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Saturn Aura

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  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    Please be sure to share your purchase experience in Saturn Aura Prices Paid!

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • I took my 2006 Jetta TDI to a big Saturn dealer here in the Pittsburgh, Pa area and traded it on a Aura EX with one option, the 8 Way Power Seat with Lumbar and Steering Wheel Controls and Heated Outside Mirrors with sticker of $20,970. I wrote a check for $795 and now own the Aura free and clear. They gave me exactly $1000 more for the VW than a VW dealer would on a comparable priced VW model.

    I know all about the Hondas and other comparable foreign cars but wanted to buy strictly American for a change. I have no stability control like the VW had and don't really care. I have been licensed to drive since November of 1967 and know how to drive in Pennsylvania winters minus all the fancy new gadgets we all of a sudden can't live without.

    I feel Saturn made money of course and I did ok as well, no regrets and being the Aura is going to mostly sit in my garage, I hope to have it for at least a decade and probably a lot longer. To me it’s a BIG car, bigger than I drive everyday anyway.
  • rysterryster Posts: 517
    "If you think $26k is too much for a midsize car than perhaps you need to recalibrate your expectations. These days $27k doesnt get you into another class by any means. Aside from the TSX and a few others, there arent many luxury branded cars available under $30k. The Altima, Camry, Impala, etc. all cost over $30k with all the options checked off. I believe a loaded Altima is over $32k and by comparison the XR's price is very reasonable. 10 years ago $25k was the price ceiling for most midsize cars but increased technology and power means that family cars are approaching entry level luxury prices.

    They priced the Aura GL at $22,700 which is about $1700 more than the XE model but I think the GL has more standard equipment. "


    A fully loaded '07 Impala LTZ (all options) can be had for $26K when you consider the current incentives and the usual dealer discounts. The LTZ Impala is the closest match to the XR.

    A fully loaded XR (all options) would be $26K after incentives. When the panoramic sunroof is chosen the XR goes up another $600.

    There are some bargains to be found in the marketplace if you are willing to give up some things. For example, if you want an Impala with the 3.9L engine but no leather, you could choose the 3LT and choose every option except leather. The price with incentives and dealer discounts would be around $24K, which is very reasonable for a midsize/large sedan.
  • Before ordering my new 2007 Saturn Aura XR (love this car, will save for 2008 purchase), what is the best way to get the 18 inch standard ultrabright alloy wheels changed for 18 inch chrome wheels, as part of the order ? I think the upgrade would be worth it considering it is within my price range. Or should I just arrange with the salesman to sell me after market 18 inch chrome wheels or get the standard 18 inch wheels electrocoated with chrome if that is possible ??
    Also what is the best navigation system I can put in this car that you guys would suggest ? I saw a full color screen Garmin Navi (it is a removable handheld) for $600 at Best buy, is there a better navigation system out there? what would you suggest for this car ?
    I drove this car today, she has exactly what I have been looking for, speed with good gas mileage (20/28) and great price $26K. The salesman warned me the prices would be going up, doubtful knowing the situation GM/Saturn is in right now, they better keep the price right where it is considering the Toyota Camry got best car of the year and beats the Aura's 0-60 mph rating at 6.3sec, toyota 6.0 sec. see Jan.2007 Motor trend magazine. I will stick with the Aura solely based on price. If they raise it, it is off my list of cars to consider purchasing, depreciation is too great even though it is a great car. They will compete and beat the competition considering all factors if they keep the price where it is.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    DO NOT get the wheels chrome plated. Would be very expensive and chrome would not hold like original ones.

    Buying from the dealer will probably be expensive but ask. they might be able to swap from another car. They also may have a program to do what you want through the accesory program.
  • The reason why the Aura, and progressively fewer and fewer GM makes and modes, do not offer a traditional (i.e. a screen, buttons, voice activated combo gizmo in the dash)is that the new generation of integrated radio/CD/MP3/Aux-in/XM/Onstar gizmo provide a better navigation solution for many users. The basic Onstar package of tracking, emergency notification, and satellite phone with linkage to you cell phone account (if you have Verizon) also includes an amazing turn-by-turn navigation scheme that uses voice recognition and directions combined with simplified graphics that temporarily/periodically override the two-line radio dot-matix display with guidance arrows and icons. Rather than pay >$2k for a nav system that most folks use a few times a year and, regardless of claims to the contrary, require you glance at the screen and poke some virtual buttons on the screen and thus present a driving hazard due to driver distraction. The Onstar merely requires you to press on button and then speak to the operator to select your destination. The operator interacts with their up-to-the-minute route database, including current traffic and weather modifiers, and then the route is downloaded and stored in your car's computer and integrated display. You can activate the route immediately or postpone for later use (it is stored), and then the system tracks you position versus the route and gives you turn-by-turn (including a preliminary overview if desired) direction and graphics on the radio display head. Pretty neat, and much cheaper and safer the the gizmo-in-the-dash schema. The system is free for one year and then about $12-17/month depending on the level of service desired.

