It is not hard for me to recommend a great mid-size sedan. After all, with competitors like Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the new Saturn Aura
has plenty of bars set ahead of it. The good news is that among all those aforementioned sedans, Saturn
probably offers the best value for the dollar.
For 2007, I will be recommending the Saturn Aura
to a lot of potential buyers. With a base price of $19,945 for the XE and $23,945 for the upscale XR, it is hard to expect any more value for your dollar than you get with the Saturn Aura
. My tester was the higher end XR and it was impressive in virtually every capacity.
Let's start with the handsome good looks Aura
brings to market. This sedan is built off the same platform as the Malibu Maxx and Pontiac G6, but it definitely has its own style, more sophisticated and refined than its cousins. I especially liked the bold exterior treatments for the halogen headlamps and grille. The rear LED tail lamps felt a bit big for what is a standard mid-size sedan, but I can live with it.
When you get into the Aura
, you are going to be pleasantly surprised with what your dollar delivers. Firstly, the fit and finish in this GM sedan is excellent, not something I have been able to say about the manufacturer in the past. My tester had the optional Premium Trim Package ($800) and it included wonderfully supportive leather seats, leather shifter and steering wheel. I really thought the simulated burl walnut trim on the doors and dash was not cheap looking and added some class to the interior.
The front seats are very comfortable and each can be heated with driver power 6-way adjustments standard with optional 6-way passenger power (along with power pedal adjustments) available for $425.
Interior room is good. The Aura
is competitive with the best sedans in this class, and drivers and passengers standing above six feet tall will find little to complain about with regard to legroom or head room in the front of back seats. My tester had the $800 add-on sunroof that does a great job of opening up the interior space.
Standard split folding rear seats offer access to the trunk. Cargo room in the trunk is ample and average for this class of sedan.
The base model Aura
's power comes from a 224-hp V6 engine with 4-speed automatic transmission. My tester had the larger 3.6-liter V6 delivering 252 horsepower and I feel like this is the perfect fit for this sedan. Mated to a 6-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, the Aura
offers brisk acceleration and reasonable passing power on the highway. For those who like a sporty experience, you have the option of switching into manual mode utilizing the flippers on the steering wheel. Fuel economy is 20/28.
Interior cabin noise is minimal and I'd say excellent for the price of admission. Sound deadening materials and smart engineering can be expensive to implement, but GM and Saturn
have found a way to offer it in the Aura
for a great price.
Options for the Aura
are priced to entice. Many add-ons for the XE are standards for the XR. My tester came standard with heated front seats; power windows with driver's window express up and down; automatic climate control; remote start and tilt/telescopic steering wheel. The 8-speaker premium audio system offered 6-disc changer with input for MP3 player with rear seat audio controls and wireless headphones.
Safety features may very well be the final point that amazed me with the Aura
touts the use of high-strength steel in strategic areas to aid the structural integrity in the case of a side-impact crash. Aura
has dual-stage front airbags and head curtain side-impact airbags, LATCH child safety seat anchors, and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and StabiliTrak
I like OnStar with any GM vehicle and the Aura
is no exception. The OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation is always an appreciated feature and I like the safety aspects of having OnStar available for any issues that come up on the road.
Overall, the Saturn Aura
is a sedan that delivers amazing quality and comfort in a competitive class that features some high-priced alternatives. Aura
manages to undercut the competition while offering GM's 100,000-mile warranty and refined road manners. This is a sedan that must be considered.