Jason

Principle Problem: Resale value

80 posts in this topic

Well, time finally ran out. I was hoping to hold out until the Astra came out before trading my '03 Ion but the repair bills were starting to mount. The interior was showing a lot of wear early on but in the last year I've been overwhelmed with mechanical problems totaling almost $2000. That car was just not very well put together.

I've seen a lot of drooling over horsepower and size but it seems no one at GM wants to build the car I want to buy. I need a small sedan that gets decent fuel economy and is comfortable without costing an arm and a leg.

Not wanting to wait any longer I drove the current Ion drawn in by a 0% interest offer. It really isn't much better than my '03 in terms of comfort though it appears as though the interior isn't done as cheaply. Compared to the Corolla I bought its powertrain isn't as smooth but it is substantially more powerful. I was disappointed in the Ecotech's fuel economy but I do miss its power for passing. I find myself downshifting a lot more in the Corolla.

What really did the Ion in for me though was the resale. My '03 with 90,000 miles was worth $2,000 to the Saturn dealer who was trying to sell me a new Ion. I talked him up to $3,000 but that seems like nothing. The Bluebook trade number was $3,500. A similar '03 Corolla? $6,500.

I remember my first gen SL1 and second gen SL2 had great resale numbers and the SC2 I had was sold at a substantial amount to a private buyer (they were pretty fine looking after all). With all that was wrong with the Ion in too many people's eyes I just couldn't plunge into another one.

Something I've noticed about Asian and European small cars is that when you buy one that sells well overseas they use more upscale materials. I assume that is because smaller cars are more popular in those markets while in the US the automakers seem to be saying that if you want comfort you need to move up to a bigger car with a bigger engine, worse fuel economy, and a higher profit margin. Will we ever get some nicer, smaller cars?

I drove the Aura while I was at the dealership. The fit and finish is every bit as good as any car I drove in its class. I didn't drive a BMW or anything like that but the thing was a polished as any Camry or Accord. It looked like a better value too if you compare reasonably equipped models and their prices. Hopefully the durability is there as well. Is that trend starting in the US? Is Saturn at the forefront of it (at least for a domestic automaker) with its Opel imports? Will that ever trickle into the smaller car segment? Here's one buyer who hopes so.

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:nono: You could have at least bought a Civic or a Maxda3.

The Ion is not a great car, everyone knows it, the Atra should be a lot better (and sexier).

I do understand you plight about resale value. I've seen mid-90's Corollas command prices as much as 3 grand (which I would never pay for).

Edited by Dodgefan
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How much did you get taken for on the Corolla?

In reality, you generally end up paying about the same car for car, feature for feature. The Japanese imports hit you for the money up front, the domestics hit you in the rear. That is... you pay more for a comparable Japanese vehicle, but you get higher resale value. You pay less for a comparable domestic vehicle, but you don't get much in resale. Is there really much difference paying $15,000 for an Ion getting $3,000 on trade and paying $18,000 on a Corolla and getting $6,000 on trade? Either way, you paid $12,000... but with the Corolla you paid interest on 18k instead of paying interest on 15k from the Ion.

This is subject to change though as the domestics get their mojo back and stop offering big discounts to move cars.

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You could have at least bought a Civic or a Maxda3.

Honda is awfully proud of their Civics. I looked at them. I still want to be able to move more than one other adult around which ruled out the Mazda. All 3 were actually smaller than the Ion. The Corolla was the best bet for my needs. The Civic was sporty but not as ecnomical and too expensive. I don't care much for Mazda's reputation beside Mazda practically being a Ford. My dad was upset his son bought a Toyota. He'd have shot me if I'd bought anything associated with Ford.

I ended up paying $16,580 for the Corolla. I got the S model with a manual (to be honest, my love of shifting gears will always hurt my resale a little....but it also keeps my girlfriends from driving my car!) I would have gotten the Ion for about that amount or a little more (Ion 3 Sedan, manual, GM discount). I was actually surprised. It may be the value of the dollar or maybe just that the Corolla is also at the end of its run (the new model is due to arrive next summer). I expected it to cost more and I even got it at 2.9% for four years. A comparable Honda was almost $20,000 though and I don't know about the Mazda (didn't give that one serious thought).

