Have you heard about the Saturn Ion? The media doesn't seem to like it, fixating on the center-mounted instrument panel, the small-diameter steering wheel, and the exterior styling. If that's all you've heard, then nothing I say will change your mind about the car.
However, if you have gone down to a Saturn dealership and asked to test drive the car (an extended test drive works best) you will begin to understand things.
The center instrument panel allows you to keep your eyes on the road at all times, requiring only a quick glance over to check on speed, engine RPMs, fuel level, etc. It also means that anyone, no matter how tall or short, can see the gauges. The steering wheel cannot possibly obstruct the view.
Having the instrument panel in the center of the dash means the wheel can be small. No one has to look through it to see the gauges, as mentioned above. Small steering wheels were a popular mod during the 50s in America, giving a quicker steering ratio. This one comes stock, and with electric boost like the Honda S2000, instead of hydraulic like the Toyota Corolla. Once you get used to the smaller wheel, you can easily carve through corners that would have you grappling hand over hand with a bigger steering wheel.
How could I forget the engine? General Motors put more testing into the Ecotec engine than any other four cylinder they've ever made. Testing done in places ranging from Alaska to Arizona, and extensive testing on the dragstrip, mean the engine won't fail you. Using a mostly-stock Ecotec, drag racers can pull 1100 HP (One thousand one hundred horsepower) out of the engine using turbocharging. A detuned version of the Ecotec engine making only 750 HP was used in the Saturn Bonneville racer, which set a new top speed record in the class formerly dominated by the Progress Civic.
The Delta chassis is completely new. The upcoming Chevy Cobalt and possibly the Opel Astra will be built off of this same platform. It's incredibly stiff, and able to withstand tractor trailer impacts while keeping the driver and passengers alive.
And while you may not like the sedan, I do. I've drag raced it, auto crossed it, and even seen some air time in it, and my car hasn't let me down yet.