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Midsize Sedans 2.0



  • yankeryanker Posts: 156
    They do charge and how $263. I caught on to the brakes by checking the customer observations on I think MSN autos. A huge percentage of Honda owners reported brake problems on the 03. They made it right though.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,210
    Some people might be willing to take the plunge after one "turnaround year," but I'm not one of them with Ford's weak warranty; I'd rather get a GM!

    The only difference between Ford's Fusion and GM's Malibu or Aura warranties is that GM will give you more miles to use in those 5 years on the Malibu and Aura.

    Since the average is 12k miles per year for any of these cars it's kind of useless and really only sounds good on paper when you really think about it. The number of people who can actually use those miles is pretty darn small. Ford also included '06 Fusions purchased after a certain date. It was a nice gesture by them and shows their confidence in current products. IIRC GM did not roll their warranty back for the Malibu, Aura or anything else.
  • auraownerauraowner Posts: 7

    what did you like most about it? Or better yet, what ways did you find it superior to other cars you shopped for. what surprissed you the most?

    First some background because I think it's important to know where an opinion is coming from. I'm not a car guy. I'm 52 years old. I spend a lot of time stuck in Southern CA traffic. I buy a car, keep it for years, and pay little attention to the industry until it's time to buy again. My last two purchases were new Accords, 1986 and 1998. I looked at no other cars.

    I went shopping with the following criteria in order of importance:

    Less than $25k
    Quiet ride
    six cylinder engine
    exterior/interior style
    value for the money

    I paid $22,845 plus tax/license for the Aura. For that I got a 252hp V6 engine, six speed auto transmission, 18 inch alloy wheels that look great, 4-wheel ABS disk brakes, stability control, front, side, and rear-side passenger airbags, a 200-something watt stereo with 8 speakers that sounds very nice, iPod integration with an aux input, OnStar, and a beautifully styled exterior and interior car. Just as important, I was able to get what I wanted without having to get other stuff I didn't want like XM radio, faux wood interior trim, leather seats and a sunroof. Aura has a five star safety rating.

    The Aura's ride was the quietest and most refined of all the cars I tested. It's not like a Buick, but it doesn't ride as hard/loudly as the Mazda or the Accord. It's a perfect combination (for me) of road feel and quiet comfortable ride.

    When I set out on this trek, I was sure I wanted a Camry because of its well deserved reputation for reliability and quiet ride, even though I never did warm to the new (or older) design. I will say though, that the current exterior design is better looking than the previous generation.

    I prefer the Aura's exterior styling to the Camry's styling and I was immediately turned off by Camry's center dashboard. It looked cheap (especially that plastic door that hides the Aux port for the iPod) and I didn't like the style/coloring of the radio and climate control stuff. 100% subjective opinion. Others may disagree. Different strokes for different folks.

    Camry had a nice quiet ride, but I couldn't get past that ugly dash. A comparably equipped Camry would have cost thousands more than the Aura.

    The current generation Accord is at the end of its life which was one of the reasons why I never seriously considered it. When the 08 model comes out I may regret that decision, but I doubt it. The spy photos I've seen on the internet haven't caused buyer's remorse. Honda just doesn't build quiet rides in the Accord.

    The Mazda had the same problem: too hard/loud and it's style-challenged to my eye. But I loved the wagon's styling. That's a very cool looking car, but it's not a sedan.

    I liked the Fusion but it just lacks the panache that the Aura has. I really like the exterior design, but the interior left me uninterested and the model I drove didn't have an aux connector or the salesman couldn't find it. Having drooled at the Fusion's I've seen in traffic, this was second on my list of cars to test. They have an eye-catching design.

    What surprised me most about the Aura was how great a value it is. It's a great package. It does a lot of things well for a very good price. The other thing that surprised me was that I could be won over to an American car on its merits alone. The $2,250 in incentives played no part in my decision to buy. I would have gladly paid MSRP (no haggle pricing still in effect at Saturn).

    Before seeing/driving the Aura XR, I never dreamed I would buy it. I had to force myself to even consider it so great was my bias against American nameplates. Things have changed. GM is building some great cars now. Based on my experience, I'm convinced that there is a gap between the quality of these new models and buyers' perceptions which presents an opportunity to get a great car at a value price.

