2003 Saturn ION from North America


The car is unreliable


I bought my 2003 Saturn Ion brand new.

In 2006 I began to have starting problems with it. My car won't start at random times. There is no rhyme or reason for it. It doesn't start in all types of weather. Most of the time it will start after my radio turns off, which is 10 minutes, other times I have to wait 20 minutes.

Most people are saying it's only during cold weather, but my car does it in the summer too.

It's very frustrating and has made me late for work on more than one occasion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th February, 2009

2003 Saturn ION 3 from North America


I hate that I love my car - will not buy Saturn again


Bushings - Gone bad 8 times.

Manifold - Replaced twice.

Right door leaked.

Passenger side floor leaked from behind dashboard.

Won't start in cold weather.

Won't start after being serviced.

Seats started to wear within first 60 days.

Dash begin to peal at 10,000 miles.

Sun roof leaked.

Dealer installed rain guards - replaced 7 times!

General Comments:

The car is comfortable.

The car is stylish.

The car was affordable.

The car may or may not start - even more so when it is cold.

The dealership never wanted to give me the rental, even when my warranty guaranteed a rental.

Handles well when in working order.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th January, 2009

2003 Saturn ION from North America


Not worth it. I should have spent more money on a better car


My car used to never start during the winter. It would usually take me 20-45 minutes to get it started.

Also, my alarm used to constantly go off. They said it was reading like there was a key always in the ignition, so the alarm would trip when it was locked.

General Comments:

I need a reliable car and my Saturn has not been reliable. I need one that would start when I need it to start. It is not worth the money I have paid to have the mechanics say there is nothing wrong with my car when there must be if it's not starting. However, that was the last few winters.

This past fall, my alarm was mysteriously going off all the time and the dealer said it was reading like the key was in the ignition all the time, so of course my alarm was going off if the car thought there was a key in the ignition. They replaced the entire housing unit and I have not had a problem starting my car this winter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th January, 2009

2003 Saturn ION 3 2.2 from North America


I should have never bought a Saturn. It will be the last that's for sure


Sway bar bushings.

Catalytic converter.

Power windows.

And now the famous ignition switch.

Heater makes a noise.

Replaced shocks.

Going to replace the front struts.

Broken CD player.

General Comments:

This car is not reliable at all. It handles poorly. It has left me stranded in the cold many times. The car jerks when you start it and it's in park. I would not ever recommend a Saturn.

I also have a 99 Ford Escort that has over 200,00 miles, and runs and has less trouble than my Saturn.

I hate this car. I feel Saturn used to be a good car. I think they lost their reputation on this one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th January, 2009

15th Sep 2010, 20:30

My Saturn has over 400,000 miles on it, and it still runs like the day I got it. It also has NEVER had to have any repairs, never makes any weird noises, nothing. And it never has got dented; it is accident proof.

2003 Saturn ION from North America


The cars aren't even worth being put through a crash test


When I first got this car I had bought it used. Unfortunately, it was at a time where I needed a car a lot more than I needed to research one.

Within the first week of owning it, it all of a sudden just wouldn't start. It wouldn't even turn over to attempt to start. It would work when jumping the battery but I had to jump it EVERY TIME in order to go anywhere. I went to get it fixed and it had something to do with the ignition switch draining the battery. Okay, it was still covered under warranty, no big deal.

THEN, it started to get cold out. One day I was on my way to work the RPMs were up around 5,000-6,000 and the car was accelerating by itself to 55mph. When I hit the brake, it only slowed it down to 35. I was terrified that I couldn't stop! I went through about 3 red lights and a stop sign before it finally calmed down and let me hit the brake. Every time this happened I had to quickly throw the car in neutral and pull over so it would stop. I took it to a family-owned auto shop that I've trusted for years and they had no idea how to fix it. They suggested I take it to Saturn.

So I did. I have absolutely no idea how to explain whatever the man told me but what I got out of it was it had to do with the computer chips. After they were upgraded the problem seemed to go away.

It's a year later and it has started to do it again.

It's also not very good in the snow or windy weather. It slides much too easy and gets blown around way too much.

General Comments:

I've noticed that many people are having problems with this car when it's cold. I'm sure it's an okay car to own in warmer climates but if you live somewhere that you experience freezing temperatures I would suggest steering clear of this car. Unless you enjoy a car that turns into a death trap in the winter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th December, 2008

16th Jan 2009, 16:15

I am having similar problems with my 03 Saturn Ion right now! This winter has been a very harsh one, and today, Antarctica was warmer than my hometown. It doesn't seem like the Ion can handle these unexpectedly cold temperatures; mine has been stuck in the parking lot at work for two days now. When I try to start it, it won't even turn over. I asked a couple of mechanics and they said it sounded like my battery needed to be replaced, but I'm afraid that the same thing will just happen again if the temperatures here stay this cold.

Another problem I've had since shortly after I bought my car is apparently with the ignition coil. As I'm accelerating, the car will start shaking and start to stall out. I have to step off the gas for a minute and wait for it to come out of the spell before I can accelerate again. If I try to push it too hard, the engine light comes on. The worst part about this problem is it always seems to happen when I'm entering an intersection, so I'm always afraid another car will hit me.

I've really had nothing but problems with this car since I bought it, and I'm really glad to have come across this review, because now I know it's not just my car that's acting up. I fully believe that this car belongs in warm, sunny Florida, not Indiana, where the weather can change at the drop of a hat.

15th Sep 2010, 20:32

I have an 03 Saturn with 400,000 miles, and I live in Alaska, and it never gives me any problems when it's like 50 below, and I don't even have a block heater.