2004 Saturn Ion Consumer Reviews

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2004 Saturn Ion
3.8
Average based on 21 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 21 reviews

Very reliable car, just one problem tho...

by from Rochester, NY on July 27, 2011

I've owned this car for almost 3 years now. This car has been very good to me, however the one biggest glitch about this car is the transmission. I should have picked it up the first time i took it ou...
I've owned this car for almost 3 years now. This car has been very good to me, however the one biggest glitch about this car is the transmission. I should have picked it up the first time i took it out for a test drive at the dealership. Apparently it is an issue (it's called "shift flare" according to wiki) on the 03 and 04 ions. The transmission was revised for the ions in 05 to a 4 speed auto(03s and 04s are 5 speed autos), fixing the problem. Anyway, my shifts hard when its not warmed into 3rd gear. You can also feel it slip slightly (like another reviewer mentioned) when you let off the gas decelerating from 50mph down to 40mph (probably out of 3rd gear). Other than that, the car has been great. I have the level 3, so it's loaded with everything except a moonroof and leather. Living in NY, it's great having a car that you don't have to worry about rust, on the sides of the car at least, with the sides being plastic. (They're also dent resistant). Another giant positive about this car that I love is the engine. It runs nice and smooth, no complaints there, although I could of course use a few more horses under the hood, but that's just the guy in me. I should have found the redline version of this car, ha.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Reliability and Value for the money

by from Troy, MI on November 26, 2012

I have owned my 2004 ION 3 for 9 yrs now. This car has never let me down. Although it really sucks in the snow, it gets great gas mileage, lots of trunk space and has never broken down on me. The only...
I have owned my 2004 ION 3 for 9 yrs now. This car has never let me down. Although it really sucks in the snow, it gets great gas mileage, lots of trunk space and has never broken down on me. The only promblems I have had, is the transmission slipping like others have said, but only when its 70+ degrees out. I also have had an ignition promblem with it, it won't start in the winter, but if you let it sit for 7-10 minutes, (and no less than that), it will start back up no promblem. My friend who also owned this car had the same promblem and they could never find a fix for it, we replaced the battery thinking it was that... This is a great little car for a single person or a college student.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Reliable

by from KS on April 6, 2011

Great Car! Have owned for 3 years now with no major issues. Get's great gas mileage and is stylish! Handles well, great safety reviews and features. Tons of trunk space!
Great Car! Have owned for 3 years now with no major issues. Get's great gas mileage and is stylish! Handles well, great safety reviews and features. Tons of trunk space!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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

Saturn. It's out of this world.

by from Rochester, NY on July 2, 2010

Well it's been 2 years since I've owned my 2004 Saturn Ion. I purchased this car used with about 54k or so on her for a reasonable price but I have the Redline model which is the sport model. It is eq...
Well it's been 2 years since I've owned my 2004 Saturn Ion. I purchased this car used with about 54k or so on her for a reasonable price but I have the Redline model which is the sport model. It is equiped with a 2.0 Ecotec motor which is used in almost all the newer GM line up and is supercharged with a 5 speed manual transmission. It is mechanically the same car as the supercharged chevy cobalt ss except for a couple minor things. Now for the nitty gritty. The car is not your average saturn which you can tell from its aerodynamic contours, recaro racing seats, and of course the eaton m62 supercharger, and many other cool things. If you are in to performance then this is a car with alot of potential. GM offers "stage" kits ranging from Stage 1 to 3. The first stage is upgraded injectors and a recalibration on the tune, the second stage consist of a drop in the pulley size which in turn makes more boost making more hp, and stage 3 is a new ecu with many differnt features to truly unleash the beast. A funny thing is after researching the saturn ion redline is that not only is it the same car as the chevy cobalt ss, it actually is the same as the 03+ saab 93 except for the form of forced induction (The Ion is supercharged and the saab 93 is turbo and after doing my schoolwork with a little tweeking here and there you can also convert the LSJ (ion redline/cobalt SS motor) to a turbo using the LK9 (saab 93 motor) and actually be making more power yet staying efficient and saving gas, even so you can open your car up with a tuning software called "HP Tuners" and get your car to run on ethanol which is amazing at making power and its also a heck lot cheaper than regular pump gas. Basically this car is an amazing platform. On top of being a very great performance car it also has the basic options on top of other comfort options. Power windows, quad coupe [suicide doors], sunroof, etc. They offered this car with the competition package which added LSD along with visual mods. This has been a great car to me but I am not going to lie i have put alot of time and money into my car. It has a newer motor put in it from modding and racing it so i blew the old one since i had no supporting mods. Then when the new motor was put in the starter died, and now the intercooler pump on my car has just hit the bed, but overall she has been dependable if you just drive it and dont drive it hard all the time. Totally worth buying and I recommend anyone who is looking into one to not let it get past you.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

love my car

by from anderson sc on April 28, 2013

this is the best car i have ever own love it... never had a problem with this car like others... it is amazing on gas mine gets around 29 in city and 32 on highway...
this is the best car i have ever own love it... never had a problem with this car like others... it is amazing on gas mine gets around 29 in city and 32 on highway...
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

