2003 Ion

Consumer Reviews

2003 Saturn Ion

$1,536 - $5,544  MSRP Range
2003 Saturn Ion

Review Score

4.2 out of 5 stars

4.2

30 Reviews
93% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
3.6 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.5 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
3.7 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.3 out of 5 stars Reliability
4 out of 5 stars Performance
4 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 30 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Best car ever!

by Ion lover from California on Tue May 31 2011

I have a 2003 Ion that I bought new and the only problem I have ever had is the recall for the front turn signal. When it was younger, I would get 38 MPG on my 90 mile commute to work. My only complaint is with the front seat. It is uncomfortable and the clutch was placed farther away than the gas and brake pedals. The outside still looks brand new and I have almost 160,00 miles on it. I hope it lasts several more years since I can't buy another one!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

31 out of 31 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Great value for the Money

by Lucky from Wilmington, De on Fri Jan 29 2010

The car is great for the first time buyers, or as a commuter car. The interior is utilitarian. Hadling is good, although not very nimble (weight). numerous complaints regarding ignition switch (no-start in cold), and clunking noises from front and steering wheel, but not in the car I bought. Very little foot space (difficult to find comfortable driving position). Go-kart- like steering wheel. The only 2003 car with less than 100,000 miles for under $4,000 in the 100-mile radius. Overall, I'm happy with the purchase, but it's likely I'd been lucky.

2 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
2 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

17 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

My 1st car

by laniece08 from cincinnati, ohio on Thu Dec 25 2008

i was able to enjoy my little 2003 saturn ion for a whole 4 months, that is untill i wrecked it. this car was my 1st car and it was fine except for a few things the car runs completely off of fuses. i had one issue where the car wouldnt start because of the battery and i couldn get the key out the ignition. After a simple jumping of the battery which was found in the trunk of the car the following fuses needed to be replaced the powersteering fuse, the light for the speedometer, and the trunk button. for a parent with kids this car would be a tough challenge i had no problem with the space in the car for i am only 5'4 and this car is great for a college student or a teenager this car is very safe and looks nice.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

The best on 4 wheels

by jmsolo from on Thu Mar 19 2009

This is by far the best car I've had. Great on mileage comfort and very reliable. I had mine for 6 years and never had a problem with it. Only regular maintenance

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Good Mileage and Versatility

by DWC5841 from Charlotte, NC on Tue Feb 05 2008

I have an Ion Quad Coupe, Level II in Cobalt Blue. Moving up from an older L Series, the car's styling is cleaner and more contemporary. The car is nicely featured and the two half doors opening back makes hauling just about anything a snap. The seats are a little too hard. I took a long road trip after purchase and was not bothered by them.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

churchwarden123

by churchwarden123 from Sac, CA on Sun Jun 04 2006

This was the first new car that I bought. We purchased it when it was just my wife and I. Then we had two children w/in 19 months. It is sold as a sedan, but there is no leg room. I am 6'4", but even my two little ones were cramped back there with two car seats. However, I would like to say that it has a huge trunk, good gas mileage, great pick up for a 4 cyl., must be the 2.2L, and a very nice tight turning radius...great for U-turns and getting in/out of tight parking spots

2 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Love this car

by Saturn Girl from Buffalo, NY on Mon Feb 28 2011

I purchased my 2003 Saturn Ion five years ago used. This is my second car ever and I absolutely love it! I've so far got slightly over 83K miles on it and have had no problems with it at all. I change the oil and that's it. It's definitely a car for smaller people. I'm 5'3 and it's perfectly comfortable for me. I can see how taller people would be cramped in it though. For being a 4 cylider the car has alot of pep and seems to always want to pick up and go! If you take care of this car it will last for years and into over a hundred thousand miles. I reccomended this car to my grandmother who ultimately bought one for herself (2007 model) and loves it as well.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

People First (Saturn 2005)

by SaturnFan1995 from Greensboro,NC on Fri Mar 21 2014

My parents owned 2 ion sedans a basic 2003 ion 2 sedan and a fully loaded to the hilt 2004 ion 2 sedan I now own a fully loaded to the hilt 2003 Saturn ion 2 Quad Coupe Thanks in part to cars.com I simply love the car and I have been in love with Saturn cars sense I was about 5 or 6 and recently convensed my dad to get my little sister a 1998 SL2 saturns no matter the milage year or model are safe reliable and runt to drive I had a jaguar and traded it for my Saturn I love my saturns

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Reliable Commuter

by Cdawg from Fredericksburg, VA on Tue Jul 30 2013

I bought the car with 40k miles. It now has 165k. I have beaten and abused the car commuting everwhere, only changing the oil very 5k and replaced pads, rotors, and one set of tires. No belts, no plugs. The only other problems are the faulty ignition safety switch causes the car to lock down for 10 minutes after which time it will start up. I have a part to fix that issue. I also believe i need to replace the front hubs since it sounds like a 4x4 with mudders right now. Too bad they don't make this car anymore, it is so reliable, never broken down on me in 5 years.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Above and Beyond

by Rebecca from Hatton, ND on Sun Jul 29 2018

In 2003 I owned a 1983 Chevy Celebrity and I loved my car but my mother sold it when I was at school so, my dad, angry, took me out to look at getting a new car. I needed a car, I was a busy 19 year old, I was working 2 jobs as well as going to school so he wanted me to have something reliable, something made in America. We went to the Saturn Dealership and he picked out, for me, a car I really didn't like. It had 4-doors, it was white, no fancy things like cruse control. Within a week I was in love with the ION. It was a smooth drive, fun to drive, I loved street racing in it (I was 19, thats what kids did), the ION took off like a fighter jet on the road and it purred like a new kitten under the hood. I have owned the ION since 2003, it now has 200,000mi on it, I have raised 4 kids in it and although its been beat up, stained and wrecked I still drive it. In 15 years I have replaced the breaks, seals, tires, battery and alternator, other than oil and filter changes thats all its needed. I use synthetic oil and replace it every 4-6000 miles and in turn for taking care of her she gives me all she has. ION is 15yrs old and she is a little worse for the ware but I will drive her until she dies.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2003 Saturn Ion

The new Ion, Saturn's replacement for its compact S-series, shows the General Motors division still chasing the imports.

Ion is a sharp-looking little sedan being marketing to young adults as a hip alternative to the crowded field of small cars from Japan, South Korea and, to a lesser degree, Detroit. The pack is still led by Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, with inroads by Ford Focus.

Moderately priced for someone just starting out in life, Ion offers a lot of little car for the money. Still, it lags behind the refinement and drivability of the segment leaders.

Ion is a vast improvement over the S sedan. The styling is interesting enough to stand out in traffic; the interior is much roomier... Read More