2006 Saturn ION

MSRP ?

$11,925 - $19,425
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Engine Engine 2.2LI-4
MPG MPG 26 City / 35 Hwy
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2006 ION Overview

Saturn's strength has always been its dealers.It's Saturn's car that haven't always measured up, particularly in comfort and refinement.GM's youngest car division is working to remedy this, so while the Saturn dealership experience remains as good as it ever was, Saturn's cars are now better than they ever have been.

The Saturn Ion is a good example of that.When it appeared in 2003, the Ion represented a major improvement over the old Saturn S-series.Yet our impressions of it were negative.We found the seats uncomfortable and its levels of refinement were average at best.However, Saturn has continued to update and refine the Ion over the past three model years, and we came away with positive impressions of the current models.Most of the things we complained about have been changed and refinement has been improved overall.

The most substantial changes came for 2005: Larger and more supportive seats have replaced the barstools used previously, and a larger steering wheel provides a more comfortable grip.Suspension tweaks have resulted in a smoother and quieter car that's more pleasant in everyday use.At the same time, the handling is sharper, making it more fun to drive.A new four-speed automatic built by GM replaces outsourced transmissions that proved problematic.And the appearance of the sedan was greatly improved with a new grille.

The improvements continued for 2006: Saturn has reconfigured the center dash to provide more room for storage and to enhance legroom.OnStar is now standard on all Ions.A larger, more powerful engine is available.Saturn has dropped the base-level sedan with its narrow seats, and a new Enhanced Performance Package has been added to bridge the gap between the base-engine/base suspension models and the Ion Red Line sport compact.Prices have been reduced, especially at the lower end of the line, where an 2006 Ion 2 sedan lists for $2,455 less than a comparable '05 model.

Meanwhile, all of the Ion's best features remain unchanged.The sedan offers plenty of interior and luggage room for a reasonable price.The Quad Coupe features innovative dual rear-access doors, like those on an extended-cab pickup, that make it easy to load and unload cargo.We found we could stuff large objects into the back seat of a Saturn that would not go into a traditional two-door coupe.

The Red Line coupe features a 205-horsepower supercharged engine good for 0-60 mph in about 6.3 seconds.We found it fun to drive, with strong throttle response and a sporty exhaust note.It comes with Recaro seats that provide comfortable support in corners.

And then, of course, there's that Saturn dealership experience.Surveys show that Saturn buyers tend to be more satisfied with their dealers in terms of the sales and service experience than buyers of other brands.Saturn tends to be the top-scoring non-luxury brand in these types of surveys.
Full Review

2006 ION Overview

Saturn's strength has always been its dealers.It's Saturn's car that haven't always measured up, particularly in comfort and refinement.GM's youngest car division is working to remedy this, so while the Saturn dealership experience remains as good as it ever was, Saturn's cars are now better than they ever have been.

The Saturn Ion is a good example of that.When it appeared in 2003, the Ion represented a major improvement over the old Saturn S-series.Yet our impressions of it were negative.We found the seats uncomfortable and its levels of refinement were average at best.However, Saturn has continued to update and refine the Ion over the past three model years, and we came away with positive impressions of the current models.Most of the things we complained about have been changed and refinement has been improved overall.

The most substantial changes came for 2005: Larger and more supportive seats have replaced the barstools used previously, and a larger steering wheel provides a more comfortable grip.Suspension tweaks have resulted in a smoother and quieter car that's more pleasant in everyday use.At the same time, the handling is sharper, making it more fun to drive.A new four-speed automatic built by GM replaces outsourced transmissions that proved problematic.And the appearance of the sedan was greatly improved with a new grille.

The improvements continued for 2006: Saturn has reconfigured the center dash to provide more room for storage and to enhance legroom.OnStar is now standard on all Ions.A larger, more powerful engine is available.Saturn has dropped the base-level sedan with its narrow seats, and a new Enhanced Performance Package has been added to bridge the gap between the base-engine/base suspension models and the Ion Red Line sport compact.Prices have been reduced, especially at the lower end of the line, where an 2006 Ion 2 sedan lists for $2,455 less than a comparable '05 model.

Meanwhile, all of the Ion's best features remain unchanged.The sedan offers plenty of interior and luggage room for a reasonable price.The Quad Coupe features innovative dual rear-access doors, like those on an extended-cab pickup, that make it easy to load and unload cargo.We found we could stuff large objects into the back seat of a Saturn that would not go into a traditional two-door coupe.

The Red Line coupe features a 205-horsepower supercharged engine good for 0-60 mph in about 6.3 seconds.We found it fun to drive, with strong throttle response and a sporty exhaust note.It comes with Recaro seats that provide comfortable support in corners.

And then, of course, there's that Saturn dealership experience.Surveys show that Saturn buyers tend to be more satisfied with their dealers in terms of the sales and service experience than buyers of other brands.Saturn tends to be the top-scoring non-luxury brand in these types of surveys.Hide Full Review