This week we’re looking at the 2007 Saturn Aura that is clearly a contender for top honors. In fact I’ll be bullish and say this is perhaps the top of the field in this class. It is built on a German Opel platform and is finally a serious Mid Size Sedan for Saturn.
Saturn’s outstanding reputation for friendly dealers has been a plus from the consumer. They have eliminated the high pressure image of “Car Salesmen”.
On the product front Saturn continues to impress me with new entrants like this Aura and the very popular Sky sports car. The roll out of the product last year was impressive too. The people at the top of Saturn and their staff are special people and have earned the reputation for advancing a first class product line.
Handling & Performance:
The Aura is quick and agile and built for a comfortable sedan ride. But it does great in the mountains and it handled the twists and turns of the Angeles Crest Highway with ease. The 252 horsepower V6 is no slouch either. Plenty of power when you need it.
The styling by even the most critical is outstanding. I have to tell you my friend looked at this Aura and parked across the street was his $90,000 BMW. The color was different but the look was not $50,000 better. You could see the look on his face of revelation in consideration of comparative value. We concluded the satellite antenna was not painted to match the color of the car. Wow, interesting conclusion. Is that it? Can’t we come up with more than that? Should the antenna be mounted on the front of the car, as it is or on the back as the BMW has mounted it? Who really cares? And why is that the focus of our discussion of the differences in the car that is priced $65,000 less? I can think of a lot of things I could do with the difference.
Fit and Finish:
Quite good. Ok so we go from outstanding styling to Quite good attention to detail. Sorry, you can’t have it all and for the difference in price – you guessed it – there are some drawbacks. In this category I was disappointed with the armrests. After the great job they did with so much else why couldn’t they do a better job with making the armrests on the doors sturdier? Secondly there is no way to close the trunk without pushing it closed from the top. It gets you hands dirty or at the very least smudges the shine. It was apparent others also assumed the rubber spacer was provided to close the trunk as it fell off in my hand. The other side was tight so they failed to do the right thing here.
On the other hand the sun visors are thoughtful and slide out to cover more of the side sun. Thus the inconsistencies are baffling.
Very competitive at a few grand less than Camry.
Conveniences and comfort:
Equal to the best and better than the perceived best for the money.
If you are considering a Japanese Toyota Camry, drive this American alternative. Now that American Car Makers are #2 we’ll need to try harder as the head of Avis promoted and elevated his company.
Saturn Aura $20-24,000, Toyota Camry $18-28,000, Pontiac G6 $27-37,000, Hyundai Sonata $17-23,000, Chevrolet Impala $21-28,000, Buick LaCrosse $22-27,000, Mazda 6 $19-27,000, Subaru Legacy $20-34,000, Honda Accord $19-30,000, Mitsubishi Galant $20-27,000, Nissan Altima $18-28,000, Kia Optima $16-20,000, Mercury Milan $19-25,000, Ford Fusion $17-24,000, Volkswagen Jetta $16-28,000, Chrysler Sebring (2008) $25-32,000.
In the top of its class, wonderful styling, roomy inside and good size trunk, quiet smooth ride, thoughtful sun visors and decent fuel economy.
Does not utilize the no-rust dent resistant surfaces, cheap attention to detail in a few areas.
3.6 liter 252 HP V6 engine, 6-speed automatic trans, steering wheel mounted paddle shifting, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, front and side curtain passenger sensing air bags and outboard rear side impact bags, daytime running auto headlights, Stability control, child safety latch system, remote keyless entry and remote start system, tire pressure monitor and theft deterrent system, fog lights, power heated mirrors, 18” multi spoke aluminum bright wheels, auto air conditioning, 8-way driver power seat with lumbar support, power windows and locks, stereo with 6-CD / MP3 player, rear electric defogger, steering wheel radio controls, rear seat audio controls with wireless headphones, cruise control, auto dimming mirror with compass, tilt & telescopic steering wheel.
Options: leather seats and wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 6-way power passenger seat, OnStar safety system (one year included) and XM satellite radio (3 months included) and power sunroof – $2,324.
$3.45/ Gal avg. May 12 ‘07
for more information.
20 City and 28 Highway MPG
MSRP $23,945 (add $2,324 with options.)
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
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