2006 Saturn ION 3 2.2 from North America


Saturn cars are built cheap and unreliable


After 3 months of owning this car, the sunroof failed and flooded the vehicle severely.

Dealership put a new sunroof module in, reused the old carpet and headliner, and reinstalled them wrong.

All door windows worked themselves loose, and it caused them to come off track and leak more water into the car.

Door seals kept falling off and had repaired twice.

Discovered dealership had installed wrong headliner from sunroof leak that STATED SIDE CURTAIN AIRBAGS, which our car does not have, and they were unwilling to replace.

Rear driver window motor broke and was replaced.

The PCM failed twice in 4 days; had to get it towed.

Also the sunroof leaked again, and the sunroof drain was never reattached from first sunroof repair. Car was flooded again, and now the right headliner and another new carpet is being installed.

General Comments:

Looks good, handles good, however it seems like soon as rainy season hits, it leaks somewhere.

Also Saturn CORP said that we should be happy that it is going to be fixed, and also state that all the water that the inside of this car has seen will not affect any of the electronics that were in the water. We have to wait for the part to go bad to be replaced.

Never ever will we buy a SATURN again.

Also did I mention our 04 SATURN never had blinkers, and the throttle would stick and the car would go up to 40mph, without touching the gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th August, 2007

2006 Saturn ION 3 four door 2.2 I-4 from North America


It's a great car that meets the challenges I present it with


So far, nothing. I've replaced the air filter, had the windows tinted, and changed the oil on occasion.

General Comments:

My Ion3 was a dealer loaner vehicle prior to me getting it, so it came with a 4000 miles already on the odometer and a decent size rebate. Throw in my military discount, and zero percent financing, and I made off pretty decently.

I have a tendency to make long distance trips (500 miles+), so it's good to have the On-Star just in case something happens. In a few months I'm going to be making a run to California, (25 hours, over 1200 miles), and I feel confident driving the car that distance. I also like having the oil quality sensor (I'm at +5000 miles, and the car is estimating it won't need another oil change for another 2000 miles). Every month the car emails me a sensor report; so far everything has always come back green lit (How's that for fancy?)

The car is extremely comfortable for the driver; height adjustable seats, lumbar support, cruise, tilt; if I put the seat all the way back, I can't touch the pedals. (I'm five ten, that's a first for me).

The seats could use a tad more cushioning, but otherwise, they are fine. The back seat is not a fun place to be if you're a full sized adult. It's really meant for kid hauling, unless the driver or passenger is really short.

The factory sound system is of pretty high quality. The MP3 jack is my favorite feature.

The layout is kind of awkward. I like the center gauge cluster, I feel it helps me keep my eyes centered on the road more, but there's a storage spot under the E-brake; stuff has a tendency to roll under the E-brake, and get crushed when you lower the handle.

The center console is too tiny for anything other than small stuff such as my cigarettes, my pocket knife, and my vehicle documents, (registration and insurance card) If you put a big cup in the either forward cupholder, it will interfere with the shifter. It will also block your access to the AC and radio controls.

The center armrest slides out, but the padding is getting discolored and scarred. The storage bins could be a little beefier, they haven't held up as well to abuse as I would have liked.

The engine bay is surprisingly roomy, though it's laid out a little different from what I'm used to. If you're changing the oil, the oil filter is a cartridge that is on top of the motor, under the plastic engine cover. Don't forget to reset your oil sensor. (resetting isn't hard at all).

Though I haven't had to go out in search of any parts, I'm still mildly concerned. I had to hit up every part store in town just to find the replacement air filter, I wound up having to order it and wait a week to get it in. I'm not used to that at all.

The paint is surprisingly beautiful when you get it clean. It has a lot of depth that painted steel seems to lack. Mine is in berry (Think burgundy) red. The factory rims (not cheapy steel wheels) look really nice, and seem to be rather damage resistant. d I think they should have polished them a little more. There are ridges on them that look like they may be toolmarks from the milling machines. (They aren't noticeable unless your right up on the tire, but the lands and ridges collect dirt over time).

The factory tires are low profile, and look good, but I don't like their performance. (I think they may have bad valve stems, they're tried to go low on me a few times).

The overall styling is the best I've seen from Saturn up to that point. Only the Aura and of course the Sky top it out, and I don't think the Aura has it by much.

The cars handling is pretty nice. When the engine hits passing gear, it will throw you back in the seat some. Otherwise, regular acceleration is pretty decent for the class. In bad situations, the car is a fighter. Its turning radius is extremely tight, it simply refuses to fishtail, and it has extremely very good hydroplaning characteristics.

The electronic steering can be tricky until you get used to it. The car has a tendency to think almost as fast as I do. I've almost over corrected or over-steered a time or two.

The balance and alignment are fine. The car feels like it's riding rails when you're holding straight and level.

I did some research on preceding year models, and I looked at the ION2s; in my opinion, I got one of the best Ions out there. They terminated the ION line right about the time they got all the bugs worked out, and really started taking the design in a good and positive direction. The ION2s, while good cars, are critically lacking in features. The reduction in price is not worth the loss of those features.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2007

11th Jan 2009, 14:41

I'm the original poster to this review. Since posting the review, I've gone to California and back from Louisiana, and I've stacked an addition fifteen-twenty thousand miles on the odometer.

The drivers side power-window broke a clip, and was quickly repaired at the local Saturn dealership, no hassle.

I got tired of having to wait for air filters to come in, and bought a reusable K&N filter. That problem is now solved.

I bought new tires 20K back, and the car is handling great.

As the car approaches 50K miles, I've noticed a rattling sound in the steering wheel, sounds like a screw or piece of plastic is rattling around inside a void. I'm going to take it in later for a checkup.

I've now had the car for two and half years, and the car is still serving admirably as my sole source of transport.

4th Nov 2009, 17:39

Original poster again, with another and probably final status update.

At 3 years, 3 months, I struck a very large deer that jumped out in front of me. The car took the hit amazingly well. The air bag didn't deploy, but it's probably not supposed to in a collision like that. (Not enough deceleration, I struck the deer and kept on moving until I could find a safe spot to stop.) crumple zones all did their job, without intruding or effecting the steering or braking, so I was able to get the car to a safe stop. The radiator was pushed backwards off its brackets, but didn't leak any.

The car gave impressive crash performance, Exactly what I'd expect from a Saturn.

Since the last report the car had been worry-free. No major repairs, a little in the way of minor service.

I imagine that the insurance company is going to total the car, the deer landed directly on top of the engine bay after having its legs took out by the bumper.

My Saturn Ion was comfortable, reliable, affordable, and behaved at its absolute best when I needed it to the most. I hope the next car treats just as well.