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2004 Saturn ION Review
Fuel efficiency in a stylish package.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2004 Saturn ION comes in three different trim styles and includes a number of feature optIONs, ranging from comfort customizatIONs to transmissION and drivetrain optIONs. The 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine puts out a small amount of power, but can really hold its own when it comes to gas statION trips due to an astonishing fuel efficiency rating. This rating remains the same between the five-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissIONs.
Overall, the ION lacks optIONs. One of the biggest comfort upgrades concerns the new radio, which supports MP3 files and satellite radio. The steering also upgrades in 2004 to assist in a smooth drive at highway speeds, a welcome fix to the previous steering issues plaguing the Saturn ION that causes it to lose control at exceptIONally high speeds.
This ION also suffers from poor safety capabilities, which cast a negative light on it. The ION contains basic safety features such as airbags and three-point seat belts. Still, it does not score well in crash safety tests.
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder
TransmissIONs: five-speed manual, five speed automatic
Models: Saturn ION
The aforementIONed electric steering upgrades to improve highway driving for the 2004 Saturn ION. Other upgraded features include a modernized sound system which supports MP3 and satellite radio. An automatic transmissION calibratION improves speed selectION and responsiveness. New models also include sound-reducing materials.
By improving the plastic, and changing out certain loud materials in specific locatIONs, the 2004 Saturn ION stays much quiet than its predecessors.
The outside of this sedan maintains the same modern and compact look Saturn promotes. Measuring in at only 184.5 inches long, 67.2 inches wide, and 57.4 inches high, the ION classifies as a compact car, albeit the longest on the market. Some of the exterior features of the 2004 Saturn ION include daytime running lights, intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, a roof rack, 14-inch steel wheels, and full wheel covers. These features, coupled with the stylish look, impress anyone looking for a nice vehicle.
The interior of this vehicle marks where issues begin to arise. One of the most publicized issues with this type of car concerns the lack of legroom, and the 2004 Saturn ION makes no exceptION. With a measly 42.2 inches of legroom in the front seats and only 33.3 inches available for legs in the rear, it makes for a cramped ride. The pain of this cramped space in the Saturn ION gets offset by the available features such as 12-volt front power outlets, electric power steering, and front cup holders. The interior also accentuates the style of the exterior through the use of grey bucket seats in the front and the same grey style in the back.
Performance & Handling
The ION has never been known for its performance and handling abilities, and stays intact with the 2004 Saturn ION. With the small 2.2-liter four-cylinder, the ION puts only a comparable 140 horsepower along with 145 lb-ft of torque. While the car moves rather quickly, due to its light weight, its handling abilities remain limited. One of the first things that any car enthusiast notices is the braking system, which includes drum brakes in the rear. These prove safe for anyone driving the speed limit. However, going over the speed limit is unsafe in this car.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2004 Saturn ION shows poor results for head restraint and side impacts. The idea of poor safety test results coupled with very basic safety features (three-point seat belts, child seat anchors, and front seat belt pretensIONers) further accentuates the idea that the Saturn ION remains quite dangerous to drive. It definitely does not work well as a family vehicle.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Decent fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Low top speed
- Poor handling
- Lacks legroom
Fuel efficiency in a stylish package.
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