My ION has been trouble free after 6000 miles and rides great. Very quiet at idle/cruising and handles very well. The seats are quite comfortable. I have the 160 watt stereo with XM radio and it is worth every penny. I waited for the 2005 because I had heard of all the technical improvments being made. The effort Saturn's engineers put into making this car quiet is very apparent. I would definitely buy this car again.
Had a '94 SC1 and a '02 SC2 with no problems. Purchased ION 2 new in September 2005 as a leftover. Was great for the first few weeks, then a drain tube for the sunroof came undone & leaked thru healiner; dealer replaced carpet and headliner. Passlock anti- theft system froze repeatedly (preventing the car from starting for 20 minutes at a time) until replaced at 20k. Changed coil pack under warranty and now another I'll have to pay for at 50k miles. Have had computer code P0300- Random Misfire almost monthly since the warrantee expired, but no mechanic finds a problem. Seats are uncomfortable, dash rattles, rear door molding won't stay on ever. Poor quality to say the least.
My car, is literally my office. With all the driving that I do, I am very comfortable. It's great on gas, so it goes easy on my pocketbook. The dealership is also very friendly, and always makes me feel like I am the only customer there. The kids love the car, and when we go on long trips, everyone is comfortable, including my husband who is six foot, four. When I first looked at the car, I was never pressured into buying it, and I went back several times before I bought it.
Bought my Ion used, mainly for the gas mileage since I drive about 2500 miles a month. It doesn't disappoint, averaging 30 (mostly highway driving). Styling is a little quirky, but it works. The rear doors on the coupe are a big plus! I've had no problems with the car; build quality is better than I expected from Saturn. It's quieter and better handling than most cars of its size, and comfort is about equal although the steering wheel is too far a reach. I sell cars for a living, and had my choice of several comparable cars. I'm happy I chose the Ion.
I have thorougly enjoyed my Saturn and will certainly consider buying another. Two things that need serious improvement are some interior materials (cheap in some places) and it could use about 15-20 more horsepower.