I agree that all these incentives are killing the resale of domestics. So far GM is resisting the temptation to use them on their newer models. I think they'd do anything to get rid of the Ions though.

Edited by Jason
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Well, time finally ran out. I was hoping to hold out until the Astra came out before trading my '03 Ion but the repair bills were starting to mount. The interior was showing a lot of wear early on but in the last year I've been overwhelmed with mechanical problems totaling almost $2000. That car was just not very well put together.

I've seen a lot of drooling over horsepower and size but it seems no one at GM wants to build the car I want to buy. I need a small sedan that gets decent fuel economy and is comfortable without costing an arm and a leg.

Not wanting to wait any longer I drove the current Ion drawn in by a 0% interest offer. It really isn't much better than my '03 in terms of comfort though it appears as though the interior isn't done as cheaply. Compared to the Corolla I bought its powertrain isn't as smooth but it is substantially more powerful. I was disappointed in the Ecotech's fuel economy but I do miss its power for passing. I find myself downshifting a lot more in the Corolla.

What really did the Ion in for me though was the resale. My '03 with 90,000 miles was worth $2,000 to the Saturn dealer who was trying to sell me a new Ion. I talked him up to $3,000 but that seems like nothing. The Bluebook trade number was $3,500. A similar '03 Corolla? $6,500.

I remember my first gen SL1 and second gen SL2 had great resale numbers and the SC2 I had was sold at a substantial amount to a private buyer (they were pretty fine looking after all). With all that was wrong with the Ion in too many people's eyes I just couldn't plunge into another one.

Something I've noticed about Asian and European small cars is that when you buy one that sells well overseas they use more upscale materials. I assume that is because smaller cars are more popular in those markets while in the US the automakers seem to be saying that if you want comfort you need to move up to a bigger car with a bigger engine, worse fuel economy, and a higher profit margin. Will we ever get some nicer, smaller cars?

I drove the Aura while I was at the dealership. The fit and finish is every bit as good as any car I drove in its class. I didn't drive a BMW or anything like that but the thing was a polished as any Camry or Accord. It looked like a better value too if you compare reasonably equipped models and their prices. Hopefully the durability is there as well. Is that trend starting in the US? Is Saturn at the forefront of it (at least for a domestic automaker) with its Opel imports? Will that ever trickle into the smaller car segment? Here's one buyer who hopes so.

One buyer GM lost! I'll let y'all figure out why! :scratchchin:

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The Cobalt is generally considered far superior to its Delta platform mate. Have you considered the Chevy, at least?

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The Cobalt is generally considered far superior to its Delta platform mate. Have you considered the Chevy, at least?

I did like the Cobalt coupe but the sedan just didn't look nearly as good to me so I didn't give it serious consideration. I just need easier access to the back seat than a coupe can ever offer (even a quad coupe). Plus the Chevy dealer here in town and I don't get along very well. One thing I always liked about Saturns was that I walked into the dealership and bought the car rather than feeling like I was talked into buying the car. Anyone who has bought a Saturn knows what I'm talking about. The Chevy guy here in town is an expert salesman/bully so I don't give him my business.

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How much did you get taken for on the Corolla?

In reality, you generally end up paying about the same car for car, feature for feature. The Japanese imports hit you for the money up front, the domestics hit you in the rear. That is... you pay more for a comparable Japanese vehicle, but you get higher resale value. You pay less for a comparable domestic vehicle, but you don't get much in resale. Is there really much difference paying $15,000 for an Ion getting $3,000 on trade and paying $18,000 on a Corolla and getting $6,000 on trade? Either way, you paid $12,000... but with the Corolla you paid interest on 18k instead of paying interest on 15k from the Ion.

This is subject to change though as the domestics get their mojo back and stop offering big discounts to move cars.

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How much did you get taken for on the Corolla?

