2003 Saturn ION - Consumer Reviews

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Happy owner since new
By cartopcamper on 02/20/14 07:27 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

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
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O K car.
By leo on 02/19/10 10:57 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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What I expected
By Kyle on 07/11/08 14:31 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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Terrible in Snow & Ice
By Rob on 03/01/08 07:18 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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Appreciate at the pump
By Hessian on 04/26/07 12:30 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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What a lousy car
By Pat on 12/28/06 17:05 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

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!
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It took me two years
By R on 09/01/06 20:17 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I had worked for a Saturn dealer for a little over 2 years when I decided to buy my ION 3 Sedan. I had been driving them all the time for the past two years and new it was exactly what I needed. I love my ION. It is peppy and fun to drive. The seating is comfortable even after a 5 hour drive across state and then another 5 hours back. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a safe, reliable, fun to drive car that gets great gas mileage (30-35_ on mine - because I dont drive 95 mph like the people who only get 20-25 on theirs). Or to any other college student who needs a deal on car insurance like I do!
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I wanted to like it, really I did.
By may-queen on 05/04/06 09:33 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I've had my ION3 for a little over 3 years, after owning an SL2 for 4 years. Honestly, I am not very happy with the car. The SL2 was a much better car. Most notably, the ION gets terrible gas mileage. I get about 16 city and 22 highway. My father has the same model ION3 that I do and his mileage is even worse than mine: 12 city, 19 highway. This is unacceptable. Also, there is nearly no leg room in the back seat. It's extremely uncomfortable back there. The novelty of having the instrument panel in the middle of the dash, rather than behind the steering wheel wears off rather quickly. I find myself wishing it were behind the wheel. And as with most Saturns, the car is too loud.
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JUNK!! The Worst Car I Have Ever Driven
By BHMnPalmBeach on 12/20/05 14:46 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Now that the car is a year and a half old I have observed many problems. One recall, a transmission problem that the dealer can't figure out, and countless other trips to the dealership for various repairs. The build quality is horrible. Everything rattles, the car gets horrible gas mileage compared to everything in its class(my Acura gets better economy and it has 60 more HP), and the transmission downshifts into to high a gear going down hill rather than letting the driver use the brakes. About the brakes, not very effective and the rotors warped after 100-200 miles. The value after 18 months is only $6000 compared with my Acura which is $16000 and the Acura was only $1900 more when new.
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My ION 3 Sedan
By abfabchevygrl on 12/02/05 20:44 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I love it! I have owned Chevys and Hondas and I have never been happier! It was the best purchase I have ever made. I feel safe in the car and is great for hauling around kids seeing as I am a nanny and the parents LOVE it.
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