    GM is certainly aiming at the Japanese buyer with the Aura, but the car is more aligned with European imports. It is in fact, an Opel Vectra, a German car made in Kansas City. The Saab 9-3 shares the same platform as well. The interior design more closely resembles my friend's Audi than any of the Japanese imports I considered and it's ride is more like a Euro sports sedan.

    All the cars I tested are fine automobiles. You can't go wrong purchasing any of them. It's hard to make a bad decision in the mid-sized category any more because the cars are so good. The Aura met my objective and subjective requirements. It was a no-brainer.

    If you're considering a Japanese import with a six cylinder engine, I would encourage you to consider the Aura. It's an incredible value and a fine car. My wife drives a 2007 Nissan Maxima for work. She has always owned Japanese imports. She thinks the Aura is superior in every way to her Maxima with the exception of power which she thinks is a tie.

    Ultimately, deciding on a particular car is an emotional experience dependent on many factors which differ for all of us. The Aura and I just connected. Your mileage/criteria may vary. And that's OK.
  • thenebeanthenebean Posts: 1,124
    zzzoom6 - sorry for the late reply - was out of town for the weekend!

    drove a little more in the 9-3 sportcombi today. plenty of power - maybe a little more body lean than i'd like - but i bet the Aero would be better in that regards. its a slushbox, and i much prefer to row my own i dont really like the transmission - but im not being subjective on that :P

    all in all - its a really nice car for what it is. we own a 9-2x Aero (2005) and we love that too (though its really a WRX wagon - we call it the saabaru!)

    -thene :)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,665
    But you don't need reasons to have an opinion. That's why they're so handy....
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Great review - spot on! I ended up with the Accord SE, which is much like the Aura XR package. They gave me a better trade-in and about the same or better discount off sticker when compared to Saturn deal. I slightly prefer the cornering and ride of the Accord, though the Aura does handle well. As for power, the Aura is like a rocket. Accord is good too, but Aura is great and the 6 sp. transmission with the paddles works well. The Aura seems a little smaller inside though. Seems like my knee hit the center column easier - just tighter feel overall. Do NOT like emergency brakes on the floor. Do like the DOHC 3.6 engine - lovely engine indeed. Steering is good - still prefer the slightly heavier Accord steering. The door window sills could be a tad lower on the Aura. I bet the New Accord for 2008 will have the too tall door syndrome as well. Overall though, the Aura is a pleasing car. I also like the Cadillac CTS and would not pass on a Corvette if someone gave me one. Can't think off hand of other offering from GM at the moment which seem like winners in the car World, but perhaps another one will come to mind by tomorrow. The New Malibu will be a possible sucess and suck some sales from Aura. Currently the good, but not great XE Aura, I think takes away some luster from the New Saturn - New Aura image. But, as always, IMHO. The XE is NOT A BAD car, it is just something I think was not the thing to do, as it takes away from the more upscale image of Aura vs. the G6, vs. the New Malibu. The New Malibu, BTW will have the sexiest interior.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Great post!! Exchanging this kind of information is what makes this discussion helpful to those in the midst of making a purchasing decision. Thanks for your contribution. Enjoy your new ride! :)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I, for one, am surprised that the Saturn/Opel Aura doesn't get more ink in this forum. Also impressed with all aspects of the car (the XR) and particularly the 3.6, although I felt the interior fit and finish and egronomics a smidge below some of the 'Japanese' competitors. Would be interested in your continuing observations on the car (FE?) as I look to replace a 4 year old Altima 3.5 I own. Like you perhaps, my biases definitely runs towards the 'Japanese' side of things if only because of the great service I get out of them and some of those great V6s available, but this particular GM car is one that just might lead me to break a long tradition. Saturn, BTW, will also be 'importing' another Opel design shortly to replace the Ion although FWIU it will be saddled with the 'Ecotec' 4 banger.
    What I find difficult to understand is that we have 3 large mfgrs based in this country, all of which are in supposed financial difficulties, and only one of them seemingly can produce a car truly competitive in this segment. More and better choices especially from a car built in this country by a US based mfgr. would be a good thing!
    Don't know if the Aura is quite strong enough to get me off the last 3 Altimas I've bought, but a serious contender. Enjoyed your 'evenhanded' review, don't be a stranger here :)
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,665
    and only one of them seemingly can produce a car truly competitive in this segment.

