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Pros: Optional stereo with 6-disc CD changer and cassette
Cons: Optional ABS and traction control
Advice: Get the 2003 Cavalier LS or LS Sport sedan instead for more standard features and originality.I was not and am not impressed with this compact sedan at all! Saturn could not be original with its engine. They had to use the same one GM uses in the Cavalier and Sunfire. It is not available with XM Satellite Radio like the Cavalier and Sunfire are. The 4-wheel ABS is optional on this Saturn while standard on the Cavalier and Sunfire. The one with the automatic gets one less M.P.G. than the automatic Cavaliers or Sunfires with the same Ecotec 16-valve DOHC SEFI 4 cylinder. Therefore, I recommend the 2003 Cavalier LS or LS Sport sedan instead!
Pros: steering wheel and seat height adjustment
Cons: seats are uncomfortable
Advice: Give the instrument panel a chance. Its in a different place but easy to get used to.Great car. I'm a former Cavalier owner. Saturn Ion has lots of power for a 4 cylinder. Fun to drive. Lot of interior room. I drive in the city and get 30 miles per gallon. Transmission is a little jerky sometimes but overall a great value for the money. Inexpensive to insure compared to other vehicles in this class
Pros: 4 doors that look like 2
Cons: More standard features
Advice: Definately a manual if you go with the coupe!Overall best buy for the money. You get the sporty look and the 4-door convenience.
Pros: The Ecotec 2.2 and the smooth Delta platform.
Cons: The gimicky replacement roof rails and cheapo replacable covers in the interior. I'd prefer a better cover over the 'center pod' and body colored rails.
Advice: If you can drive a manual transmission, take one for a spin and see how well it performs over the slower auto.The best value in its class. The ION ships for a grand less than a Civic, and has more standard features and options. It's a safer, smoother ride with smoother accelleration. Bar-none, the Ecotec 2.2 is one of the best 4 bangers on the road right now. It's a proven low-maintenance, reliable engine. And the polymer side panels keep the car looking new for a long time. The drawbacks are the apparent use of more hard plastic in the interior. It is suitable for a compact car, but isn't up to the level of what comes from Japan. However, it makes it all up in many ways. Seats are comfortable, but lack that hard side bolstering that most people may be used to keeping their butts and backs in place on the seat. ION2s have nicer, plain fabric, in my opinion. ION3's fabric may be too 'wild' for some, but it's not nearly as ghetto as some of the stuff I've seen in Hyundais. Don't believe the negative hype from obsessed import drivers. This is a quality car that will make most owners very happy for a long time to come. Though the competition may have a better interior fit and finish, this car is vastly superior in every technical aspect. It's safer than the small car competition, and you get more car for the money... Test drive this baby, and you'll probably agree that there aren't any small cars that can match it in that price range. And the great financing and rebate options make it an even better deal. Look out for the supercharged coupe thats due in 2004. Reliable sources indicate speeds of 0-60 in 6.4 seconds or so.
Pros: Center mounted gauges
Advice: I paid less than $9000 after the rebates!Did a test drive...then I bought it.
Pros: Unique, 'non-boring,' design
Cons: People aren't willing to accept this car for a while.
Advice: This car requires unbias research before making any decisionsThis car takes the cake in the compact car class. Most power of all the cars in the class, yet retains gas milage in the 30's. The unique styling is one of a kind, and the interior design is somewhat 'futuristic' and 'minimalistic.' Completely unconventional and not at all boring! The smaller steering wheel and center IP make it a car of contravesry, but these are two elements that needed to be introduced years ago. Also, this is the safest car in the compact class as of right now, too. This is MY car of the century, that is for sure.
Pros: The engine...it offers the power and acceleration of a small V6, while having the size and gas mileage of a 4-cylinder.
Cons: There should be more features standard or at least optional on the ION-1.
Advice: This is overall an excellent car. It gets great mileage, has a strong engine, and has plenty of room. Unless you have some need for a huge SUV or truck, this will be a great car for you.The ION is a great, modern, compact sedan. The 2.2L, 16-valve DOHC engine feels like a small V6 when you put the coals to it. The independent suspension makes cornering and bumps very smooth. The interior is surprisingly roomy for the car's size, and has a very modern-looking dashboard. The driver has plenty of room, as the steering wheel is smaller, and the gauges are in the center of the dashboard. The engine runs very smoothly, and doesn't have the normal vibrations typical of 4-cylinder engines.