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Old 04-26-2012, 04:38 AM   #1
Supernaut
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Default Newbie looking for used Ion

New member here. I'm probably looking for a Saturn Ion to replace my well aged 2004 Sunfire Coupe. The sunfire has 291,000km (181,000mi) on the clock but I'll probably keep it going till it drops dead in some undignified agony.

There aren't too many cars my ol' lady and I agree on, but the Ion happens to be one of them. The resale price is pretty low and and I'll testify to the hardiness of the Ecotec engine.

I would be interested in a coupe with a manual transmission, but have some questions.

Any issues or anything in particular to look for with these cars?
I seen elsewhere on the forum that the 03-04 models are not so good, what are the reasons for that?

I know its always a game of Russian roulette to a point when buying a used car, you can never be totally sure of how the previous owner took care of it.

Other used cars I'm interested interested in or was before some further digging steered me away.

Saturn Astra- Price still a bit high due to not being all that old yet, also there just doesn't seem to be that many out there to choose from.

Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe- Would like it but resale prices are absolutely obscene making it a non sale for me. I mean seriously who buys these used? I've seen some 5 years old where you could get a brand new one for just a few thousand more. I guess someones buying them if they can demand such prices.

Ford Focus- Also solid car (especially ztec models) with low resale cost just because its American.

Mazda 3- Like it but resale makes it not really worth while.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
New member here. I'm probably looking for a Saturn Ion to replace my well aged 2004 Sunfire Coupe. The sunfire has 291,000km (181,000mi) on the clock but I'll probably keep it going till it drops dead in some undignified agony.

There aren't too many cars my ol' lady and I agree on, but the Ion happens to be one of them. The resale price is pretty low and and I'll testify to the hardiness of the Ecotec engine.

I would be interested in a coupe with a manual transmission, but have some questions.

Any issues or anything in particular to look for with these cars?
I seen elsewhere on the forum that the 03-04 models are not so good, what are the reasons for
I know its always a game of Russian roulette to a point when buying a used car, you can never be totally sure of how the previous owner took care of it.

Other used cars I'm interested interested in or was before some further digging steered me away.

Saturn Astra- Price still a bit high due to not being all that old yet, also there just doesn't seem to be that many out there to choose from.

Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe- Would like it but resale prices are absolutely obscene making it a non sale for me. I mean seriously who buys these used? I've seen some 5 years old where you could get a brand new one for just a few thousand more. I guess someones buying them if they can demand such prices.

Ford Focus- Also solid car (especially ztec models) with low resale cost just because its American.

Mazda 3- Like it but resale makes it not really worth while.

I bought my Ion new in 2003. In the 9 years I've had it, I can honestly say It's been a great car, I've put little money into it other than standard maintenance, only now is it starting to show some wear I'll have to address. I need all new bushings, I replaced my right front sway bar link, but something is still knocking, I would love to replace the steering universal link, cause it's worn and it clunks a little. I've only had the car not start on me (Ignition switch problem) twice, (bought the switch, just haven't installed it yet) My 2.2 burns a little oil, but not as bad as it used too since I've been using Lucas upper cyl. lube. Power is still good, definetely buy a manual, stay away from coupe auto. I would try for an 05-07 2.4L coupe. Not sure if that engine has the manual tranny. Plastic is great!!!

Another plus for me when I bought mine was that it uses a timing chain instead of a belt.

Fuel mileage is o.k., depending how hard you are on it, I average about 26 mpg hwy.

Ford, I hate all FORDs (though I'm sure it's a fine car)

I also like the Mazda 3's, but can get pricey for parts/labor.

In the end, do your research on the VIN u wanna buy.

Good luck!!
...
2003 Ion QC- Sold August of 2015
2016 Toyota RAV4 LE AWD
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

I'm pretty sure the 03-04 was a problem with the auto trans.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

03-04 had a crap auto trans in the coupes only,but all 03-04s had questionable comfort in the seats, were louder and less refined, and a tiny steering wheel.

IMHO, go with the newest ion you can afford, it's worth it. 05 was where most of the improvements were made, but each year saw further improvement (saturn did good by us). the 2.4 is the best engine available in ions, nobody with a brain will argue otherwise, but you can get the 2.2 to the same level power with relatively little money if you can't find/afford a 2.4.

all ions come available with a manual transmission.
...
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

As stated, stay away from 2003-2004 Quad Coupes with the VTi automatic transmission.

AURA 2.4L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 21.2
ASTRA 3dr Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 20.8
ION-3 sedan 2.2L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 19.8
SL2 Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 19

Sky 2.4L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 16.8

ION Sedan 2.4L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 16.4
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

too bad the sky's aerodynamics kill that advantage. the ion is almost as aerodynamic as a prius, where the sky is as aerodynamic as a truck.
...
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trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
too bad the sky's aerodynamics kill that advantage. the ion is almost as aerodynamic as a prius, where the sky is as aerodynamic as a truck.
Yeah, but that's a good looking car that I wouldn't mind having in my drive way!
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
too bad the sky's aerodynamics kill that advantage. the ion is almost as aerodynamic as a prius, where the sky is as aerodynamic as a truck.
Boy you got that right. Yet I never head anyone from the genreal public say, Damn that ION is a great looking car I wish I had one. I've evan had people tell me how nice the Astra looks.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