In reality, you generally end up paying about the same car for car, feature for feature. The Japanese imports hit you for the money up front, the domestics hit you in the rear. That is... you pay more for a comparable Japanese vehicle, but you get higher resale value. You pay less for a comparable domestic vehicle, but you don't get much in resale. Is there really much difference paying $15,000 for an Ion getting $3,000 on trade and paying $18,000 on a Corolla and getting $6,000 on trade? Either way, you paid $12,000... but with the Corolla you paid interest on 18k instead of paying interest on 15k from the Ion.

This is subject to change though as the domestics get their mojo back and stop offering big discounts to move cars.

That's not entirely the resale issue...the problem isn't resale at 5 years, it's resale at 1,2 or 3 years that really screws the average consumer, especially if they're credit is poor or their needs have changed which necessitates the trade....

The average Ion probably loses close to 40% of its value by year 2, the average Corolla or Civic is probably half of that...additionally, as the Ion owner above has indicated, the ability to sell his car is diminished by the Ion's desireability, so trade may be the only viable option.

I would agree that the longer you hold the car, the more your logic holds, however, that's generally not what happens in the real world---especially since Americans feel its their god-given right to drive a new vehicle on demand.

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So what sort of repairs did you have to do to the car Jason?

Also, did you consider trying to sell it on ebay?

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I would agree that the longer you hold the car, the more your logic holds, however, that's generally not what happens in the real world---especially since Americans feel its their god-given right to drive a new vehicle on demand.

Doh! :banghead: :banghead: Logic is always trumped by stupidity!

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One buyer GM lost! I'll let y'all figure out why! :scratchchin:

Um...is it because GM is still way too arrogant and doesn't take advice?

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Honda is awfully proud of their Civics. I looked at them. I still want to be able to move more than one other adult around which ruled out the Mazda. All 3 were actually smaller than the Ion. The Corolla was the best bet for my needs. The Civic was sporty but not as ecnomical and too expensive. I don't care much for Mazda's reputation beside Mazda practically being a Ford. My dad was upset his son bought a Toyota. He'd have shot me if I'd bought anything associated with Ford.

I ended up paying $16,580 for the Corolla. I got the S model with a manual (to be honest, my love of shifting gears will always hurt my resale a little....but it also keeps my girlfriends from driving my car!) I would have gotten the Ion for about that amount or a little more (Ion 3 Sedan, manual, GM discount). I was actually surprised. It may be the value of the dollar or maybe just that the Corolla is also at the end of its run (the new model is due to arrive next summer). I expected it to cost more and I even got it at 2.9% for four years. A comparable Honda was almost $20,000 though and I don't know about the Mazda (didn't give that one serious thought).

I agree that all these incentives are killing the resale of domestics. So far GM is resisting the temptation to use them on their newer models. I think they'd do anything to get rid of the Ions though.

Toyota is offering $1000 off most Corollas (including 2007s, although edmunds didn't seem to know this), and dealers will usually take off at least another thousand more, plus of course the special packages (thousands worth of content free). Almost any compact (except the Jetta) is bigger than the Corolla, including the Mazda3, and some, such as the Sentra and Civic, are much bigger.
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It may be the value of the dollar or maybe just that the Corolla is also at the end of its run (the new model is due to arrive next summer).

Corolla is built in the U.S.

Value of the dollar doesn't enter into it.

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Almost any compact (except the Jetta) is bigger than the Corolla, including the Mazda3, and some, such as the Sentra and Civic, are much bigger.

No, the Jetta is bigger than the Corolla in nearly every way, except for maybe height. And the Corolla is longer than the Mazda3 and Civic....

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Doh! :banghead: :banghead: Logic is always trumped by stupidity!

True.

Most customers, in my experience, have no idea how poorly their 'investment' will hold up over time.

We routinely have customers 'upside down' to the tune of $5k or more! Americans have no clue when it comes to debt management...you'd be better served burning the money for heat in the winter!

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The Jetta is actually dimensionally smaller inside in many aspects vis a vis the Corolla and while the Toyota is physically longer, other competitors are roomier inside, especially the Sentra.

