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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, whern I picked up my Sky today the dealer said they recieved two Auras with my car and I had to take a look. All I can say Saturn is really trying to change their image. This car is clearly competition for the Toyota Camry. I saw pics of it online and wasn't too impressed...(Sky is by far my choice :D ) but I was shocked to see what they did. Squishy dash for one not cheap plastic. I mean a really really squishy soft dash made out of some rubbery, gooey, gel like material. Yes I know, I notice dash materials :crazy: I'm a geek. But I can apprechiate the materials that go into cars and a lot of people do not like plastic. I really don't care. Hard plastic works for me. Anyway.... the other thing I noticed was the rear doors. They were huge! As big as the front doors. Plenty of room in the back seeat and easy to get into. It was roomier than my 88 lincoln Town car (don't laugh it was my fathers and it was a gorgeous midnight blue, rather fast & luxurius and for a teenager... it was kinda cool....sort friends liked it :D ) Any how...I could go on but I couldn't do the Aura justice, you will just have to decide for yourself. I would never own one as I intend to have a mid life crisis for the rest of my life but if I were into affordable luxury sedans...I would give the Aura serioius consideration :thumbs: Might take a while but it could be a Camry killer.

Ok Saturn where's my money? :lol:

1,912 Posts
Saturn Aura Takes on the World

The Toronto Star ( Canada)

By Laurance Yap

Aug. 12, 2006

SANTA BARBARA , CALIF. – Saturn's had itself a bit of an identity crisis the last few years.

Originally intended as GM's flagship import-fighter division (complete with its own factory in Spring Hill, Tenn.), it then found itself as a value-oriented brand pitching small, polymer-paneled economy cars to an audience unwilling to haggle.

Lately, things have changed again: Saturn now sells a Honda-powered SUV, a competitively-sized minivan and a hot performance model of the Ion coupe - and has also launched the Sky roadster, the sexiest Saturn ever and a car that has only added to the confusion about what, exactly, Saturn is all about.

Things are about to change again, but this time Saturn swears it's found its new direction.

Starting with the new Aura mid-size sedan you see here, the brand begins a cautious move upscale and will sell in North America largely unaltered European GM models.

They'll have sharp styling, lots of technology, high quality and what Saturn describes as a European driving feel. All this while keeping the value that's made the brand popular with younger buyers.

This might be a pretty good way of doing things, particularly since one could argue that GM has been "dumbing down" its European models as it's brought them to our shores. The company spent millions of dollars translating the Opel/Vauxhall Vectra - a great-looking family hatchback sold in Europe - into the blocky Malibu, while the attractive European Astra small car was jacked around until it became the Cobalt, an okay car but one that only truly comes alive as the supercharged SS version.

Aimed at the heart of the mainstream mid-size car market, the Aura will be priced right on top of its major competitors, with base models starting at $25,000 and with the uplevel XR priced around $30,000.

It'll have a fair amount of competition from within the GM stable as well: the Chevy Malibu and impressively-inexpensive Impala come to mind, as does as the Pontiac G6.

How will Saturn try to set itself apart from the pack? With its traditional low-pressure sales experience, with a high level of standard features including a V6, and with styling.

Like the Malibu and G6, the front-drive Aura is based on GM's latest mid-size platform, but you'd never know it by looking at the thing. The shape looks low and sleek (even though the roof is quite high) with flowing shapes accented by sharp creases; it has a finely-tailored look previewed by the Sky but not seen before on any mainstream Saturn.

The stance is really nice; the Aura looks poised to pounce. The wheels nicely fill out their fenders, and uplevel models feature multi-spoke 17-inch alloys that wouldn't look out of place on a BMW or a Mercedes.

Best of all, Saturn's sweated the design details: the Aura's sharp suit is accented by nicely-designed bits of automotive jewelry like clear-lensed LED tail lamps, twin chrome exhaust pipes, chrome-bar door handles and two intricately-detailed head lamps flanking a nice chrome "mustache" at the front.

In order to achieve a high level of perceived quality - with tight panel gaps and creases that align accurately - the Aura's body is steel instead of Saturn's traditional plastic. As such, its side panels are no longer dent-resistant, though a plastic rub strip should minimize parking-lot damage.

From a design perspective, I'd say the move was worth it: the Aura feels like a finely-hewn hunk of steel. The doors not only line up perfectly with their adjacent panels, but they slam with a convincingly European "thunk"; the paint finish looks way better than was ever possible on the polymer; the gaps are no longer yawning chasms in order to accommodate the stretching of the side panels with temperature.

While the Aura's exterior styling sticks pretty closely to its overseas roots, its interior borrows from both the European and American GM parts bins, with items such as the large-format radio and climate controls familiar from recent Chevy and Pontiac offerings, combined with deeply-bolstered and comfortable front chairs that seem more German than American.

The overall effect is surprisingly cohesive thanks to careful matching of colours and textures: options on higher-end Auras include gorgeous saddle-coloured two-toned leather on the seats and faux-wood trim that flows along the doors, across the dashboard and down into the console.

All Auras feature chrome rings surrounding attractive electroluminescent gauges as well as a nice three-spoke tilt/telescope steering wheel with aluminum inserts and audio controls.

The quality of the interior is fine: there are some scratchy-plastic trim bits, but most surfaces are soft to the touch and all of the controls work with a slick, fluid action.