    Just because YOU don't like the Fusion doesn't mean it's not competitive.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,823
    A reporter would like to speak to owners who purchased a Honda or Toyota but didn’t consider purchasing a domestic vehicle (specifically Ford or GM vehicle). Please respond to no later than July 24, 2007 with your daytime contact information.

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  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    I agree the Aura looks great. 18" wheels tho? Check out the prices of replacing those. MPGs could be an issue, as it seems to be with GM. I'd like GM to do well in this sector. My apprehension with GM tho is how their cars will perform after 4+ years and 80,000+ miles on them. Lucky for me, folks like you will provide that answer to me down the road with your purchase today.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    akirby - have said several times that I don't believe the Fusion is competitive simply because of what's under the hoods - something I also believe is easily confirmed by just reading the engine/FE specifications (and a test drive). Obviously an opinion nonetheless, that you Ford folks must take personally for some reason - you'll note that I purposely didn't mention the Fusion in this post because that is not what the post is about, it was about what appears to be a really good effort by a different 'Detroit' mfgr.. If it was Ford that had the 3.6 instead of the Saturn, I would be talking about it in the same sort of terms as the Aura, believe it or not. Go out and drive the XR, other than some untamed torque steer (kinda like my wife's Altima) you will find a wonderfully powerful car that also manages to be smooth and quiet - the way it should be.

    I think that it will be the 08 Malibu (because it should be a marginally cheaper and higher volume model) that will establish a 'Detroit' benchmark in this class, and it is better for all of us, the autoworkers, and this country in general that both it, the Aura and even the Fusion do well.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,665
    My point is the Fusion is very competitive from an overall standpoint. The fact that it doesn't meet your requirements doesn't make it uncompetitive.

    I could just as easily say the Accord, Camry, Aura and Sonata are not competitive because they don't offer AWD but that would be silly.

    Why can't we use phrases like "I don't like" or "doesn't meet my needs" instead of "not competitive" or "not as good"?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I could just as easily say the Accord, Camry, Aura and Sonata are not competitive because they don't offer AWD but that would be silly
    yes, you could, and not be 'silly' at all and probably generate a more meaningful discussion on whether the benefits of AWD are worth what you pay for it at the gas pumps.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,665
    It would be silly because not everyone wants or needs AWD, just like not everyone wants or needs a 260 hp V6 or stability control or navigation or a hybrid or Sync - etc. etc. etc.

    What's good or not good or competitive or not competitive is an individual, subjective decision based on personal preferences and is only meaningful based on a specific set of requirements.

    Everything else is just arguing that accomplishes nothing.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "just like not everyone wants or needs a 260 hp V6"

    Yes, but if it comes with equal or better fuel economy why wouldn't you want it?

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    As I could say the Aura is not competitive in this class because it comes only with a V6, and not a more fuel-efficient and lower-cost I4. But that would be silly. It's clearly competitive in the subclass of mid-sized V6 cars. And the Fusion/Milan are fully competitive in this class. Tops in class? Highly debatable. But competitive? Certainly.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Well it competes - it just can't win. The Fusion is a good car, but not as good as the best.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,665
    Apparently it wins 12K-15K times every month.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Yes, but if it comes with equal or better fuel economy why wouldn't you want it?
    exactly, but maybe we should add 'sound and feel good doing it'?
    My wife pulls 25-26 mpg overall out of her 03 Altima 3.5, I pull a bit better than that out of my slightly heavier, bigger, and more powerful 05 Avalon - if we can have our cake, let's enjoy eating it as well!
    It all boils down to engine efficiencies and sophistication - those cars that have those kind of things are 'competitive' those that don't aren't. And I personally can't understand anybody that somehow wouldn't 'care' or FTM would take less when more is certainly available for about the same (net) costs.
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