    Check it out at Onstar.com (the have an interactive demo).

    Todd
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    Sounds better now that someone has explained it. But a question popped into my head......Does GMs new system have the little features like the more traditional NAV systems i.e. nearby dining, theatres, fuel stations and the like?
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Yes but even better. You just ask the person and they look them up for you and then can download the data for the place you want to go.
  • Not in same way that an onboard navigation unit with database can display choices (which may be out of date, by the way - unless you pay for an update service).

    You can ask the OnStar operator to locate a certain type of establishment in a selected area, and then the directions can be downloaded to the car's computer for subsequent use.

    For a higher monthly fee OnStar offers a "concierge" service where you can just bark orders for just about anything you want arranged or done for you; it just cost more, and you have to have a credit card setup so they can charge goods and services in your behalf. I guess this feature would appeal to big shots and/or folks with plenty of money and not much time to spare.

    Functionally, the OnStar navigation feature gets the basics done very nicely, but there is not much WOW factor in showing it off to the neighbors compared to those cool looking color LCD Nav displays. For me, the 4th generation OnStar stuff was an unexpected and somewhat under appreciated bonus that came with new Aura.
  • dehg7019dehg7019 Posts: 2
    On start-up with temperatures below 60 degrees, my Aura with 4,000 mi emits a strange noise. Sounds like low rev jet engine whine. It is affected by radio on/off, turn signal on/off, even opening/closing door. Within a few minutes noise goes away. Local service dept. does not know what problem is and called Saturn engineer who claimed it was caused by electric power steering motor. Illogical to me since noise is in passenger compartment, not engine area. No solutions have been offered. ANYONE HAVE THIS PROBLEM OR A SOLUTION? Overall, I really like this car.
  • Honestly, why not just get a minivan for a few years? Or take a look at the Saturn Outlook.
  • tncarmantncarman Posts: 82
    How many Aura's has Saturn sold in the past few months? Im just curious to see...
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    They don't use electric assist steering in the Aura.
    -Loren
  • trauppiustrauppius Posts: 31
    The power steering pump thing is a red herring as the XR uses a hydraulic power steering pump instead of the GM Magnasteer as used on the Malibu and G6. This does not sound like a normal (i.e. just ignore it, they ALL do that) type of thing. Something is going on here.

    I am an aerospace systems engineer with an electrical/electronics background and it my first impression is that you are hearing some form of acoustic resonance artifact resulting from some form out-of-spec performance by the alternator/regulator. This would explain the change in tonal character as you vary the electrical load (lights, radio, etc.).

    I suggest you ask your Saturn guy to listen carefully in and around the alternator when the car is cool/cold. As the engine bay and electrical loading on the alternator raise the temperature the sound probably fades away.

    If the problem cannot be isolated perhaps you can take some comfort in the 3 year/100K bumber-to-bumber warranty. If the conditions worsens, and it may be an indication of a developing failure, then it will be GM/Saturn's problem to resolve to your satisfaction. You may also want to contact the Saturn regional Customer Center and see if they have heard of anything like your problem. Auras are fairly new and the maintenance patterns/problems/legends are just beginning to take shape.

    P.S. I have been enjoying my XR for about 4 months now, now problems so far.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    not many. They sold less than 4000 last month which is less than half the total of Malibu or G6 sales for the month. I dont know why this car is selling so slowly, Saturn better find a way to market this vehicle more effectively. I really think they need to do some Fusion like direct comparison marketing. The Aura is superior to the Fusion and yet Ford is the one that has the guts to compare their vehicle to the Accord and Camry. Aura sales should probably be a good 20% higher right now based on the strength of the product.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My wife is just about done with the whole minivan thing and is finally looking at getting herself into car again for the first time since 1998 (errr, except for several months in 2003 when my badly broken leg meant that she got my 530i 5-Speed and I got the minivan). Currently the Camry, Accord and Aura are the top three on her short list. We'd prefer to avoid the Camry and Accord if at all possible, however, she prefers being able to stir her own gears, and unless I'm missing something, the Aura cannot be had with a stick. True, false?

    If that proves to be true I'm having a difficult time figuring out why. The Aura's main competition can be had with a stick, and every Opel I've ever rented in Germany has had a stick as well. Why oh why would GM not cover their competition, especially as the Opel version of the car almost certainly offers a stick over in Europe?

