Saturn will replace its S series vehicle with the 2003 Ion sedan, according to a report in Automotive News. The Ion has scored well in customer clinics, in such areas as fit and finish, ride, exterior styling, and roominess. In addition, the Ion offers unique placement of the speedometer and other gauges: in the center of the instrument panel. Ion’s chief engineer, Michele Smith, says the placement allows drivers to position the steering wheel where it is comfortable, rather than where the driver can read the panel.

The Ion sedan, the first vehicle developed off GM’s global front-driver architecture, first went on sale in October and the quad coupe will be on sale near the end of the first quarter of 2003, said Automotive News. Saturn upgraded the engine for more power, with a Getrag five-speed manual transmission, which is standard on both models and an optional five-speed automatic transmission on the sedan. The Ion’s base engine produces 140 hp; the S series produced 100 hp.

Saturn also offers interchangeable roof rails, enabling the buyer to personalize the vehicle with color-coordinated pieces matching the optional interior trim accessories, which come in a variety of patterns and colors. In addition, the quad coupe offers an optional continuously variable transmission and two rear access doors.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials