The reason I don’t hate many cars is because I feel that almost every car has a redeeming quality - some are terrible drivers cars but are hyper practical or interesting. Some are focused driving machines but are useless everywhere else, some have artistic merit, some are just long lived.
The Ion is a car.
Not only is is just “car” its an ugly car. with a hateful interior. The entire car is made from equal parts cheapness and laziness.
It was the worst that GM could do to a brand that was already focused on being cheap transportation.
Just soak it all in
It was a parts bin special from a time when the bins themselves were junk.
Its no fun to drive, they aren’t particularly reliable and they look terrible from every angle.
The first years had 3 transmission choices [a 5 speed manual, a 5 speed auto without overdrive, and a CVT] but they dropped 2 of them because they were terrible and replaced one with a standard, boring but semi reliable 4 speed auto.
You got the impression that it was a car by title only, and that it hated going to work everyday as a car.
A friend of mine had one that he was constantly working on, even though he bought it new and it had low miles (alternator, CV, vacuum lines, etc)
Saturn, the brand, wasn’t supposed be associated with the planet, it was meant to be associated with the rocket program and its logo a symbol of apogee. If thats the case, the Ion was a test of the launch abort system...and even that failed.