2003 Saturn ION Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Saturn ION Sedan

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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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



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




O k car.

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

Owned since 8/07. Took some time to adjust to. Gear shifting is awkward compared to a Honda or Toyota. Great turning radius. Chronic ignition switch problem that shows up in winter. Wipers are plastic and are very delicate in cold weather with snow or ice. Fabric is cheap and stains easily. Seats not all that comfortable. Like car a lot but have been let down more than once.




What i expected

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

I bought my Ion3 new in 2003. 0% interest and 3 mos deferred because I had just graduated college. It's no BMW 3 series, but it's been good overall. 30 mpg on highway; 22- 24 in city (with hard driving). Have not had the build issues others reported -- recalls were done quickly and everyone was friendly. My CD player doesn't skip and noise is what I'd expect for a car this size. Center console display is cool and looks much sharper than a Corolla from 2003. Plastic body means no dents; trunk is nice. 5 speed automatic is nice for extra oomph in passing or city accelleration. Would buy a Saturn again, but one a little more souped up. Good starter car.




Terrible in snow & ice

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

Liked my SL1 better! Steering is terrible, never felt right since I bought it! Problem was fixed in 2005 model year. Ride is comfortable, seats stink, not enough support. Economy is okay at 29MPG average. Stereo was replaced 3 times in first year, but no other problems. Car is reliable transportation for short trips, not for long distances. Stay away from snow/ice, traction is poor at best. Excellent on dry pavement. Braking is very good. If you don't mind being thrown sideways when you hit bumps then this car will be satisfactory. If you want a car that handles well, try something else.




Appreciate at the pump

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

This is the 8th Saturn I've owned and it has been the best, fuel-wise and dependability-wise. We have driven it nearly 5 yrs. now and only minor problems. Our major complaint is comfort. The driver's seat is impossible for long drives. Little cushioning, hardly any lumbar support. And no room in the back seat. This is the car for those seeking dependable transportation at affordable prices. It'll get you where you want to go cheaply. Your pocketbook will appreciate it, even if your back doesn't.




What a lousy car

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

This car was terrible from the beginning. Bad mileage, never had good pickup, had trouble with rear defroster, headlights, drivers window and now power sunroof, along with having to have transmission rebult for around $2,500 after only 54,240 miles - no help from Saturn either - once the warranty is out they just don't care - and I still owe another 17 months on this car. Trust me I will not be buying another Saturn vehicle nor will anyone I can let know about this vehicle. And American manufacturers wonder why their cars don't measure up to import vehicles. Look at what you are making and selling to the American car buyer!



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.

Talk About The 2003 ION

Read more about the 2003 Saturn ION

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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