    Geez, other than the FWD nature of the Aura (which annoys me to no end, but her not so much), the lack of a manual transmission is the only other fly in the ointment for what otherwise looks like a well executed car.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Actually the Camry only has the 6 speed manual avialable on the 4 cyl. only.

    And since the Aura only had a V6 then you are out of luck if you wanted a 4 cylinder with Saturn. Then again if you wanted the V6 you are out of luck at both Saturn and Toyota.

    similar on the Accord but you are able to get the manual with the V6 if you get the top of the line Accord.

    The market for manuals in this country is pretty slim. Anymore the 5/6 speed autos can do as well as or better with gas mileage than a manual so MPG is not a reason to buy one.

    I guess the market for "sporty" midsize FWD sedans with manuals is small. Of course it does make sense with the low end since you can save some money?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Personally I could care less if a car gets better mileage and/or has better acceleration with a slushbox. Both my wife and I prefer driving manual transmissions. Period, full stop, the end.

    Regarding the Camry and the Accord offerings with a manual gearbox, the transmission is in our mind far more important than the engine. That said, she'd probably opt for the larger engine, all else being equal (except price of course).

    My point was to say that since the Opel version of the Aura is most likely already being offered with a manual gearbox, it's not like GM has to spend millions of R&D dollars to develop one for the car. Given that their competition is already offering them, why would they not? Dumb.

    We'll be doing some test drives in coming weeks and it remains to be seen if the Aura XR's basic goodness will be enough to overcome her desire to have a stick. Current odds only give the Aura a 30% chance of success.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Well I would think the Astra will have a stick version, but I doubt the Aura will ever have one. Ya never know. The XR has the paddle shift, which may work OK for holding the gears while on those country roads, with more spirited driving. It is never the same as a stick though, so if your heart is set on shifting, you'll have to find a car with the clutch. As for power, the XR is fine. The automatic seems like a good one. There is simply not the demand for sticks these days, so I doubt a shift version would sell all that well. The Astra, with a turbo, and aimed at the younger segment, may have a stick with all engines available, would be my guess. It is a smaller hatch car though, so perhaps not what you are looking for.

    As for automatics, I just bought a car with a 5 speed, and I love it for most driving I do. For those times when I want to stay within a three gear range, I have a D3 for using just the three gear range. And it seems to NOT be shifting mid-term within a turn. If I get the urge to shift again, I will get a sports car as a second. For now, the power of a V6, mated with a good solid automatic is good enough. Automatics are no longer crappy as they once were. That said, it is fun to shift -- at least outside of town or city. Too many stop and go's around my area. The Aura XE I tested would not cut it for performance of those wanting for stick shift car, but the XR may. Your call on that one. As for stick shifts, I did own a Miata at one time, and it was the most pleasing stick shift I ever owned. And come to think of it, my first brand new car was an Opel Manta Rallye, so I indeed had the car you mentioned, a German Opel. At the time Opel was number one in sales, I do believe, though that was back in 1973. Loved the looks of the little coupe, even with what may seem odd; the light yellow color, with blacked hood and black side stripes. It actually out-handled the GT, which was the baby Vette look car.
    -Loren
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, the both the Astra and the Vectra (which is where the Aura traces its ancestry from, I think) are offered with a wide variety of engines and transmissions over in Europe.

    Regarding paddle shifting, ummm, gimmick, I don't get the point, no thanks.

    Mrs. Shipo drove both the XE and the XR (I only drove the XR, which was a fairly decent ride), and she opined that the slushbox just took too much from the smaller V6. It might could well be a fun car with a stick though.

    You're right about one thing, the tranny that Mazda has in the Miata and the one that they used to use for the GenII RX-7 were brilliant (an old girlfriend left her practically new 1984 RX-7 with me while she went off to get married, I drove the car from Chicago to her wedding in San Francisco and she paid for my plane ticket back home). Then there was my "Opel GT Winter". Another previous GF had left her (then) BF and flown home from SoCal to hang with mom for a while. In the end she decided to stay, and when I went up to L.A. to fetch her Opel GT from her old BF, things got a little ugly. The local constabulary finally managed to sort things out and without further incident; I took the car back down to San Diego with me. Once back in SD I had a chance to really enjoy that car for a couple of months until I had the time to drive it back to Detroit for her.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    If you want a manual you need to get an Accord or 6. Its that simple. The aura doesnt have one because most people dont want it and thats the way is going to be.The competition may offer manuals on V6 models but no one buys them. Go to a Honda dealership and see how many manual V6 models are on the lot. People arent even buying manual four cylinder cars much these days.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    "Regarding paddle shifting, ummm, gimmick, I don't get the point, no thanks. "

    Umm, the paddle shifters in the aura can shift the auto like a manual and it will not automatically upshift like the systems on other cars.
  • trauppiustrauppius Posts: 31
    I have found a few good uses for the paddle shifter manumatic mode in my Aura XR:

    1. Downhill engine braking; very helpful in hilly terrain, and the XE's D and L choices are not nearly as useful as the XR's choice of any gear. I find 3rd most useful.

