The car has yet to let me down. I have had several trips to the dealer, and almost always got the car back while I waited. The free rental with my service contract made any overnight problems bearable. The tires seem to be about gone. This is a little better than I expected for OEM tires. The 16" low profile tires gave the car the best handling I have has with a small car. The transmission shifts good most of the time, but occasionaly hunts when the acceleration drops off near it's shift point. The front seats have a tremendous amount of leg room. However, the rear seat passenger can loose all of their leg room to the front seat. The car is comfortable on long trips.
I have truly enjoyed owning this car.
For the money it's the best comuter car
out there. I'm very tall and I like the
driver leg room. Never intended to put
anyone in the back seat. No mechanical
problems to date. The purchase process
was fantastic. It's a little noisy on
the highway but hey, you can't have it
all for well under 20K.
Suicide doors to access the back seat.
Telescoping and easier tilting steering
column. Cut down the road noise.
My experience with two 2003 Ions suggested
Saturn put GM's new Delta chassis too early. A
solid body and good handling were appreciated.
Freeway cruising was quiet but nervous. Build
quality was awful - both cars had tons of squeaks,
rattles, ill fitting parts, and transmission and engine
glitches two service centers could not repair. 24
mpg was the rule but acceleration not so great (5
speed helped on hills but often shifted harshly).
The buying experience was pleasant, but the
service was awful.
Hopefully the 2004 and 2005 versions will be
Solid chassis, corners without much fuss, good view
forward, sophisicated light/lock electronic
management, low road noise, large trunk
Rough shifting 5 speed, squeaks/rattles all over
interior, flat seats (heigth just jacks up
bottom cushion), poor rear seat comfort and room,
ride harsh on small bumps, tepid
acceleration and mileage, stereo shrieky.