Standard equipment includes power assists for pretty much everything, air conditioning, a fine-sounding CD stereo with XM satellite radio capability and automatic headlights. Notable options include a four-panel sliding panoramic sunroof, heated seats, power-adjustable pedals and OnStar.

The latest version of GM's telematics system connects drivers to a live adviser, who can download step-by-step driving directions to the car's GPS system; the directions then play through the stereo as needed.

On the safety front, the Aura packs in side-mounted thorax protection airbags in addition to front and side curtain airbags; front safety belt pretensioners; child safety seat anchors and more.

The interior works as well as it looks. The driving position is widely adjustable and it's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. Save for seat-heater switches mounted out of sight, ergonomics are good: radio and climate controls both feature big, round knobs for most major functions.

Storage areas are numerous and useful: there are pockets in the doors, cupholders behind the shifter big enough for a Big Gulp and a usefully large bin in the centre console.

In the back, there's decent space for two thanks to a low-set seat base - though one wonders how comfortable that would be on long trips - and the trunk is enormous.

Power for the Aura comes from two different V6 engines, each of which comes with a distinctive personality. XE models come with the familiar 3.5-litre V6 with variable valve timing; coupled with the standard four-speed automatic, this 224-hp engine moves the Aura along smartly with a raspy exhaust note, but is relaxed and silent when cruising.

The transmission shifts smoothly but there's a gulf between third and fourth that means it hunts a bit in the hills.

Like seemingly all Saturn shifters, the transmission shift gate has confusing markings: there's the usual PRND, but then you're faced with "4" to get fourth gear, "I" for Interactive (which gives you either third or second) and then L for first.

The second powertrain, a 3.6-litre double-overhead-cam V6, doesn't produce much more horsepower (252) or more torque (251 lb.-ft. compared to 220), but its pairing with a six-speed automatic transmission gives it a much sportier, more sophisticated feel.

It has a snarl under hard acceleration, while the transmission always seems to be in the correct gear - finding quieter running (though not better fuel economy; the high-tech V6 is actually marginally more thirsty than the 3.5) when you're cruising or more power when you're not.

Another nice touch with the six-speed is a pair of manual shift paddles mounted to the back of the steering wheel and the replacement of the 4, I and L with an "M" position for manual.

Though it's the same basic component set, the Aura's suspension is set up for a more European feel compared to the G6 and Malibu; Saturn claims sharper handling but a better-damped ride.

It's more refined: the use of plenty of sound-deadening as well as lessons learned from Buick about noise suppression mean the Aura is near-silent at speed in addition to riding very smoothly.

It handles better, too, thanks to big tires (17-inch wheels are standard on the "base" Aura XE while 18-inchers come on the Aura XR) and careful suspension tuning. The XR feels even sharper, thanks to its monotube rear shocks and better rubber.

On both trim levels, braking is confident, with a progressive pedal feel. Four-wheel discs with ABS are standard, while traction control is standard on Aura XE and StabiliTrak stability control comes on the XR.

Given the Aura's mission to take the brand upmarket, the marriage of its European-inspired driving feel to a choice of V6 powertrains probably makes sense in the short term, and the standard cylinder count is impressive for the price.

With their full feature load, attractive styling and confident driving experience, they're likely to find a good audience among mid-size sedan buyers looking for something distinctive.

I wonder, though, how Saturn retailers will explain the price differences between what look like, on paper, two engines that aren't significantly different in terms of displacement - and which are both more than adequately powerful for most needs.

A lower-priced but similarly-equipped four-cylinder XE model with a price of around $22,000 would be a killer combination for Saturn in Canada, where most of its import competition sells a higher proportion of fours than sixes. There

422 Posts
Rahn said:
Ok, whern I picked up my Sky today the dealer said they recieved two Auras with my car and I had to take a look. All I can say Saturn is really trying to change their image. This car is clearly competition for the Toyota Camry.....
That's a fair deal:

you get the Opel/Vauxhall Vectra from Europe and call him Aura

and we get the Sky RL from Wilmington and call him Opel GT :thumbs:

2,245 Posts

First 2000 Sr. Member
5,953 Posts
Ernest said:
I bought one and I am in my 3rd childhood:lol: :lol: See for yourself View attachment 5545

View attachment 5546
Ernest ,Ernest ,Ernest. According to all the laws of nature including all the sub -paragraphs, and such, we as humans are only allowed a second childhood. Now this is found in the HUMAN MANUAL page 428, paragraph 35, Sub paragraph 4. And IT states "Only two childhoods shall be given to each human." Now comes a question that you really need to ask yourself. Is this car Kathy's? And if so she is still allowed a second childhood. Please show her this post. Maybe when I come see yall she will cook me some good chicken....Skip...Resident ******* and reader of life MANUALS...:cool: :cool: :cool:

4,329 Posts
You got it buddy, or haw about a Texas size steak dinner? 22 ounces sound about right? Or sopme good old Mexican Food? Lots of Jalapenos, Cilantro, and of course my favorites Pico de Gallo, Queso & Guacamole!!!! OLE' The door is always open fer you buddy:thumbs:

10 Posts
I hate the stupid Onstar antenna in the front...

I have to say I HATE that they put the OnStar antenna on the front of the roof!!!! What were they thinking???? It takes away front the sweeping lines of the car. It would look much better on the back. I would decline the OnStar option due to the fact that the antenna looks so misplaced on the front. What you you guys think?
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