    2. Low-torque startup under low-traction (snow) conditions. The XR has gobs of low and torque and the 1st gear is quite low resulting in poor grip/slippage at startup. The owner's manual recommends selecting M2 or M3 (2nd or 3rd) for startup in low-traction situations. If find this has worked very well for me in getting moving in the snow. The XE has less torque but does not allow you to manually preselect a high-gear start.

    The manumatic software for the 6-speed auto has recently been changed to soften abrupt downshifts when the transmission is burdened (i.e. uphill and low rpm). The fix also decreases the paddle upshift time by a few 10s of milliseconds and increases the torque converter clutch pressure for more positive shifts when under load and high rpm.

    One more thing, when in stop and go traffic I have found that using the manumatic+paddle-shift to hold onto 2-3rd gear and to startup in 2nd tends to keep the rpm lower and increase my fuel mileage in these circumstances. The added engine braking also makes it easier to coast (with engine drag/braking) and use less braking.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Manuals are becoming pointless these days. Some small cars get better mileage with autos than with manuals. On most cars the difference it about 1mpg these days.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ahh, I see that "Mr. Know-it-all" strikes again. :P

    Sorry to bust your bubble buster, but the manual is alive and well. Our local Honda dealership has quantities of both four and six cylinder Accords on the lot ready to be had. My informal count was that roughly 35-40% of the I4 models have a 5-Speed and an easy 20% of their full boat EX-L V6 models have a 6-Speed.

    As for the continued "need" for the manual transmission, since the dawn of the automatic there hasn't been a true "need" for them, and yet they persist. Why? Because many folks, my wife and I included, "want" them. Like it or don't.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • bdc2020bdc2020 Posts: 58
    I prefer a manual too - not because of MPG or because of 'fun', but because of costs. Very simple and not many things to fix. Replacing a clutch costs a lot less a bad auto transmission *usually*. I like simplicity. :) give me roll down windows too. :)
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    since you have all the stats how about you tell us what percentage of cars today are sold with manuals? I rarely see midsize cars with manuals today. In fact, even econo cars with manuals are becoming uncommon.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    That's not what this discussion is about. Check over in Auto News for a place to discuss.

    I saw an Aura at an auto show recently. Couldn't hardly get close to it because of the crowd around it!

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Interesting, as it doesn't seem to sell well. The looks to me is OK, but nothing overwhelming. Seems like a tight and solid car, with some handling and get-up-and-go. The XR really has the best sport feel to it, with a eager motor to pull the car along its way. As for looks, I am thinking the new Astra and the new Volvo hatchbacks will attract attention. Aura is pleasing enough, and rounds out the overall style theme well, but nothing stunning about it. The Altima I would think would gather more attention. I like my new Accord, as a good smooth design, like the Aura everything works well without being too pushy. Altima may be a bit much now. The Camry, other than the nose job, sporting a Bangle Butt, I am thinking may gather as much attention as the Aura, or more so. The Astra will be the Saturn to gather looks at shows, would be my guess. Aura is a good conservative style, which should last for some time. Not the in-your-face style of the Chrysler 300, which I bet got a hell of a lot of attention at shows.
    -Loren
  • trauppiustrauppius Posts: 31
    Saturn seems to selling much better lately. Please note below the February sales figures from the official GM website: Saturn is up 59.4% year-to-year, and the total sales actually exceeded Buick and Cadillac, while very nearly matching Pontiac.

    Not bad, and this portends the beginning of trend toward better vehicles, greater sales and, eventually, better resale value. The improving sales are not due to the ION, nor the Relay, but primarily reflect the Aura and Sky launches.

    Market Division Vehicle Total - February

    % Chg
    2007 2006 per S/D
    Buick 15,108 21,425 -29.5
    Cadillac 14,142 16,251 -13.0
    Chevrolet 187,088 177,710 5.3
    GMC 41,279 33,751 22.3
    HUMMER 4,177 5,645 -26.0
    Oldsmobile 0 92 ***.*
    Other - Isuzu 960 832 15.4
    Pontiac 24,563 29,107 -15.6
    Saab 2,221 2,787 -20.3
    Saturn 22,225 13,945 59.4
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