When it works, it's an easy ride. It only works about 10% of the time. It's in and out of the shop for various reasons. The car is aging of course, but the miles are still low in comparison to the year it was built. The recalls have fixed some of the issues, but new ones seem to arise out of the blue. At one point, my gas tank began pouring gas all over the roadway. When I realized, I had it towed to the mechanic who found that nothing had penetrated the tank, but the seal had worn. It's truly a lemon.
I've owned my '06 Ion for 4 years, purchased used from a Saturn dealer with 22k on the clock. It just passed 80k the other day and thus far has been a good car. Average 33mpg, over 40 on trips. Issues thus far: AC compressor failed (replaced under warranty), power steering motor failed (out of warranty, dealer wanted $1300 to fix, I bought a used ps motor off eBay and did it myself for $80 bucks), ignition module failure (twice, $82 part at AutoZone), and now the front right wheel has a bad bearing and is causing excessive road noise. Most of the problems are easy and quick to fix, no car is 100% failure proof and I think this car is a good trade-off. People have unrealistic expectations.
Easy to work on, easy to fix, most repair shops can fix it easily and quickly or you can try it yourself with a workshop manual. Excellent fuel economy in the city (33mpg in mix hwy/city commute, record was 48mpg on a road trip), funky gauge cluster is fun, large trunk for it's size, cheap to buy, maintain, and insure, plastic body panels mean no dings! An excellent college/commuter car, nothing special.
Shifter is "notchy" and difficult to shift when cold, extremely vague/numb steering feedback, suspension is soft but doesn't soak up bumps, excessive road noise, cheap interior, limited back seat room, not much interior storage compartments.
My 2006 Saturn Ion has been nothing but a money pit.
Sure the first couple years were great...no problems.
Then, the issues started.
My car now has 59,000 miles on it and I have had to replace the track in the driver's door because my window actually fell down into the door and wouldn't come back up.
It has no A/C because no one can figure out what's wrong with it.
I have also had to replace the brakes numerous times, replaced sensors because the lights would stay on (the car thought the doors weren't shut) and now I have an issue where the car doesn't want to start on cold mornings.
This car just is not worth it anymore.
I'm frustrated, poor and just can't take much more!!!
It does have features I like.
It has enough room for the family.
I like the traction control.
It's great in the snow.
i got my saturn about 7 months ago it had 116k miles on it and now its got 127k miles and runs absolutely great.. it gets around 21 on city and 32 on the highway which i get combined 29-30ish which aint bad.. the only thing i had to replace was the powersteering motor.. it had a little leak from the rain once but a lil silicone fixed the problem.. I also put a custom exhaust on it which sounds awesome.. overall this car is great i love this car..
moonroof, cruise control, power windows and locks, central console, and sporty look..
accleration.. and plastic doors, need something better
I bought a 2006 Saturn ION 3 with 5 sp manual transmission back in Aug 2010.
I love the car when there are no problems, but boy, when there are problems, there are problems!
I had to replace the ignition switch 'cos of a bad sensor.
The PassLock system wouldn't let me start the car because of this.
It "thought" the car was being stolen so the engine wouldn't start.
2 days ago, the power steering light came on & I lost my power steering.
The book said to take it to the dealer, so I did.
That is when I found out that there is a recall from GM.
Fortunately, my car has less than 100k miles, so the price of the repair was covered under the recall.