Saturn Aura

Saturn Aura

Infobox Automobile

name = Saturn Aura
manufacturer = General Motors
parent_company =
aka =
production = 2007–present
predecessor = Saturn L-Series
platform = GM Epsilon platform
class = Mid-size
layout = FF layout
assembly = Kansas City, Kansas
body_style = 4-door sedan
engine = 2.4 L "BAS" hybrid
2.4 L "LE5" I4
3.5 L "LZ4" V6
3.6 L "LY7" V6
transmission = 4-speed "4T65-E" automatic
6-speed "6T70" automatic
wheelbase = 112.3 in (2850 mm)
length = 190.9 in (4850 mm)
width = 70.3 in (1785 mm)
height = 57.6 in (1465 mm)
related = Fiat Croma
Cadillac BLS
Chevrolet Malibu
Opel Insignia
Opel Signum
Opel Vectra
Saab 9-3

The Saturn Aura is a mid-size car produced under the Saturn brand of American automaker General Motors. It debuted as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in January 2005. The production model of the Aura was shown at the 2006 New York Auto Show in April, with production commencing in North America in the summer of 2006 for the 2007 model year. The Aura replaces the Saturn L-Series, which was discontinued after the 2005 model year. [cite web|url=|title=Saturn L-Series on|accessdate=2007-03-17] Although Saturn had never intended to use the Aura name for the production vehicle, the name ended up sticking as a result of the popularity of the concept. [cite web|url=|title=Saturn Announces New "Outlook" for Future Portfolio: Also Confirms "Aura" Name|accessdate=2008-04-21]

The Aura is an important model for both Saturn and General Motors. [ Saturn is ready to turn a profit] ] It is part of a product rejuvenation for Saturn to make the firm profitable as well as competitive with European imports. [cite web|url=|title=Rick Wagoner explains in this video what he has planned for the Saturn brand|accessdate=2007-03-17] Reaction to the Aura has been positive, both in terms of reviews and sales.

The concept used a 252 hp (186 kW) 3.6 L V6 and a new "6T70" six-speed automatic transmission. [cite web|url=
title=Saturn Aura concept auto show unveiling||accessdate=2006-08-24
] That powertrain is offered in the production model known as the "XR". Also introduced is the 3.5 L V6 with 219 hp (163 kW), down from 224 in 2007 in the "XE", and the hybrid 164 hp (122 kW) 2.4 L inline-4, down from Convert|170|hp|kW|0|abbr=on, in the "Greenline". The Aura, developed on the GM Epsilon platform, is available only as a sedan and is built at the Kansas City, Kansas, Fairfax Assembly plant.



The Aura is a new styling direction for Saturn, with styling that resembles its cousin, the European Opel Vectra. All Aura models come standard with folding side mirrors and side marker lights, lending to its European stylings. The design of the Aura Special appearance pieces include an integrated radio antenna in the rear window, a chrome appearance package available on XR models, standard 17 inch wheels with five-spoke wheel covers and P225/50R17 all-season tires on XE models, and standard 18 inch polished aluminum 14-spoke wheels on the XR with high-performance Goodyear Eagle LS2 P225/50R18 T tires.


The interior of the Aura also marks a new interior direction for Saturn, moving to a more European-style interior. The design of the interior of the Aura differs from that of the Ion, which was highly criticized. [cite web|url=|title=Saturn Ion review,|accessdate=2007-03-17] [cite web|url=|title=2003 Saturn Ion review|accessdate=2007-03-17] On the upscale XR model, the interior comes with an option for saddle leather and paddle shifters, as well as an option for back seat radio controls. [ Saturn Aura Pricing and options:] ] Despite being praised for its design and fit and finish, the Aura's interior has been criticized for using cheap materials.Automobile Magazine: By Design, Robert Cumberford, December 2006 issue] [ Saturn Aura aims high, scores big. CNN Money] ]

The Aura XR's standard features include: automatic climate control, remote vehicle start, Stabilitrak stability control, backseat audio controls, heated seats, six airbags, ABS four-wheel disc brakes, steering wheel audio controls, universal home remote, OnStar and a "Driver Information Center".


Aura XR

The Aura XR is the top-line Aura model. The XR is fitted with the 3.6 L DOHC V6 with VVT, rated at 252 hp at 6200 rpm (188 kW) and Auto ft.lbf|251|0 of torque at 3100 rpm (340 Nm). This engine was first used in the Cadillac CTS and marks its second use in a North American GM car. With this 3.6 L engine, the Aura is the first front-wheel drive GM passenger car to use the new Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission. The transmission features TAPshift, which allows the driver to manually select gears by using paddles located behind the steering wheel. [cite web|url=|title=Saturn Aura Standard and optional equipment|accessdate=2007-03-17] The Aura XR is the performance-oriented version with a taut, but not harsh, suspension and the more powerful engine. Available interior colors in the XR are tan and grey leather (available in the XE), along with the XR-specific black or Morocco Brown leather. Cloth is standard. Other standard features include the Advanced Audio Package, 18 inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior door handles, and remote vehicle start. [cite web|url=|title=Saturn Aura equipment|accessdate=2008-02-05]

