15th Apr 2005, 11:38

To the second commenter: A Nissan? (GASP) - Just kidding. Thanks for the detailed comment. It was very informative. I actually like the Chevy Impala, but my wife likes the Regal. Both are great Oshawa products, although a little more than I'm used to spending on the vehicle that I just drive to work (and bigger than I need too). My SL2 was a disaster also (Perhaps I should add a review on it also?) The alternator did go which didn't bother me too much. However, the engine was self destructing with only 100,000 km on it. I replaced the timing chain, also with the bushings and?hydraulic adjuster? that is involved with it, which was a very costly job. The car also got better gas mileage than it did oil mileage <grin>. It had the motorized seat belts which drove my crazy and took forever to operate in the -30 degree weather. So why did I buy another Saturn? 2 things - incentives ($3500 off) and 0% financing for 48 months. Of course, all in the hopes that Saturn had straighted itself out and built a better car. Yikes - I don't know! I hope you're right about the 2.2 Ecotech, it seems to be the only thing in the car without problems right now. Every oil change (5000 km intervals) I have to leave the car with the dealer to also perform some type of warranty work. The front end suspension and the steering have been a disaster. At least everything is still covered, but I'm scared of the point where this car comes off of warranty!

Anyway - thanks again for all your experience and information. I will certainly be giving the Regal a look (and probably an Impala too) for my next vehicle.

Best Regards!

16th Jan 2006, 07:14

I have to agree with this comment. I too am the very disappointed and angry owner of a 2003 Saturn Ion 3. To say I have had problems is an understatement. I don't believe the car has ever worked right. The car has been plagued with front end problems from the start. It has been serviced approx 10 times for that alone. The starter had to be replaced. Water got in through the intake manifold and cost me $3000 to repair. Expert opinion says they are too low on this car. Right now the front bearings are gone. I have had the brakes replaced twice on the front within a 6 month time frame. The car has refused to start on several occasions. The gear shifting is crazy the car labours going up hills and sticks going down hills. Extremely slow on take off. Has been towed on three occasions for various problems. The car has only 70,000 km and is used to go back and forth to work, city driving. Customer service is a joke if I hear "there is nothing we can do for you" one more time... well you get my drift.

I bought this car for peace of mind and have not gotten what I paid for. I have no faith in GM products anymore and will be looking elsewhere for my next purchase.

8th Mar 2006, 07:42

I agree... and am so happy that I'm not alone. I just replaced my front end bushings and ignition starter on my 2003 Ion 2 and I'm just mad because it's not even three years old yet. The customer service guy at the dealership told me they've had a lot of problems with the ignition starters, and I'm surprised there isn't a recall. If there is, I'd like my $150 back. Also, not sure why the front end bushings died. But I'm pretty sure that's an issue as well.

6th Nov 2006, 13:30

I have a Ion 2,2003 and I also had some of the same issue with bulb being replace on a regular base, my other concern is low oil, and having to put oil between oil changes. My question is if anyone else my be having the same problem.

5th Dec 2006, 10:32

I have a 2003 Saturn ION 1. I did have to replace the driver's side turning signal on the front of the car several times, but the one I have now has been good for some time. I have also had problems with the ignition on cold mornings.

The first time the car wouldn't start I took it in to the service department to have it checked out and they said that they couldn't find anything wrong with the car. But after reading this I am glad that I'm not alone. Now, I at least have an idea of what the problem is. Thanks to all that posted.

Besides these problems I have not had any problems. I have about 81,000 miles on my ION and I recently bought a 2006 V6 Saturn Vue. I love the V6 engine!!!

21st Dec 2006, 15:16

I own an '05 Ion 2 with about 45,000 km. I have had the car since new, but this past 6 months or so I have had squeaking noises coming from the front end. The noise worsens in cold weather. Does anyone know the remedy? Do I have to have the bushings replaced? Also, I have noticed that the ignition switch sometimes refuses to turn when I insert the key. Any advice? Are these things covered by the warranty?

27th Dec 2006, 19:56

Help! I love my 2003 Saturn ion. However, buying it used, less than 3 months ago, I have no manual. With 47K miles, my flywheel is now found to be missing teeth. The shop said my connect wires were cut (?). The cost $750 parts & labor. Shouldn't this be covered under the power-train warranty offered.

9th Jan 2007, 15:14

My 2003 Ion is an okay car, though I had all the same problems as the original poster: squeaky bushings that I had to go in like 5 times for (eventually replaced), bad ignition switch. The Ion though is a very good-looking car for the money (vaguely Euro-ish) and it's got more power that you'd think. I pulled an overloaded U-Haul cross country twice and had no problems other than bad gas mileage.

9th Jan 2007, 18:54

I own a 2004 Ion 3 Quad coupe that replaced my 98 SL2. I got this car at a great deal and I have loved it ever since. The one thing I think people are missing here is that the Ion is a half breed GM/Saturn Car. In 2007 all Saturn's as we know them will be gone and Saturn will officially be a true GM company. Like ever car maker they have their share of problems and problem cars, that's why most states have lemon laws. I'm sad to see Saturn (the people's car company) be done away with for financial reasons. I will miss them and will continue to drive and enjoy my true Saturn.

10th Jan 2007, 08:51

Saturn's problems were 100% self inflicted. Here GM had a rabid customer base that was truly a cult (in a good way!) in America and what did GM do? Cut off funding for Saturn!

So Saturn just languished with mediocre products that no one wanted. Now, as you point out, they are turning into a pseudo-European company as most of the vehicles are foreign knockoffs. Plus, the list prices have skyrocketed. $30K for a Saturn Sky? Please.