2003 Saturn Ion

Crash Test Safety Ratings

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The Saturn Ion was a compact bundle of hurt wrapped up in a cheap, plastic shell. With so many defective components and a safety rating that a bicycle would be ashamed of, it’s a blessing this car only lasted five model years.

The 2003 (and 2004) Ion was cursed with GM’s flawed attempt at a continuously variable transmission, known as the VTi. It had such a high failure rate that a class-action lawsuit was filed against GM, eventually prompting a settlement and a warranty extension. GM discontinued the VTi for the 2005 model year – surprise, surprise.

The 2003 Ion was also part of one of the largest and most controversial recalls of all-time. A defective ignition switch in millions of GM vehicles could accidentally turn the car off and disable important safety components like the power steering and airbags. The problem resulted in at least 13 deaths, but what made it worse was that GM knew about the issue for 10 years before doing anything about it.

So was the transmission warranty extended? Yeah. Was the ignition switch recalled? Eventually. Is this car safe to drive? Not really. Honestly, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Collapse Safety Ratings

NCAP 5-Star Crash Test & Rollover Safety Ratings

Driver FrontPassenger FrontDriver SidePassenger SideRollover
2003 Ion 4-DR.**********not tested***not tested
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IIHS Crash Test & Rollover Safety Ratings

Good Acceptable Marginal Poor

2003 Saturn Ion 4-door sedan

Moderate Overlap FrontSmall Overlap FrontSideRearRollover
Not tested. Not tested. P Overall
P Structure
Driver
P Head Protection
A Head/Neck Injury
P Torso Injury
A Pelvis/Legs Injury
Rear Passenger
M Head Protection
M Head/Neck Injury
M Torso Injury
G Pelvis/Legs Injury
TEST NOTES: . Get the full IIHS report »
P Overall
G Geometry
P Dynamic
TEST NOTES: Cloth seats. Get the full IIHS report »
Not tested.
 

Ratings only apply to the model and body or seat type tested. The date of manufacture and optional safety equipment can affect results. For full details see www.iihs.org.

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