Overall it's a very good car and my wife and I can attest to the "accordion" style safety frame that protects all occupants in the cabin. For years we suffered with the ignition and spent countless hours waiting for the alarm to "reset" so that we could once again attempt to start the vehicle. But the thing that makes you the most upset is that the mechanics at the Saturn dealer act like they had never heard of this problem before. It was like Christmas day when GM was forced to make the ignition/key problem a recall and fortunately for us it took care of all of the starting problems and we could once again not have to worry about leaving the house 15 minutes early for fear of the car not starting. But now it's started having a problem with the 'enginge light" coming on in relation with the evac system. First we replaced the gas cap, ($15) then the purge solenoid and the vent control, ($197.) after that didn't work, we are currently dropping the gas tank replacing the 'pressure solenoid' another ($237) I don't know if this is GM's fault or simply that American auto makers can not manufacture good electrical components because my Jeep Grand Cherokee needed several solenoids and eventually a new PCM and my new Cadillac SRX is having issues with it's computer and traction control system. (Fortunately the Cad is under warranty) When it comes to the end of the day the Ion has been a pretty good car, a little bumpy and rickety but actually is not any worse than my new Cad when it comes to the electronics. I don't understand how anyone could say they hate this car or that it is a piece of junk? These people must just think that all you do to a car is put gas in it and go! LOL Vehicles need your love and attention, take care of your car and it will take care of you.
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!
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
Being able to park anywhere and not worrying about dings.
I am glad we got the 5-speed manual trans as it seems people have problems with the CVT automatic.
Roomy for a little car.
I'm 6'3 and have driven
with 3 other adults 2000 miles round trip w/o complaint.
Good performance w manual trans, handles mountain roads and 100+ mph well.
Handles a small trailer well
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!
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 number one favorite thing is the gas mileage.
For one, mine get's 23 in city and 29 on highway.
The good thing about that is my tank only holds 12.5 gallons!
And most other cars have bigger tanks (My mom's is 18.5).
Other features are that it is luxurious.
I can barely feel hitting bumps at all!
The engine rarely needs any repairs.
The speedometer is located in the middle, and this is safe!
Cons: ignition cuts off but keys don't come out; trunk won't open with key; and back left window won't roll down now.