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Old 10-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Which car should I keep? 1995 Civic VX or 1997 Saturn SL

Hello,

I have found myself contemplating which car to keep...

I have owned my VX since 2006 and it has been a great car. I have put 70,000 miles on it in that time frame. It now has 165,000 miles on it. The put a new a/c in it about 1.5 yrs ago, compressor, expansion valve, condensor etc. It has new LRR tires on it with about 10,000 miles on them. It still looks pretty clean, it does need a wax. It is white with blue interior, I have 95 Acura GSR seats in the front, more comfortable. I also added an armrest from a 95 civic sedan. It has a nice CD headunit with USB port on it and aux to play your ipod. It doesnt leak fluids, it doesnt burn oil, it runs really well. The clutch doesnt have much grip left but it was like that when I purchased it in 06 and doesnt seem to have gotten much worse. It is a great car and I love Hondas but, I am thinking the Saturn has 1/3 the miles of the Civic.

Alas, I came across a really nice 1 owner Saturn SL with only 57,000 miles, this car is mint. The original owner babied the car, it slept in the garage. It was waxed 2-3 times a yr and you can tell. The A/C blows super cold, colder than the VX. The entire car is immaculate not a ding or dent on the entire thing. The headliner does sag a bit, I have never seen a Saturn of this vintage that didn't. The interior is super clean and the car does not appear to need anything. I do like that the car is OBD2 so you can use a Scanguage in it and get live MPG readouts while driving and make adjustments based on the readout. The thing that I don't like about it that it is an American car and though I have never owned an American car, I have heard horror stories. The only reason I am even considering this car over my 95 VX is because my girlfriend has a 99 Saturn SL with 145,000 miles and her family has owned it since new. The car has been very reliable and for the money they seem like nice little cars. The one I currently own is white with grey interior and it really is presentable for a 97. The Saturn is much quieter at interstate speed than the VX and has alot more power when you need it. I don't think the mileage is quite as good in the Saturn but I believe it is pretty close.

I have read alot of good things about the Saturn on this site and other fuel saving websites and would like some real world opinons from like minded people on this forum.

Which would you keep?

I am in Florida and both cars are rust free.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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There's nothing inherently wrong with American cars. However, is that Saturn equipped with one of those Saturn engines that's known for burning oil due to worn rings? (Is it ironic that, of all brands, Saturn was plagued with ring issues?)

It sounds like the VX has treated you well for a long time and you've returned the favor. It's dependable, in known condition with a known history. OTOH you've probably grown tired of it or its shortcomings, or you wouldn't be looking at potential replacements.

Consider this: When your VX needs repairs you probably pay and then move on with life. If the Saturn needs a new A/C system or something else, are you going to feel the same way or will your doubts about American cars make you feel bad about it? IMO, how you feel about repairing your car is very important...if you doubt, fear, or resent it then it will be an unhappy experience.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. I think it's just the opportunity to own a low mileage car that looks basically new. I don't forsee the saturn needing much in the near future and the mileage is very comparable to the VX.

I know I can sell the VX for a good price because of the current gas prices....both are good cars and I don't believe the Saturns burn oil till later in life? I could be wrong.?
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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Interesting question. I'd probably cash out on the VX and pickup the Saturn. You have to give the domestic automakers credit where it is due... American cars seem to have the coldest a/c systems.

You have the chance to get a nice low mileage car at an affordable price. I'd probably jump on it in your situation.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:48 AM   #5
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My sister in law has a 98 Saturn S series car (the 1.9L with SOHC). She got the car cheap ($500) because it had a cracked head. I helped drop a certified "salvage" motor in it that only had 60K miles on it (it was expensive because it was ordered through an auto parts chain store and had a 1 year guarantee).

It ran great without any smoke and got 38mpg on the highway. But after 4 years and about 60K miles later, it has started burning about 1 quart of oil every 500 miles. It was driven gently and my father in law is religious about doing 3-4K mile oil changes with brand name oil.

If you could make $300-500 profit selling the VX and buying the Saturn, then I'd recommend that you buy the Saturn.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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understand from the start that the saturn will not yield the mpg you get with the vx. if the engine does not already burn oil, you may consider using a good synthetic motor oil...like mobile1 or amsoil. best of luck!
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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THanks for the replies...keep them coming!
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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You'll shed tears if you sell that clean VX. I'd take that one in a heartbeat.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:25 PM   #9
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Don't you dare sell that VX!!! My friend drove a Saturn for a few years. It completely fell apart on him. Yeah that car may look nice and shiny but it's what is underneath that counts!!! There's a reason they don't make Saturn vehicles anymore!!! They stink!!! I'm serious, my friend's car was junk when he got it to about 90,000. When he traded it in, he could barely get it to the dealer. They gave him $500 and that was pretty much because they felt sorry for him. I wouldn't touch a Saturn with your 10-foot pole, much less my own!!!!
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