2004 Saturn ION Level 3 Ecotec 2.2L from North America
Extremely adequate as a sports coupe, and excellent value for the money
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.
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