12th Dec 2005, 03:30

In 2003, I purchased a Saturn ion 2 coupe (new) and have steadily seen the quality of the vehicle diminish with each passing month.

1.) from day one, the VTI transmission has been absolutely terrible and unsafe - the sudden and unexpected acceleration forces me to mash my foot on the brake until it's time to go; Saturn says they can "look" at the problem for $76.00, and then give me a quote on how much it will cost to repair it.

2.) since about 6 months ago, my windshield and doors leak when it rains or snows, and my floorboard is still wet from the last time it rained (about 2 weeks ago). The weather stripping around my windshield and doors has deteriorated and Saturn says it's not their problem (since I'm out of warranty).

3.) since day one, the gas mileage is far less than they advertised; I travel 40 miles round-trip highway to work (5 days per week) at about 60 miles per hour, and I've calculated my highway mileage at approximately 21 mpg (automatic transmission). (And yes, I perform regular maintenance to my vehicle, including all fluid and filter changes.)

4.) Resale value: I have 60,100 miles on my ion and had it appraised by Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Saturn - and each told me I was upside down with my vehicle! When I purchased it in 2003, I put $8,000 down on the $18,000 sticker price and financed $10,000. I owe $5900 to the bank, and everbody's teling me my car's worth $3800 - $4000! How's that for value?!

For three to four months after I purchased my ion, I was bombarded with customer satisfaction surveys by mail and annoying phone calls asking me how satisfied I was with my staurn. of course, the majority of new car owners are going to be very pleased... why doesn't saturn ask their owners 12 to 24 months after the purchase to see how their customers like their saturns then? because they would not get the same favorable responses and their jd power and associates rating would hit the basement, that's why!

I do not recommend that anyone waste their money on such a substandard vehicle. I'm going back to Honda or Toyota, where they know what quality and customer service means!

12th Dec 2005, 07:44

On your value issue, you are going to get ripped off ANYTIME you trade-in a car. Regardless of make, model, or mileage, expect 1/2 what the cars are selling for on used lots. 60k is a lot of miles for a 2003, though.

That xmisson is a known problem. GM dropped it. When did yours start acting up? If you made a complaint before the drivetrain warranty expired, out of goodwill, GM should at least pick up the bill for checking it out.

1st Feb 2006, 18:44

I bought a used '03 Saturn Ion on ebay for $5700.00. It had 37000 miles on it. I would like to thank the previous owner for taking the hit for the new car purchase. I love this car. It now has 47000 on it and runs great. I feel the quality is excellent and the service department at Saturn is a cut above most that I've seen. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. You new car buyers go get one so I can cash in on you're depreciation when this one is worn out.

11th Jul 2006, 21:43


Thank you for writing that! You totally expressed everything that I feel about Saturn.

Aside from the little problems (which appear to happen to all vehicles) I find the service amazing. That's a huge reason why I will be purchasing/leasing Saturns in the future.

It was my first car (purchased in 2003) and now I will be leasing a 2006. I'm very excited, actually.

Great review! Well done!

28th Jul 2006, 11:47

I think Saturns are great. The quality and reliability are awesome, and the price tag makes it even better.

18th May 2011, 01:33

There is no value in buying a new car. Go back to school. FACT. Saturn ION vehicles are great cars that have proven resale value. Check any Kelly Blue Book. The GM Ecotec engine is more reliable than any Toyota engine ever made.