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Saturn Aura Review

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The Aura is a sedan produced by General Motors' Saturn brand. It debuted as a concept 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 the summer of 2006 for the 2007 model year. The Aura replaces the Saturn L-Series, which had seen lackluster sales and was cancelled for the 2005 model year.

The concept used a 252-horsepower 3.6L V6 and a new 6T70 6-speed automatic transmission. That powertrain, along with a 224-horsepower 3.5L V6 and hybrid 170 HP 2.4L inline-4 will be offered in the production models as the XR, XE, and Green Line versions, respectively. The Aura will be built on the GM Epsilon platform, and will be built at the Kansas City, Kansas, Fairfax assembly plant with the Chevrolet Malibu.

2005 Saturn Aura Concept

High Points

  1. Elegant interior
  2. Punchy V6 engine
  3. European exterior styling
  4. On top of GM's advanced, extended Eplison plateform which it shares with Chevy Malibu Max, Saab 9-3, and Pontiac G6
  5. Huge back seat

Low Points

Performance and Handling

Safety

Reliability and Maintenance

Interior and Comforts

The Aura will include a range of features: automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, "Driver Information Center", steering wheel audio controls, optional power-adjustable pedals, an optional eight-way power driver's seat, optional heated seats in both cloth and leather, universal home remote, and power windows with express up and down features.

Saturn will also offer several different options for sound. Most models will come standard with a similar system found in the Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Malibu. Six-speaker sound and an auxiliary input jack for the Apple iPod as well as other portable MP3 players will be standard. Another optional system will include Saturn's advanced audio system, a 240 W system that plays CDs and MP3 CDs with eight-speaker sound and an audio player input. Selection of the advanced audio system will also include rear seat audio controls that come with wireless headphones.

Exterior

The Aura has maintained its looks in comparison to the original concept model. Styling is largely derived from that of the Opel Vectra, but certain touches have been added by Saturn to make it special for the American market. Special appearance pieces include an integrated radio antenna in the rear window, a chrome appearance package available on XR models, standard 17 in alloy wheels and all-season tires on XE models, and standard 18 in polished aluminum 14-spoke wheels on the XR with high-performance tires.

Available colors include Berry Red, Black Onyx, Bronzed Pewter, Cream White, Golden Cashmere, Midnight Blue, Ocean Mist, Silver Pearl, and Techno Grey.


Styles and Options

Aura Green Line

Following in the footsteps of the Saturn VUE Green Line, the Aura Green Line will feature the same 2.4 L hybrid I4 as seen in the VUE Green Line. The Aura Green Line will be the first production hybrid passenger car for GM, but won't be out until late 2006, or possibly early 2007.

Aura XE

The base version of the Aura will be known as the Aura XE. Equipped with the same 3.5 L VVT V6 (LZ4), the engine will be matched with the 4T45-E four-speed automatic transmission. In the Aura, the engine will produce 224 hp (167 kw) and 220 lb-ft of torque (298 Nm), and will offer a good amount of economy at a reasonable price. Overall, the XE is the laid-back version of the Aura that will most likely make up the majority of sales for the car.

Aura XR

The Aura XR will be the top-line Aura model, and will feature the most aggressive options in performance available on the car. The XR will be fitted with the 3.6 L DOHC V6 with VVT, rated at 252 hp (188 kw) and 251 lb-ft of torque (340 Nm) which can be found in the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CTS, as well as the upcoming 2007 Pontiac G6 GTP. Equipped with the 3.6 L engine, the Aura will be the first front-wheel drive GM passenger car to use the new Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission. The transmission will feature Driver Shift Control (DSC), which will allow the driver to manually select gears by using paddles located behind the steering wheel.

Main Competitors

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