It is decidedly sportier in feel than the Toyota Camry, more along the lines of the Honda Accord and the new Nissan Altima. Gaps are minimal and fits are precise. The production version largely lives up to that promise. Its customer-focused, no-haggle sales system won countless fans among motorists wary of the traditionally confrontational new car buying process. But with American buyers fed up with record fuel prices and growing bored with big trucks, the timing of the Aura might be close to perfect.
The sculptured doors flow smoothly into the instrument panel. Is the 2007 Aura hybrid a promising vehicle, or a disappointment? The Saturn Aura Green Line has a 2. The first Saturn products were, at best, middle-of-the-pack. Reviewers are generally pleased with the Aura's power and mostly complimentary concerning the vehicle's handling. So 25% would take it to about 25 mpg city, 37.
The 2007 Saturn Aura won the prestigious 2007 North American Car of the Year award, and is a recommended vehicle. The Green Line features the same comprehensive safety package that earned Aura a full five stars in government frontal and side-impact crash tests, placing it among the safest vehicles available. We set out north on St Joseph's Drive but soon lost our way. We found the same with the Aura Hybrid. While its stripped-down cabin disappoints, its entry-level drive train technology delivers decent fuel economy gains over the V-6 gasoline model.
There are a few glitches, but nothing that would cause you to steer clear. All the controls work very well and the sound setup is particularly convenient. Saturn's interior materials are still behind the leaders in the segment, but the design is pleasing. Its standard stereo is surprisingly well-equipped for digital audio playback. What would Red think of the Aura Green Line? Body control generally good, though our testers noted some jiggle and body drumming on rippled surfaces.
But that could only take the maker just so far, and in recent years, Saturn has begun to lose momentum. The Good The 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line offers significantly improved fuel economy over its gasoline-only equivalent. In freeway driving we also noticed a commendable level of cabin damping, with very little road or wind noise getting in. All electrical systems in the Aura Green Line, including the air-conditioning and stereo, run on a 48-volt system connected directly to the battery pack, and can therefore still be operated during the Autostop mode. On the positive side, the Aura Green Line's regenerative braking system is much less intrusive and provides a far more linear braking experience than those in the and hybrids. Under the hood Saturn's cut-price hybrid relies on cut-price technology. With its Variable Valve Timing, the package generates a healthy 224 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, and can launch from 0-60 in a more-than-acceptable 8.
With the five-minute sort process complete, drivers have a very intuitive and easy-to-use means of navigating dozens of songs on their homemade discs. With its six speakers, the Aura Green Line's audio system sounds adequate at low-to-mid volume, but starts to distort at higher volumes, particularly at the low end of the acoustic range. The Bottom Line The 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line succeeds in its mission statement of being a cheap hybrid. This is the same hybrid system that debuted this year in the 2007 Vue Green Line and will be used in the all-new 2008 Vue Green Line, also being unveiled today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This is not surprising, given the Aura shares its structure with the German Opel Vectra. The Aura is based on the same safe, solid architecture as the Saab 9-3, which sells for thousands of dollars more.
The cabin is tastefully done and laid out well. Aura comes with a choice of two powerful V6 engines. Fuel economy for all three engines is average. It sounded like a reasonable alternative--unless we took a wrong turn, in which case all subsequent directions would be wrong, and we would have to start the process over again by calling in to OnStar for new directions. The Bad Behind the Aura Green Line's bland exterior lies an even blander cabin. Rather than call back, we opened the glove box and pulled out a map.
During a comparison test featuring the , , , and , the 2007 Aura came in fourth place behind the Optima, Altima and Accord. The majority of critics think that the Aura represents a good value and buyers in the market for a midsize car should consider it. The OnStar rep told us that this kind of outage happened from time to time, and that there was a workaround: she would read out a list of the turn-by-turn directions, which we could record and play back to ourselves throughout the journey. Interestingly, the Aura has none of the plastic body panels that made Saturn famous in the 1990s. A broad-shouldered crease runs from headlights to jewel-like taillights, giving the car a sense of muscularity and movement.
Does that mean you don't have to be handy, then? The Aura also utilizes laminated front door glass, which helps isolate wind noise off the outside mirrors, among other things. Reviewers list handling, safety and seat comfort as highlights. We found it drives like a European family sedan, taut and responsive, with brakes, suspension and powertrain working together to respond to the driver's wishes. The gasoline version of the impressed automotive journalists so much that the car won this year's title of North American Car of the Year. This motor can be used either to assist the 2.