2004 Saturn ION Reviews - Page 7 of 27

2004 Saturn ION Level 3 Ecotec 2.2L from North America

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission Ecotec 2.2L Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired127 kilometres
Most recent distance153000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Extremely adequate as a sports coupe, and excellent value for the money

Faults:

Clunking in the front end at about 90000km.

Drivers side rear door binds in cold weather.

Transmission jerky after front passenger wheel left ground after hitting snow drift.

Rear suspension "choppy" over bumps.

Ventilation selector stuck on upper front vents.

Right mirror adjustment quit working then started working again.

Radio sometimes will not have any sound at times even though it is on.

Extremely slow throttle response.

General Comments:

As a inexpensive sports coupe, this car is, literally, awesome. Sure it has it quirks and frustrations, but after 32 years of driving, I have not found a car that hasn't.

For a 3,000lb car, it is pretty nimble and quick with it's fairly adequate 145HP Ecotec engine. I do believe this is highly due to the well engineered IVT or CVT transmission. Learning how the transmission responds to throttle input greatly enhances the acceleration of this hefty little compact.

The "suicide" doors are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Many have said to me that why didn't I get a 4 door, but that would be defeating the purpose of a coupe. Let's just say I get to have my cake and eat it too!

With a modest ground effects kit and spoiler I get many turned heads and, "What is it?", comments and I just smile and say, "It's Red!"! (My Ion is Chili Pepper Red). This car is quite a looker and very pleasing to the eyes. Kudos to Saturn on this spunky little coupe.

Gas mileage is great on the highway, putting up almost 40 mpg on the highway and not too mentionable #'s for the city. I suspect this may be due to the way I like to drive; a little bit of a heavy foot. Just wish the throttle response was a wee tad more "responsive".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2009

2004 Saturn ION 3 2.2 liter from North America

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.2 liter Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance97000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

I would trade this car in, in a HEARTBEAT, for any other car on the market!

Faults:

The head on my car blew at 6,000 miles!!! My first experience with the Saturn dealership, and the service department FORGOT to put the oil gasket back on the oil filter during a routine oil change, therefore spewing my entire engine with oil, draining the entire car of all the oil within a day or so... All of this without my knowledge ruined the head on my car, which Saturn fixed (took an entire day) at no charge, thank God, since it WAS their fault in the first place...

The leather seats are pretty and comfortable, but they discolor majorly due to my blue jeans and khaki leather seats...

The center console that covers up the air conditioner, radio equipment stuff, etc. - all of that is completely loose, and has been since I bought the car 5 years ago. The snaps broke during the test drive after ONE MILE ON THE CAR...

The oil filter is not like ANY OTHER ONE OUT THERE... It resembles a paper air filter, then that sits basically within a cup with a PLASTIC FILTER COVER, WITH A PLASTIC NUT that you have to have the VERY SPECIFIC equipment to change the oil yourself, otherwise you end up stripping the plastic nut completely, or wear yourself out trying to unscrew the thing... OH - and don't try to replace that part, because none of the auto parts stores around here carry anything to replace this at all. They don't even know what that part is called!

My car makes an awful noise at highway speeds, when I'm going very slow or even moderate speeds (like 35 MPH) over tiny bumps like reflectors on the road or a bump in our driveway...

The driver's right air conditioner vent is in the completely wrong place, and only cools off your hand or the steering wheel...

The oil filter change, anywhere you go is entirely too expensive - about $10-$15 more expensive than every other car out there...

I was rear-ended by another driver, and he was going about 35 MPH at the time... He caused several thousands of dollars in damage, but it only looked like a few scratches and a hole in the plastic bumper, causing me not to take action until I got the insurance check to fix the damage, several months later...

This car has a tendency to have windshields break very easily... I've replaced 4 since I've owned the car - in 5 years... I'm still driving with a broken one that finally passes inspection, thank goodness.

General Comments:

I do like the fact that it speeds up quickly, stops well, and barely makes any noise while the engine is cranked and the air conditioner is off...

The car stays pretty for a long time, and doesn't fade, much, if at all... (in 5 years so far)

The radio is good, along with the speakers.

The 16" alloy rims I purchased with the car are still as gorgeous as the day I purchased the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th July, 2009

Average review marks: 6.1 / 10, based on 95 reviews