court protection from both union labor and their own white-collar employees.

This sucks, but it's just one more example of unintended consequences.

SL2001

Hi ScottN,

I have come to this same conclusion just this week. I bought an SL2 some years ago, and its been OK. The 2001 has a BIG exhaust plenum which really matches up to cam nicely. Its a real SUV killer.

I am getting 30 to 34 MPH (Yea matching the EPA) in the spring/summer/fall suburban commute ( 3/4 s of it at 10 to 70 mph on the highway, then 30 - 45 mph local streets for the rest of the trip) with 60K + on the engine. This includes bursts up to 80 MPH to fit into the slot for the proper turnoff, and evasion of sadisdic Cadalac Escalade drivers (wait until the curve at 75, then transision to the center lane, those Escalades understeer like a pig). Clearly the SL2 is not a Jetta in the acceleration deparment, but a competent driver can stay out of trouble with it.

I guess my biggest disappointment with Saturn is they stopped making the SL2. Especially, when I found out the ION had no hybrid ions flowing in it! This was exaserbated by the intake manifold repair that was needed last winter on my SL2. They knew all about this problem before hand, and have actually redesigned the gasket.

On a side note, ever notice how the Ion kinda looks like a Prius I? Did GM spy on Toyota? I mean they called it the Ion, then as well!

The SL2 is everything Vega was supposed to be. Aluminum Alloy engine, chain valve drive, and all the weight advantages that ripple throgh the whole design. I bring up the Vega, as the first Hybrid car I ever saw was a Vega, that was a serial hybrid design using a 2 cylinder motor cycle engine. It was a university research project supported by GM. Which is why my car buying plans for the last decade was to get a Saturn, then buy a hybrid. I really was thinking that first hybrid was going to be a GM car!

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