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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, until recently I have had trouble deciding which new car to get, Saturn Ion Red Line, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, or the Dodge Neon SRT-4

Dodge Neon SRT-4
I am a fan of the SRT-4, good looking car, killer performance (I've seen some cars dyno 250+hp and 270ft.lbs bone stock ), Mopar Stage Kits that kick some serious butt. After driving a few of them (I belong to a TurboDodge club, there are 7 or 8 in our club) I do not like the way I feel in the car. It's hard to explain, but I don't feel "at ease" or safe in this car. Maybe because it's the only four door I've really driven, I don't know. I just don't feel comfortable behind the wheel of the SRT-4. The major con is there is (at present time) ONE body kit that I have found. I'm a fan of having customization options. I like it when someone sees my car and knows instantly I'm the one driving. With the SRT-4, this isn't really a choice, short of aftermarket wheels and paint job. Not to mention, Dodge will not give anyone an employee discount on the car, which makes me seriously reconsider the car that was my number one choice.

Saturn Ion Red Line
Today I stopped to look at the Red Line Ion. My thoughts? The car looks great. I've never been a fan of Saturns, but this one is good looking. The interior rocks with the Recaro seats. My ONLY gripe with the car is that the instrument cluster is in the middle of the dash. WTF is up with that? It's much easier to see something below where you are looking than to see something to the right of where you are looking. You practically have to turn your head to look at the cluster instead of merely averting your eyes. Not a good idea to me. Sit and try it now. Keep glancing to something to your right and then back to these words. Now glance down and back up. Which is easier on the eyes? For me, that's looking down. That alone makes me rule out the Ion, not to mention, the aftermarket kits are in my opinion pretty ugly, maybe it's just because I don't like "pointy" cars.

Chevrolet Cobalt SS
Of course I haven't seen a Cobalt SS in person, but I love the styling and the interior is a total winner in my book. Beautiful leather (love the color inserts as well). Just enough of the "brushed aluminum" on the dash to set it off. If the SS gets the same Recaro seats as the Saturn, It will definitely be the best interior of this group of 3 automobiles. I am wondering what interior changes will be made to accomodate the Recaro's. The "vinyl" that the recaro seats are made of will most likely not look good with the rest of the interior in leather. If having Recaro's means you must get a cloth interior, I'll do without. Also, will the colors of the Recaro's match the inserts in the doors? Those are my only concerns so far. There are already 2 aftermarket kits for this car, and none to me are "ricey" which seems to be the general trend with kits lately. It seems most people my age (I'm 22) like to make their cars "ricey & ridiculous" but to each his own. They are all tasteful kits in my opinion, not ridiculous kits to make the car look like something it's not (think Z3 Fenders & Useless Wings). Not to mention I can get the GME discount (I know I can get it on the Saturn as well) and 0%APR financing.


Now, my thoughts on power. I read over 35 pages of info on srtforums.com and the Stage 3R kit for the SRT-4 has people dynoing between 350-390hp and 390-420ft.lbs in HOM (High Octane Mode) bone stock or with other "basic" upgrades (intakes, aftermarket intercooler, etc.) What does 350hp equate to in this car? Well, quite a few members have said that in HOM at 55mph in 3rd gear, a good stomp on the go pedal will roast the tires off.

What does that mean to me when considering the Cobalt SS? Give me 300-350 horsepower and I'll be happy. Yes, I love to drag race my car, but I also want it to be streetable. Psi-fi has a twincharging kit they are prototyping. If they can bump up the power enough for me to run mid to high 12's on slicks, I'll gladly pay $3000-$3500 for the kit. I don't know how many of you have ever driven a car capable of mid-12's. If you haven't, I suggest you have someone take you for a ride in one. It's quite a thrill and more than enough power for a daily driver.

Why would I consider a twincharging kit? I love the instant boost of the belt-driven supercharger, but I also love the sound of a turbo, as well as an obnoxious blow-off valve. Best of both worlds in my opinion.

Basically, I want a new Cobalt SS. Give me a good selection of subtle, nicely made visual modifications to personalize my car, and give me the performance aftermarket to hit 300-350hp reliably and call me happy.

Please don't turn this thread into a big argument for one car or another, as I am just expressing my opinions as I welcome you all to maturely do. Thanks for reading! :)
 

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It seems like you've done a ton of research and are probably more open minded and well educated on the differences of the vehicles above then alot of people.

With that said, go with whatever you think is going to make you happiest in the long run, after all... the only person you need to please, is yourself.

All 3 vehicles offer great performance and bang for the buck, so I dont think you can go wrong either way.

Good luck with your decision!

BTW, For more information on Red line, try here:

Saturn ION Redline Forums
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks! Yes, I have done a ton of research (as much as can be found on the SS right now).

I have also been lurking around the Red Line forum as well, great job on these sites, they look great! :D

BTW, this will be my first new vehicle and I can't wait!

I also can't stress how much I encourage people to personalize their vehicles. You don't look like everyone else (hopefully) so why should your car? You pay for it, you should enjoy it. Who cares if someone else likes it, did you buy it/build it for them? As long as you (and maybe a significant other) love it, that's more than enough!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also, one other thought I have.

The radio in this car is Huge!. When I get an aftermarket (as will mostly happen, read below for reason) I hope the dash kit comes with a storage space above/below as well, or that someone makes a kit for two DIN openings so you can install an aftermarket deck and equalizer both in that space, otherwise it's gonna look like crap to have a 6-8 inch opening where the radio was, filled by a 3 inch aftermarket deck and 5 inches of ugly black plastic. :(

The reason I'm thinking I'll need an aftermarket deck is this. I know the system supports MP3's on data disk, that's cool and all, but get this. It is very unlikely that the stock deck will have a "random/shuffle" mode for those MP3 data disks (I've made some with 450+songs). And Let's say you want to hear song 257... it's gonna take a while to get there without direct track access via remote (quite a few of the new aftermarket decks don't even have both of these features).

My view: For me, I will need an aftermarket deck. Simply because I like to make one or two 400+ song "favorites" mp3 data disks and listen to them for weeks at a time on "random". No switching cd's is really necessary, all of your favorite songs are on one cd and assuming that you (as I can) fit 400 four-minute songs on one disk, you are looking at almost 27 hours of music on one cd, but if you want to hear one song in particular, say, song number 257, and you don't have direct track access, you're out of luck.

Also, nothing is mentioned about the stock MP3 player being able to read ID3 tags. For those of you who don't know, ID3 tags are encoded with your MP3's and will display (if your head unit supports them) on the screen the artist name, track name, album name, etc. Very cool and if you are like me, it's nice to not have to tell a passenger what a song is called and who sings it.

If the stocker can't read ID3 tags and has no Direct Track or Direct Folder Access, it's gone within a week of purchase, maybe even the same day.
 
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