2004 Saturn Ion Coupe Quad - Instrument Panel

Discussion in 'Saturn ION' started by Alexandra Wehle, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. I am looking to replaced my totalled Saturn SL92 with possibly the new
    2004 Saturn Coupe Quad. I am going to Saturn of Devon (PA) tomorrow to
    test drive it, as well as the LS and the VUE (just for kicks).

    My two questions are this:

    1) Has anyone driven the 2003 Saturn Ion Coupe and liked it? Any
    problems with it? Liked\hated the style? Preferred the older SL

    2) I have noticed from the pictures on the Saturn website that the
    Coupe instrument panel is located NOT in front of the driver, but in
    the MIDDLE of the dashboard. Has anyone any experience with driving a
    car with the dashboard in the position? I'm test driving the vehicle
    myself tomorrow, but right now I am already feeling a little funny
    about the instruments panel being to my right and not in front of me.
    I would image yhat would take -quite a getting used to since it
    appears different from every OTHER American car out there.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Alexandra Wehle
    Wynnewood, PA
    Alexandra Wehle, Nov 13, 2003
  2. I own an '03 QC, no significant complaints at all.

    I found the center instrument panel didn't take much getting used to at all.
    It seems more unusual when I get behind the wheel of another car now, with
    the gauges sticking up in front of you and blocking the view..
    Robert Hancock, Nov 13, 2003
  3. I think Kirk bought an '03 ION - he mentioned something about the tactile
    feel of the electric steering and that the '04 model is improved. He's also
    got the variable auto tranny too - maybe he'll comment...
    Jonnie Santos, Nov 13, 2003
  4. Alexandra Wehle

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    I bought a 2003 Saturn Ion 3 Quad Coupe and am pretty happy with it.

    I was able to pay cash for the car (got me $2000 cash back) and get my GM
    employee discount (about 10%?) due to my tenure with Hughes Aircraft
    Company, so I feel that I got a real deal on the car.

    I like the power that the car has - I think that the Ecotec 2.2 liter engine
    is a real winner. I get about 25-30 miles per gallon with the car.

    I REALLY like the VTI transmission - when you stomp on it, the engine goes
    right up to its full power speed, and then the car speeds up to catch up
    with it. After driving this transmission, I don't like a regular automatic
    transmission any more.

    I'm almost 44 years old, and needing the granny glasses (getting far sighted
    in my old age). As a result, I REALLY like the center mounted instrument
    panel because it's about 9 inches further away from the driver than a
    standard panel would be. It's a little wierd at first, but I've come to
    prefer it now.
    My wife and I had a pair of 97 SL2s until the middle of this year. I got a
    ION 3 Coupe, the wife got a ION 3 Sedan. We both agree - the ION is a much
    nicer car.
    Not quite a while. Maybe a day or two...
    Post the specific questions here, and I'll try to get the specific answers
    to you.
    Problems that I've had:

    With mine (quad coupe): After a long trip, the computer can get a bit
    confused and let the engine stall out. Happened once in 11,000 miles. I
    suspect that this is a software bug and will be eliminated in the next code
    revision (that is, it's probably NOT a concern for the 2004 cars).

    With wife's:

    Front left turn signal, parking & DRL bulb burnt out - initially defective.
    Replaced under warranty - I consider this a minor problem.

    Temperature gauge read high (but the actual engine temperature was normal).
    This took two trips to the dealer to fix - the second time I was armed with
    the Saturn manuals ($160) and my PhD in Electrical Engineering to
    "enlighten" the dealer into taking me seriously and replacing the instrument
    panel cluster (as I requested the FIRST time).

    My overall assessment: The Saturn ION appears (so far) to be a GREAT little
    car for the money.
    Kirk Kohnen, Nov 13, 2003
  5. I've been driving Saturns since 1994, a 94 SC2 and a 98 SL2, now an 03 Ion3
    QC. I can honestly say I feel the QC is the best of all of them. The
    center console takes a little bit to adjust to but now it's just fine.

    Charles Paluda, Nov 14, 2003
  6. Thanks for all the replies! They have been helpful!

    I test drove an Ion Coupe 3 today and liked it a lot. I actually liked
    the smaller stearing wheel, although the sensitivity of the wheel took
    a bit of getting used to.

    As for the instrument panel, that was quite easy to get to used, much
    to my surprise. It didn't bothr me in the least. And the little red
    needle gaugues glow in the dark! How cool is that!

    One question I have that forgot to ask the salesperson (who was very
    nice): this is the first car I will be buying that has a
    passenger-side airbag. My dog frequently rides with me and I want the
    airbag to have a "kill' switch. Does anyone know if this can be done
    to a Saturn. I know that Chevy offers it on their Blazers. I'm hoping
    Saturn can do the same.

    I have heard the kill switch is especially needed for having younger
    children riding in the passenger seat. The deployment could kill them.
    Same thing with a dog.

    I'll probably call the dealership about this, but I was curious if
    anyone knew.

    Alexandra Wehle
    Alexandra Wehle, Nov 14, 2003
  7. There's no airbag disable switch available for the Ion. Usually those only
    come on vehicles which either have no back seat, or on some trucks/SUVs
    where the back seats can be removed.

    On vehicles that don't come with such a switch from the factory, by (US) law
    they can only be installed if the owner certifies that their vehicle has no
    back seat, or for whatever reason an infant, child under 12, or other person
    with a medical condition posing special risks from an airbag must ride in
    the passenger's seat.

    Young children really shouldn't be riding in the front seat - just have a
    look at the big warning labels on the sun visors. The same probably goes for
    a dog.
    Robert Hancock, Nov 15, 2003
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