Aura XE

The base version is the Aura XE. Equipped with the 3.5 L VVT V6 (LZ4), the engine is matched with the 4T45-E four-speed automatic transmission. In the Aura, the engine produces 224 hp (167 kW) and 220 lbf·ft of torque (298 Nm). [ Saturn Aura unveiled] ] Traction Control, six airbags, V6, automatic, auto headlights, CD with AUX, 17 inch wheels, among other features, comes standard. The Aura XE has a softer suspension, but still handles very well. A Special Edition version of the XE will include equipment upgrades, the option of the XR-only black or Morocco Brown leather, along with new, SE-only 18 inch machined alloy wheels. Beginning with the 2008 model, the 2.4 L LE5 Ecotec 4-cylinder will be available. Under the revised 2008 EPA fuel economy tests, this engine is rated at convert|22|mpgus|L/100 km mpgimp in the city, and convert|30|mpgus|L/100 km mpgimp on the highway. [cite web
authorlink =
title =Fuel Economy
publisher =U.S. Department of Energy
url =
accessdate =2007-08-03

Aura Green Line

The Aura Green Line is a mild hybrid, following the Vue Green Line as the second vehicle in Saturn's lineup incorporating GM's belt alternator starter system. It rides on the XE's suspension. [ Green Car Congress: Saturn Aura Green Line] ]

As in the Vue, the Aura Green Line is equipped with the 2.4L Ecotec engine mated to an electric motor/generator and the 4T45-E four-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain is rated at 164 hp (122 kW) and 159 lbf·ft (215 Nm) of torque. The electric motor/generator augments the gasoline engine during launch and under wide-open throttle. The Aura Green Line has an EPA estimated fuel economy of convert|24|mpgus|L/100 km mpgimp|abbr=on city and convert|32|mpgus|L/100 km mpgimp|abbr=on highway, which Saturn claims is up to a 30% improvement over the Aura XE. [cite web|url=|title=GM Media Online - Saturn Aura Green Line|accessdate=2007-03-20]

The Saturn Aura Green Line is eligible for a $1300 US Federal tax credit, as well as several state tax credits. [ [ GM's Saturn Aura hybrid gets $1,300 tax credit |Reuters ] ] It has been on sale since late March 2007. [cite web|url=|title=Saturn Announces Pricing on Aura Green Line Hybrid|accessdate=2007-03-26]



Reception to the Aura has generally been positive. The Aura has been described as the best looking sedan to come out of GM in quite a while. [ Fuel Show review of the Saturn Aura] ] The Aura was also praised for its performance. [ Ann Job review of the Saturn Aura.] ] The Aura has been described as "the best Saturn yet", [ Dan Jedlicka's reviews of the Saturn Aura] ] and fit and finish and ride quality are regarded as greatly improved over previous Saturns. Other improvements include reduced road noise, attributed to the fact that this model doesn't use polymer body panels like its predecessors. The Aura also garnered praise for its value, as it is noted that an Aura XE loaded up with certain options costs less than the standard MSRP of the Toyota Camry with a V6. The Aura finished fourth out of six places in a Car and Driver comparison test, ahead of the Chrysler Sebring and the Toyota Camry, but fell behind the Honda Accord. [ Familial Four Doors: Car and Driver mid size sedan comparison] ] Despite this, it was the best performing out of the cars compared. The Aura also got praise for the craftsmanship of its interior and its European flair. [ The Car Connection: Saturn Aura review] ] The Aura also got a favorable review by Consumer Guide, with it being a recommended pick. [ Consumer Guide road test of the Saturn Aura] ] It also got more than favorable reviews from actual owners of the vehicle. [cite web|url=|title=MSN autos user reviews: Saturn Aura|accessdate=2007-03-17]

Despite this, the Aura has a few criticisms. The Aura's interior has been criticized for using cheap materials. Also, the steering wheel has been criticized for being too big for some drivers and that rear headroom was tight when equipped with the optional sunroof. The Aura was also criticized for being noisy over bumps and its lack of a rear armrest and head restraint, and that the push button controls on the steering wheel cannot be operated while holding the wheel. Robert Cumberford of Automobile Magazine claimed that the Aura is a good car watered down by GM's cost cutting department.


The Aura won the North American Car of the Year prize for 2007. [cite web|url=|title=One-two punch, GM sweeps North American awards|accessdate=2007-03-17] As a result, Saturn sent a copy of the award to select customers who bought an Aura before it was awarded. [cite web|url=|title=Saturn Aura Academy Award ad|accessdate=2007-03-17] The Aura also won Canadian's Motoring Television's 2007 car of the year award, [ Saturn Aura awards] ] Motorweek's Driver's Choice for best new midsize sedan, and World of Wheels' Editor's choice for best family sedan.

ee also

*List of hybrid vehicles


*cite web|url=|title=Saturn Aura official website||accessdate=2006-08-24
*cite web|url=|title=Saturn Aura auto show unveiling||accessdate=2006-08-24


External links

* [ Official Saturn Aura site]
* [ Saturn Aura page at]
* [ Saturn Aura microsite with specs, photos and reviews]

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