2003 Saturn ION Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Saturn ION

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Saturn ION Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Saturn ION

  • Built to compete among the small Asian vehicles, the less impressive domestic Ion will have a tough time with this segment's leading contenders.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Innovative rear-access doors on coupe, customer-focused dealers, numerous personalization options, great cargo capacity.

  • Cons

    Build quality not up to segment standards, unusual styling, lack of established service and repair history.

  • What's New for 2003

    After 12 long years in production, Saturn is finally retiring its aging S-Series sedan and coupe in favor of the all-new Saturn Ion sedan and innovative quad coupe.

Full 2003 Saturn ION Review

What's New for 2003

After 12 long years in production, Saturn is finally retiring its aging S-Series sedan and coupe in favor of the all-new Saturn Ion sedan and innovative quad coupe.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love my ion! has 225k

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Vehicle: 2003 Saturn ION 2 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5A)

I love my Ion. It is a very trust worthy car. I bought it used and it had 205K miles on it and it now has 225K miles and it is still running strong. The air is ice cold, it runs great. Always gets me where I need to be! The only thing that has been wrong with it. If the wheel isn't just straightly perfect it won't go to the off on the ignition. It will only go to accessories. I just stick my finger up this hole and press this button and it goes to off and right out. Easy fix! But, it is stylish for the year and runs good. I love my Ion!! I can't wait to see how long it will last me!

Happy owner since new

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Vehicle: 2003 Saturn ION 3 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

We've owned since new a 2003 Saturn Ion 3 sedan with 5-speed manual transmission. It now has about 145K miles and is going strong. All of our 5 kids learned how to drive a stick in this car. The clutch finally needed replacement at 137K miles. I live in Southern California. While a daughter attended school near Boise, ID, I'd drive up a couple times a year via Nevada back roads. I wouldn't see another vehicle for hours while driving through the desert, so I'd drive 100 mph for long periods without a problem - still got great mpg. I still use this car if driving long trips by myself. Only problem for us was/is the ignition key switch issue - about $350 to fix, and I haven't yet

Very happy owner!

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Vehicle: 2003 Saturn ION 2 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car in March 2013 with 132,000 miles, now has 145,000 and I am very happy with it! Does great in the snow with All-Seasons. I commute 44 miles round trip a day, 5 days a week and this car just keeps on going and serving me well. Sure, I could find issues with it, but I think any issues are mostly due to its two previous owners and the fact that it's 11 years old with 145,000 miles. By the way, super glad I found one with a manual. So much fun!

3 of 35 people found this review helpful

A car to keep

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Vehicle: 2003 Saturn ION 2 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5A)

I got my used 2003 Saturn with only 30, 000 miles for $9,500 at a local Saturn dealership back in 2007. The clerks were very friendly. I have to say that there are way more pros than cons for this car. Of course, I do not live in a very cold environment, so I do not have start up issues. Gas mileage with only 12.5 gallons is amazing. This car came with a battery, and for four years I did not replace it. I should have found out how old it was, because I recently got a new one. This sucker is tough! It would still start, and the alternator was in great shape. It is very crash-safety and is very smooth on the road.

My blue baby

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Vehicle: 2003 Saturn ION 2 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5A)

I love my car. I have had it 8.5 years. I had 0% for 60 months. I paid it off. I did have to put a new tranny in for like 3k in 09' at around 80k miles and a new (used) ac compressor for about 420$ in 2010 as well as a new tail pipe/catalyc converter due to a tiny hole in the muffler that midas said wouldnt pass inspection, but other than that I haven't had any major repairs. I never broke down because of a car problem. In summer 2011, I was rear ended because the girl behind me didn't stop when I stopped behind a school bus and she cracked and messed up my back bumper on the drivers side. Bent the tailpipe (another replacement) but HER car's front end smashed up like an accordion!

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

Best purchase ever!

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Vehicle: 2003 Saturn ION 2 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I purchaed this car around one year ago adn it has been nothing but a charm! The 2.2 has decent pep when you need it to, and even with my very agressive driving i still average 36 mpg! With 4 Blizzaks this car controls amazing in snow! My car is the 2 with no options but a spoiler in silver. The only bad things about the car are that with the manual mirrors the passanger side one is fixed, so you cant adjust it. Also the head lights are VERY dull, but some new bulbs will do the trick. The only other thing is it used to sometimes not start in the cold, but all you need is a good mechanic to cut some wire in the ignition. Over all if youre at all interested, purchase one, theyre honestly great

Talk About The 2003 ION

2003 Saturn ION Discussions See all Started By

According to Edmund's future vehicle section, Saturn is coming out with a 200 hp Ion Redline in the fall of 2004. Does anyone know anything more about this car?...

There is no reason to reflash or reprogram the bcm when replacing the ignition switch all you have to do is relearn the pass lock sensor in the new switch for the bcm this can be done manually with no...


Read more about the 2003 Saturn ION

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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