The 06-07s have nicer audio setups than the 03-05s
You might as well look at Cobalts in your search, it lets you look at newer cars.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Thats all good information. I really like the suicide doors of the quad coupe on the ion, and the absence of the bowtie on the front.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Personally, I'd not buy a 2003-2005 ION with the 2.2L engine. I like the added hp of the 2.4L that showed up in 2006. Besides the 175hp 2.4L the enhanced performance package included ABS, Traction Control, and a sportier suspention.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalSaturns View Post
Boy you got that right. Yet I never head anyone from the genreal public say, Damn that ION is a great looking car I wish I had one. I've evan had people tell me how nice the Astra looks.
yeah, the sky definitely wins looks wise (even if it is a hodgepodge of parts from other gm cars). I just would have liked to see gm put more attention into aerodynamics on a car, it could be so much faster if they had.

I honestly thought I would miss ABS (I would never miss traction control, I hate it. not to mention you don't need it as cruise control senses wheel spin without it and throttles back), but honestly all 3 winters I've driven in with it (2 with winter tires, and 1 with all season tires), I've never missed/needed it. that includes some pretty serious winter weather I drove through. as for the extra HP, I found them in my 2.2 with no trouble and little expense. I am a fan of how the car rides and handles with the 16" rims/tires on this ion over the 15s on my last one (the steering program is better, too, IMO)
...
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trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

What are 2006 ions cost range?
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalSaturns View Post
Boy you got that right. Yet I never head anyone from the genreal public say, Damn that ION is a great looking car I wish I had one. I've evan had people tell me how nice the Astra looks.
My ION gets complimented...
...
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Great timing. I have a 2004 Ion 2 sedan with the awesome 5 speed. Its Electric blue with gray leather interior and 78900 miles. This car pretty loaded up. I bought it to use while I rebuilt my 2004 Ion1 that I wrecked.
It is a great little car and gets super mileage,I've driven it back and forth to Florida 2 times.
As soon as I get my Ion 1 inspected and converted from a salvage title to a rebuild I'll be putting the 2004 blue Ion 2 up for sale.

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

It's those parts bin (hodgepodge) parts that built the ION and the Kappa's. Yep the SKY is built using items from the ION ... and the ION is built using parts from the same GM parts bin so I have no idea whay you brought that up or care. Love my ION, Love my SKY and in a few years when you have the resourses maybe you can have one, untill then you have no idea cept from a few reviews you read.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalSaturns View Post
As stated, stay away from 2003-2004 Quad Coupes with the VTi automatic transmission.

AURA 2.4L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 21.2
ASTRA 3dr Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 20.8
ION-3 sedan 2.2L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 19.8
SL2 Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 19

Sky 2.4L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 16.8

ION Sedan 2.4L Power:Weight Ratio is 1 : 16.4
LoL That is a Fact Is It ?? That is all I hear about...
...
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

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Originally Posted by SilverSpectre View Post
My ION gets complimented...
Thats A Big Fat 10-4 !!! /
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:11 AM   #19
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

I don't recall the ion being made up of parts from other GM cars, but there are whole lists of parts used in the sky from other GM cars. I'm not talking about small things like switches or the radio, either.

there isn't necessarily anything wrong with using parts from other cars, it was done to keep a very expensive car to build as cheap as possible, but they could have spent a little more money on aerodynamics, though, and they could have tried to make it look a little more like those parts belonged, IMO. a car should be significantly more aerodynamic than a silverado.
...
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trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #20
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Default Re: Newbie looking for used Ion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
New member here. I'm probably looking for a Saturn Ion to replace my well aged 2004 Sunfire Coupe. The sunfire has 291,000km (181,000mi) on the clock but I'll probably keep it going till it drops dead in some undignified agony.

There aren't too many cars my ol' lady and I agree on, but the Ion happens to be one of them. The resale price is pretty low and and I'll testify to the hardiness of the Ecotec engine.

I would be interested in a coupe with a manual transmission, but have some questions.

Any issues or anything in particular to look for with these cars?
I seen elsewhere on the forum that the 03-04 models are not so good, what are the reasons for that?

I know its always a game of Russian roulette to a point when buying a used car, you can never be totally sure of how the previous owner took care of it.

Other used cars I'm interested interested in or was before some further digging steered me away.

Saturn Astra- Price still a bit high due to not being all that old yet, also there just doesn't seem to be that many out there to choose from.

Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe- Would like it but resale prices are absolutely obscene making it a non sale for me. I mean seriously who buys these used? I've seen some 5 years old where you could get a brand new one for just a few thousand more. I guess someones buying them if they can demand such prices.

Ford Focus- Also solid car (especially ztec models) with low resale cost just because its American.

Mazda 3- Like it but resale makes it not really worth while.
I take you, like myself are Canadian. Go for the 06 or 07 Level 3 standard with the 2.4L Ecotec. The key issue has been taken care of and the only thing you would have to worry about is the electric steering which is now under warranty. Had mine replaced for free mid winter.

The coupe is a wonderful car, although a little wind noisy, but that is part and parcel of these plastic bodied cars. Great milage for these cars if you can keep your foot out of it(I am getting close to 50mpg if I am careful).

Just the bushings is the real issue in the 06 and 07's.
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