Amazing little car

by from Stony Brook, NY on December 3, 2008

I really loved this car! The center console was a blessing for hiding EZPass and CDs, and the automatic tint rearview mirror I had was awesome at night with glare! The seats were pretty comfortable, n...
I really loved this car! The center console was a blessing for hiding EZPass and CDs, and the automatic tint rearview mirror I had was awesome at night with glare! The seats were pretty comfortable, no one ever complained on our 8 hour road trip. Most people were able to fall asleep while riding in it comfortably. If you were tall though, the back seat is not the place for you. *Pros: Comfortable seating (except for knees in the back seat), lots of head room, plenty of shoulder room, pretty easy to get into. *Cons: I also had a problem with leaky windows on rainy days sometimes, and there was a slight rattle somewhere in the dashboard. Now...the most important thing. This car is SAFE. I was hit at a high rate of speed in the driverside doors last week, and the car was claimed totalled due to the amount of damage. The driver sustained a scraped hand, and that's it. The titanium bars in the doors kept the door from fully crushing into the car, which kept the driver from getting hurt. The dashboard was crushed inward, but no parts flew out or caused extra debris. In the end, this car was the best car I've ever had, as it did it's job in keeping the people inside SAFE.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

2004 Saturn Ion3

by from Elmira NY on August 18, 2013

- Bought this car used with over 100K miles on it, for 2 hour commute expecting great gas milage with the 5 speed automatic. It was also fun to drive with good suspension and seemed to always be in th...
- Bought this car used with over 100K miles on it, for 2 hour commute expecting great gas milage with the 5 speed automatic. It was also fun to drive with good suspension and seemed to always be in the right gear. Last half of my commute to work was expressway at 85 MPH+ (lots of fun). When that job was over I had 2 compact cars and sold this one because I could get more for it. New owner had the timing belt break. No damage just replaced it and was on his way. - Great car and fun to drive.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

Love this car

by from Tempe, Az on May 5, 2009

I have had a saturn ion1 since june of 2007 and havent had many problems with it, the biggest problem was the air conditioning pump going out. This, i think, was caused by the previous owner not chang...
I have had a saturn ion1 since june of 2007 and havent had many problems with it, the biggest problem was the air conditioning pump going out. This, i think, was caused by the previous owner not changing the cabin air filter and it froze up the a/c system. the other problem i had was the ignition went bad, this is common for this car and the replaced ignition is bad already. nothing huge though, handles relatively well and the tires, if you dont have the alloy rims, are really cheap about $300 four all four 70k mile tires mounted and balanced.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Trouble in Cold Weather

by from Jersey City, NJ on January 30, 2009

Overall, the car has been good to us. It's fun to drive. It has a little zip to it, and it gets great gas mileage. You can drive four or five highway hours without needing a fill up. Reviews I read ...
Overall, the car has been good to us. It's fun to drive. It has a little zip to it, and it gets great gas mileage. You can drive four or five highway hours without needing a fill up. Reviews I read before we bought it said that transimission was a big problem for this car. Every now and again, the transmission will slip a little, but we haven't had a huge problem (knock on wood). The biggest, most annoying problem with this car is that it almost never starts in the cold weather. I hear that it's a problem with the ignition switch. If you live in the north and park outside, be careful.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

2nd Saturn I have owned

by from Northern VA on July 6, 2007

I owned a Saturn SC2 prior to this car, and I LOVED it. Hands down best car I have ever owned. So when I decided to start a family I picked the Ion, because it was a little sportier than the L series ...
I owned a Saturn SC2 prior to this car, and I LOVED it. Hands down best car I have ever owned. So when I decided to start a family I picked the Ion, because it was a little sportier than the L series ( and my parents drive an L series so I wanted something different.) The interior is put together very poorly. I too hear strange rattles and the fabric does stain very easily. The interior looks awful and I almost never drink or eat in my car. The windows also leak. This makes me not want to own another Saturn. The gas mileage is so-so
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does not recommend this car

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?