Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: I love the 'suicide doors'. I like having a two door with the ability to be a four door for kids.
Cons: I can not depend on it. I wonder what is going to go wrong with it next.
Advice: Do not buy it.My Saturn Ion is at the dealer once again. I have owned it for exactly two years. Within the first couple of hundred miles, the car shook terribly on the expressway and when braking. The tires were rebalanced and the rotors were replaced because they were warped. That was the least of my worries. I am now on my third set of rotors due to warping. The front right strut was blown which consequently ruined my tire. The car has a constant sound like a bearing is out. Bushings were replaced in the front due to a thumping sound under the front of the car. The door behind the driver had to have the window and rubber replaced due to leaking water on the floor. The handle to open the hood came off in my hand. The handle to adjust the passenger front seat comes off repeatedly. The door behind the driver rubs the quarter panel and the running board from time to time. The fuel door chipped paint off of the car because it wasn't centered properly. I complained about an idling problem repeatedly, but only recently was it addressed. One morning, the car would start and then shut off. The pass lock sensor and ignition switch was replaced. The radio is frequently cutting in and out. I complained about a growling noise at low speeds. The transmission was updated and the fluid was replaced and a detergent was added. About a week later, the transmission went completely out. The belt in the transmission broke! I got it back last week and now the car has a bad vibration, the transmission makes noises, and I hear a thumping noise when I go over bumps!!!!! I am supposed to pick it up tomorrow. I am afraid!!!!! Did I mention that I used to be a 'Saturn Girl'? This is my third Saturn. I was even at the Homecoming in Spring Hill, TN. This is my last Saturn!!
Pros: The Enhanced Performance Package (EPP)
Cons: Some cheap plastics used, fuel-filler door should have interior release
Advice: The EPP (ABS, traction control, 170hp 2.4L engine) is worth the $995It took Saturn 3.5 weeks to build my Pacific Blue Ion 3 - and it was definitely worth the wait. My Ion includes the Enhanced Performance Package (2.4 liter engine, suspension tweaks, ABS, traction control), leather interior, 6-speaker SAS (Saturn Advanced Sound system) and sunroof. The 170hp engine pulls with plenty of power, and the suspension strikes a nice balance between a smooth ride and responsive handling. Steering is accurate and nicely weighted, although a bit numb. The 2.4 liter engine is fairly smooth and about average in terms of moise. The entire package is definitely up for a spirited drive through the countryside. Gas mileage has been 27mpg in a city/highway mix. The front seats slide way back - a 6'3' passenger remarked on how much leg room he had. Rear seat headroom is not good for a six-footer. The SAS audio system sounds decent once you adjust the equalizer. There are a few rough edges on the dashboard, and some areas where bolt/screw covers could have been crafted with a bit more finesse. Some of the plastics used - especially near the windshield wipers and the side mirrors - feel cheap. The Ion 3 seems to have slightly more ground clearance than the 2006 Honda Civic and the Mazda 3. Also, getting in and out of the front seat doesn't have that 'in a bucket' feeling I got from the Civic and Mazda 3. The Saturn salesman threw in a few freebie accessories to ensure my satisfaction. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the car, and the buying experience.
Pros: Handing. Electronic power steering is flawless, sharp curves a 'kick' with +.80G standard chassis bits.
Cons: I honestly haven't found anything major, although the behind-shifter tray could be a little deeper.
Advice: Don't be scared off by possible negativity about the brand. The '06 ION is a decidedly more refined vehicle than when it was introduced. Saturn dealers are great to work with, which is a key to fixing problems ALL makes will have.Bought an '06 Ion after driving it and several other makes. Smart, simple engineering, good performance and great handling. Ordered with automatic, ABS, traction control, side air bags, PW,PS,PDL, keyless remote. Otherwise a 'plain' ION 2. Could not beat the price for the equipment received. Delivered to dealer from factory within 9 working days. Delivers right on the EPA 'money' gas mileage. Plenty of room. Huge truck. I keep cars for a long time, so I was particularly interested in dent-resistent plastic panels and not concerned about potential depreciation. Outside and inside fit and finish very good, better than on my two Ford vehicles (one of which required a new long block at 6500 miles--but that's another story). Car receives positive comments from everyone (Berry with Grey interior.) Having a great area dealer also helped, as did painless buying/financing process.
Pros: Power sun roof
Advice: Consider ABS and side air bags. Give this car a test drive before you buy an import.I test drove an Saturn ION2 with a 5 speed. I am not fan of non-US cars. The drive was firm and tight without being hard. Shifting was easy and fluid. Matched with the five speed, its performance was much more than peppy. Controls are easy to reach. The car's ride and interior space were like a larger car. The plastic body panels are a nice feature here in Michigan where we salt the roads every winter. Interior design is a bit edgey. The offset speedometer, etc. is easy to read without taking your eyes off the road. It is right below the rear view mirror. I bought this car and it is giving me 30 mpg with a mixture of highway and city driving on my 20 mile round trip to work.
Pros: the cabin layout
Cons: the rearview mirror
Advice: excellent choice, i have no regretsExtremely smooth and quiet ride. Very roomy.
Pros: Interior size and gas mileage
Cons: handles like a 78 Granada
Advice: Can’t beat the price on this size 4 door. Get the upgrade packageI've had the car 6 months now. My advice is get the upgrades. I went cheep and got the Ion1. It's a really good serviceable car, great gas mileage, good power and size for an economy car. It's boring, handles like an old mans car, looks like an old mans car. get the Ion3 or redline it's worth the money.
Pros: Center console, Large trunk, gas milage and the apperance
Cons: Not much leg room or cup holders in the back
Advice: Give the ION a chance most new cars have problems, IONS are only babies compaired to some older cars in its class such as the Honda Civic so all of the kinks have not been worked outThis is my second Saturn and I am very happy with my purchase. I bought a 2004 ION 1 because of the price and value of the car as well as the trusted name of Saturns. My husband and I are considering purchasing a 2005 Saturn ION 3 next year because we like my car so much. I have had the car now for about 2 years with only minor problems. The service department was always fast and courtious when I brought my car in. There are a few things that are bothersome that I hear have been improved on the new models, such as the suspension is noisy at slow speeds going over bumps and there is a slight downshifting problem which happens rarely, when i am slowing down on a hill and it takes a minute to find the right gear. But the 2005's have supposedly fixed these problems.