Ion continues to demonstrate Saturn’s commitment to provide excellent customer care with value, refinement, comfort and safety. With estimated fuel economy ratings of 35 miles per gallon on the highway and a standard 145-horsepower engine, the Ion helps small-car buyers save some money at the pump without sacrificing performance.
Plenty of power options on sedans and quad coupes
For 2007, the standard Ecotec 2.2L inline four-cylinder engine generates more standard horsepower (145 hp/108 kW)* than many of its primary competitors and strong low-end torque for excellent launch feel and passing performance. The engine is rated at 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway (when equipped with a manual transmission). California models with the 2.2L engine are SULEV-compliant.
The available 2.4L Ecotec inline four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing (VVT) delivers an excellent combination of power and fuel economy. This engine, available on the Ion 3 with the Enhanced Performance Package, delivers an impressive 175 horsepower (130 kW) and 164 lb.-ft. (222 Nm)* of torque, rated five horsepower more than in 2006.
The Enhanced Performance Package suspension modifications provide the more nimble handling that sport-oriented drivers enjoy. Valves that control the flow of hydraulic fluid within the suspension struts are modified to provide more resistance, and the stabilizer bar diameter is increased.
All Ion engines are from GM’s Ecotec family. Each has distinct performance and hardware differences, but all share a basic all-aluminum architecture and construction that includes:
- Dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder
- Twin counter-rotating balance shafts
- Low-friction, roller-finger follower valvetrain with hydraulic lash adjusters
- Zero-maintenance chain camshaft drive
- Extremely compact dimensions and low mass
- Direct mounting of all accessories to the engine structure to eliminate common sources of noise, vibration and harshness
- Full circle transmission attachment is more rigid than most four-cylinder powertrains for reduced noise and vibration
- Oil Life Monitoring System for optimum oil change frequency
- No routine maintenance apart from oil/oil filter changes
- Catalyst located close to the exhaust manifold to speed catalyst “light-off” and reduce hydrocarbon emissions
The Ion’s standard transmission is a five-speed manual, with smooth shifting and quiet operation. This transmission injects a sporty, European feel to the Ion’s driving experience.
The optional Hydra-Matic 4T45 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission offers reliable operation with seamless shifts. The 4T45 uses Dexron III fluid and is “filled for life,” meaning there is no scheduled maintenance required for the transmission under normal operating conditions.
All Ions can be flat-towed – pulled behind another vehicle without the need for a special dolly – making Ion an ideal choice for RV owners.
Comfort and convenience
Last year, the Ion received a redesigned center console/center stack with additional inboard knee and leg clearance with enhanced fits and appearance. The design provides additional storage above the radio for storing sunglasses, mobile phones, spare change or other small items.
An available leather trim package (Ion 3) offers additional refinement with leather-trimmed seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leather-wrapped shift knob.
The Ion interior continues to feature a distinctive center-mounted instrument cluster. On the same horizontal sight line as the side-view mirrors, the center-mounted design also allows the driver to set the steering wheel in the most comfortable position without needing an adjustment to see the instrument readings.
The quad coupe continues to offer dual rear-access doors. Combined with a front-passenger fold-flat seat, the wide-opening rear-access doors help maximize the usefulness of the interior space by making it easy to load and unload passengers and cargo, even large objects that wouldn’t typically fit in a compact car.
Ion offers a variety of audio choices to make the trip more enjoyable. An AM/FM stereo with CD player is standard on Ion 2, and Ion 3 and Red Line models also add standard MP3 capability.
A comprehensive family of radios provides an upscale appearance with flush design and chrome accents. All sound systems include an input jack to accommodate portable audio players, and a digital signal processor provides improved sound quality. Uplevel radios offer up to 36 station presets (can mix AM/FM/XM together), MP3 folder and playlist access and a Music Navigator feature that allows sorting of MP3s by artist or album.
An AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD and MP3 player is available on all models, along with the Saturn Advanced Audio System, which consists of six premium speakers and a 160-watt amplifier. XM Satellite Radio (continental U.S. only) is available and features more than 120 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original commercial-free music and premier news, sports and talk as well as advanced traffic and weather information for select major metropolitan areas nationwide. Consumers can subscribe to the basic service for $12.99 a month. In addition, GM customers with GMAC financing can choose to include the XM subscription in their car payments .
Safety and security
Like all Saturns, the Ion was designed with an emphasis on safety and security. OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment is now standard on all Ion models. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
All Ions feature GM’s Passenger Sensing System. If the system detects an unoccupied front passenger seat or the presence of a smaller occupant, the front passenger air bag is designed to automatically turn off so it will not deploy in the event of a frontal collision. A status indicator on the instrument panel alerts occupants that the passenger air bag is on or off. Even with this system, Saturn strongly recommends restraining child passengers in an appropriate child seat placed in the second or third row of the vehicle. Never install a rear-facing infant seat in front of an active air bag. Saturn also recommends that all children age 12 and under ride in the rear seat when possible.
Built-in crashworthiness features include the vehicle’s structural design, with a steel spaceframe that helps absorb the energy of a crash while protecting the integrity of the passenger compartment.
Dual-stage frontal air bags are standard, and head curtain side air bags – which help protect both front and rear occupants – are available. The Ion sedan and quad coupe offer an optional anti-lock braking system and traction control across all non-Red Line models.
Ion also comes with a factory-installed anti-theft system with remote keyless entry, standard on Ion 3 and optional on Ion 2. An engine immobilizer is standard on every Ion, which reduces the risk of vehicle theft by shutting off fuel to the engine if the correct ignition key isn’t used.