2007 Saturn Aura

Performance


2007 Saturn Aura Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2007 Saturn Aura was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

Reviewers are generally pleased with the Aura's power and mostly complimentary concerning the vehicle's handling. "It has a taut feel with good steering quality and an overall feeling that the brakes, suspension and powertrain are in agreement with each other," says New Car Test Drive

During a Car and Driver comparison test featuring the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Kia Optima and Chrysler Sebring, the 2007 Aura came in fourth place behind the Optima, Altima and Accord. Car and Driver test drivers praise the car's road handling in such a competitive class, and other reviewers find the same."The handling and steering feel were good overall but would benefit greatly from a more performance-oriented set of tires," says Road and Track. "The feedback from the brake pedal is good, but the braking system's decent stopping power could be a little better." Kelley Blue Book says the powertrain is "more than adequate and downright competitive." The Aura is also available in a hybrid model, the Aura Green Line. "The mild hybrid powertrain in this car is not particularly handy at acceleration or saving fuel," says Car and Driver. Fuel economy for all three engines is average. 

Acceleration and Power

The Saturn Aura is available in three models, each featuring a different engine: the Aura XE, Aura XR and Aura Green Line Hybrid. "One dimension of this eye-catching sedan that we wholeheartedly salute is the powertrain," says Road and Track. The Aura XE is equipped with a 3.5-liter, V6 engine with 224 horsepower, 220 pound-feet of torque and a four-speed automatic transmission. The Aura XR features a 3.6-liter, V6 engine with 252 horsepower, 251 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission. "Opt for the latter if you can," says U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman. "It's fiery and quiet, with plenty of acceleration.

" Acceleration was generally praised, but was another 'almost perfect' aspect of the Saturn Aura. "Although slower than the Altima, the Aura was still 7.7 seconds lickety-split to 60 mph," reports Car and Driver. Fuel economy estimates are average for the XE and XR models. "While the Aura boasts the most powerful base engine in its class, the lack of an available four-cylinder engine means a lack of four-cylinder fuel economy," says Kelley Blue Book. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the Aura XE earns 18 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Aura XR estimates are 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

The Saturn Aura Green Line has a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 164 horsepower, 159 pound-feet of toque and a four-speed automatic transmission. "Like other hybrids, the Aura Green Line is designed to drive like a regular car," says About.com. "It saves gas by shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop and charges the hybrid battery pack through regenerative braking technology. When more power is needed, the electric motor/generator can supplement the gas engine." EPA estimates the Aura Hybrid earns 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Handling and Braking

Aura XE and XR models come with power rack-and-pinion steering. "The rack-and-pinion steering offers some good feedback from the road, but it's communicating in whispers," says Edmunds. "For one thing, the Aura's firm, accurate hydraulic-boosted power steering feels better and is more precise than the electric power steering assist in the base Malibu," says MSN.

Several reviewers tested two or all of the Aura models. "The XE has good handling, but the XR is more responsive," says MSN. "Some may go for the XE's slightly softer ride. But the XR's tauter suspension isn't uncomfortable, even on poorly paved roads." Others did not notice changes with the suspension. "Little difference in suspension tuning between XE, XR, and Green Line," says Consumer Guide. "All have firm but agreeable ride. Body control generally good, though our testers noted some jiggle and body drumming on rippled surfaces." All Aura models feature an independent McPherson-strut front suspension with a hollow stabilizer bar and a four-link independent rear suspension with a solid stabilizer bar. "The fully independent suspension splits the difference between ride quality and handling, both of which are quite good," says New Car Test Drive.

The Aura XE, XR and Green Line come standard with four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and dynamic rear proportioning. "The anti-lock all-disc brakes felt good, with a progressive pedal action for smooth stops," they say.

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