No comment on the Corolla otherwise. Most know how I feel about this hanger-on compact.

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The Jetta is actually dimensionally smaller inside in many aspects vis a vis the Corolla and while the Toyota is physically longer, other competitors are roomier inside, especially the Sentra.

No comment on the Corolla otherwise. Most know how I feel about this hanger-on compact.

Really? EPA passenger volume:

Jetta: 91 cu ft

Corolla: 89 cu ft

But then of course, based on passenger volume alone, Hyundai says their Azera is bigger than the 760i... :scratchchin: I guess it all depends on what your definition of "big" is.

Edited by empowah
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Really? EPA passenger volume:

Jetta: 91 cu ft

Corolla: 89 cu ft

But then of course, based on passenger volume alone, Hyundai says their Azera is bigger than the 760i... :scratchchin: I guess it all depends on what your definition of "big" is.

I looked up individual dimensions on MSNAutos. In many ways, the Jetta is large, especially where it would count more (head/legroom). I don't know how the EPA calculates interior volume and its a misnomer anyway. Yes, the Azera has more interior volume than the 760i, but so does a '98 LeSabre. A Bentley Azure is a 'compact'. The Malibu MAXX was a fullsize car. Doesn't all quite make sense.

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That's not entirely the resale issue...the problem isn't resale at 5 years, it's resale at 1,2 or 3 years that really screws the average consumer, especially if they're credit is poor or their needs have changed which necessitates the trade....

The average Ion probably loses close to 40% of its value by year 2, the average Corolla or Civic is probably half of that...additionally, as the Ion owner above has indicated, the ability to sell his car is diminished by the Ion's desireability, so trade may be the only viable option.

I would agree that the longer you hold the car, the more your logic holds, however, that's generally not what happens in the real world---especially since Americans feel its their god-given right to drive a new vehicle on demand.

That is what leasing is for. Anybody who is remotely considering dumping a vehicle after 2 or 3 years should be leasing. This is where the entire argument for the Civic or Corolla goes bust. Feature for feature, the Cobalt is cheaper on a lease than either of those vehicles - where is the downside? Even people who are high mileage - I dare say especially people who are high mileage, should be leasing. Around here, you'll pay 8 cents a km for extra mileage up front. That is a bargain. What vehicle depreciates ONLY that much?

It always slays me when people get hung up on the value of their trade. If Saturn is offering 0% on the new vehicle AND the Ion is being phased out, which everyone knows - how could its resale value hold up? And mileage is everything. For us, 100,000 km is the breaking point where a lot of dealers will throw the vehicle to a wholesaler. You're probably going to see fire sales on the Corolla soon when word gets out there is a new one coming. That's just life.

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That's why we leased the Sebring. Chrylser products are due for a major quality boost in almost 3 years. The exact same time that the lease is up.

And yea, older saturns have high resale. Our SL1's resale is about $3500.

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No, the Jetta is bigger than the Corolla in nearly every way, except for maybe height. And the Corolla is longer than the Mazda3 and Civic....

The Corolla's extra length is purely cosmetic, and tat even ignores the shorter wheelbase (100 mm less than the Civic) and limited width. The Jetta has the smallest wheelbase of the compact class. Even some subcompacts are close to the Jetta's wheelbase.
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Really? EPA passenger volume:

Jetta: 91 cu ft

Corolla: 89 cu ft

But then of course, based on passenger volume alone, Hyundai says their Azera is bigger than the 760i... :scratchchin: I guess it all depends on what your definition of "big" is.

Interior volume is only important if you're hauling sand.

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I guess Saturn reliability is going down (satire). This gentlemen had engine problems with his ION and went with a new Civic.

After much thought, I took that 3 grand and the Saturn and I traded it on a new 2007 Honda Civic LX on Saturday. I am enjoying the new car very much (I love the dash on it). The ION made it to 365,867 miles when I handed over the keys. I forgot to take a camera with me to take a picture of the odometer. I am going to miss it!!! Posted Image

full thread here

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