GM tried to offer a different approach to the market with a coupe that cared about the rear passengers and offered the Quad Coupe version in addition to the regular, four-door Ion Sedan.
Sharing its platform with Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, or the European Opel/Vauxhall Astra, the Ion Quad Coupe was designed as an affordable yet fun vehicle. Its sporty look and punchy engines should have been very appreciated by younger generations. As a result, the car should have enjoyed better success. But it didn't.
Some people believe that Mazda RX-8 was revolutionary thanks to its rear-hinged half doors, but Saturn beat it to the market. It was unveiled at the 2002 New York Auto Show, and the customers were pleased with the idea. The car's front fascia sported organic-inspired headlights with a narrow gap between the hood and the bumper as a grille. Lower, on the apron, the carmaker added a wider cooling area. From its sides, the coupe silhouette with an arched greenhouse and a sloped rear windscreen offered a dynamic image of the car. Finally, the flat trunk lid was flanked on the sides at the back by corner-mounted taillights.
Since the car didn't have a B-pillar, getting in and out from the rear seats was straightforward. Moreover, the long front doors also eased the ingress and egress for the front occupants. But... the dashboard was a complete disappointment for customers. Its center-mounted instrument cluster was not precisely what the younger generation wanted to see in their cars.
Another disappointing side of the vehicle was the drivetrain. Under the hood, GM installed a punchy 2.2-liter gasoline engine paired with either a five-speed manual or a sluggish five-speed automatic, which proved problematic. So in 2004, the automaker dismissed that and used a CVT unit. Later, it also offered a four-speed automatic. Moreover, the suspension was soft. Too soft for a sporty-looking vehicle.