We bought the ion for a nice, cheap car with good gas mileage.
My fiance loves the styling and the interior, although to me the exterior looks kinda odd.
The seats are fine for around town but i wouldn't want to take a road trip in it.
The dash console position is strange but I actually kinda like it.
Controls are all very easy to reach and the gas mileage is great. For an economy car it actually rides very nice.
And GM's 2.2 Ecotec engine is absolutely flawless.
I feel very safe with that engine because of its reliability record.
I purchased my Saturn Ion Quad Coupe brand-new in 2004. I previously drove '93 and '99 Saturn SC2 coupes and had no major problems. I kept my Ion much longer than my other 2 Saturns for various reasons. I was sorry that GM discontinued the Saturn line in 2009; the brand had high customer loyalty. If the Saturn brand hadn't been closed, I'd have bought another one. After 11 years and 126K miles, my husband and I felt it was time to move on; we just bought a 2015 Ford Focus, my first non-GM car.
Even at this age and mileage, the engine and transmission are still in excellent condition. The air conditioning still runs as cold as it did back in 2004. I really will miss the unique design of the 2 rear half doors; they functioned better than a standard sedan since it was easier to open both doors and have a large space in which to load groceries and other items. I wish other car manufacturers caught on to this concept (the only other vehicle like that is my husband's Honda Element, which also has 2 rear half-doors). I am selling my car this weekend and will really hate to see it go, but it's time for a newer, more updated, and more dependable vehicle.
I recently bought my first Saturn, an ION 1. Overall, I am very pleased with the car. It has nice pickup and the turning radius is amazing! The body style is very nice and looks much more expensive than many other economy cars (though it is very inexpensive). I love the alloy wheels (it was a special order) and nice roomy interior. The headlights are not very bright. Overall, a great car for the money!
I bought this car 4 years ago with 59K miles already on it. 2 months ago, I totalled it in a rollover. First off, I'm completely unscathed--I had a couple minor cuts and a little whiplash. Secondly, in 4 years, I took this car to 147K miles--nearly 90K miles--and I had one major repair around 125K, when my timing belt tensioner went out. I had another repair bill over a grand about 5K miles earlier, but that was for the AC fan, wheel bushings in both front wheels, alignment, a radiator flush, and a tuneup. You know, normal wear and tear. This car ran and ran and ran and ran, with good fuel economy (~26-29 mpg) a smooth ride (though a little noisy) in almost all weather. Would buy again.
In 2006 I bought this one owner vehicle used and in pristine condition with only 2,874 miles on it. With the low miles and great appearance I have always considered it as a "new" car purchase. A couple of months ago (June, 2010) I finally replaced the original tires as well as the car's battery. The battery to my surprise was located in the trunk. This was my fourth new car and the first that the battery lasted over 2 years. I guess with it being located in the trunk and away from all of the engine heat it was a good idea after all. It's not a sports car so when cornering at high rates of speed it kinda feels like it wants to get away from you. While driving the interior noise level is low.