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.
May 3, 2012 - GM dealers have an "extended warranty" that will replace the power steering motor and module that sits on top, free of charge.
They didn't recall, probably due to not Saturn existing any more.
I had my son's done yesterday.
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