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Saturn Aura Real World MPG



  • It used 30.08 gal of 87 octane for the 910 miles. I think this equate to 30.25 MPG.
    The formula is keep tire pressure close to 40 PSI, the tires are rated MAX 44 PSI so this is quite safe. Add an engine oil additive like Dura Lub, Slik 50, or any other additive with PTFE

    Wow, 30 MPG! I am getting 27 mpg in my XR going 25 miles one way to work and back. Do you really think that the additives are making the difference or the tire pressure? Also, why do you suppose the manufacturer recommends 30 psi and no additives?


  • Wow, 30 MPG! I am getting 27 mpg in my XR going 25 miles one way to work and back. Do you really think that the additives are making the difference or the tire pressure? Also, why do you suppose the manufacturer recommends 30 psi and no additives?

    My on-board computer said I got 27.8MPG for the trip, so you can't believe it, monitor the gas and miles and do the math for accurate MPG. I drove for MPG so I was easy on the go peddle, resisted the urges to pass everyone, and used the cruise control as mush as possible. When going uphill I used the manual mode and dropped to 5th and slowed my speed to mid to low 70's.

    I have used these PTFE additives for a long long time (about 1980) and every time it has proven to me to give more H-P, better MPG and longer engine life. The only car I ran Mobile 1 in was a turbocharged sport coupe and that was because of the hi-temp oil cokeing problems turbo's have.

    The Tires say max PSI is 44 so for best traction and mileage/wear you want to run them at about 85-90% cold of that Maximum.
    Several things happen when you do this.
    1. The tires run cooler so tire pressure stays closer to the cold setting. Blowouts occurs most often to under inflated tires because the hi temp form scrubbing more tread on the pavement causes the air inside to expand much more.
    2. The tires stay flatter on the ground when cornering and provide a more secure ride on those fast mountain roads. I used to race auto-cross and I found that running 50 PSI gave me the best traction in the corners. The runs were too short to cause tire failures at these hi pressures, but a long trip could cause tire failure.
    3. The ride gets hard, not as comfortable, when pressures are higher than the car manufacturer recommends. In the case of the Aura, I think one of two reasons for the 30 PSI recommendation is a nice soft ride and the second is the pressure is actually the recommendation for the 16 inch 65 series tires. When you go to a lower profile you need to increase the pressure or risk damaging the rims and tires when you hit those nasty bumps and cracks on the interstate.

    I am extremely happy with the ride and handling I get with my tires at 38-40 PSI. And there doesn't seem to be any wear on them at all with over 14000 miles.

    Hope this helps
  • Thanks for all the information.

    One more question:
    Do you get a Tire Pressure Monitor warning when your tire pressure is that high?
  • One more question:
    Do you get a Tire Pressure Monitor warning when your tire pressure is that high?

    No. The tire monitor doesn't warn of high pressure, just low, Mine has done this twice, both time the tire was about 25 psi due to a nail.
    I do get a report email telling me my tires are not inflated to the recommended 30 psi.

    I am not concerned about any excessive tire wear or unusual handling because of tires being inflated to 38-40 psi, especially for freeway driving. Just the opposite is true.

    Check it out for one tank of gas on your daily commute. Can't hurt to verify what I am saying.
  • Over the last 3 weeks I have driven 1150 miles. Last three tank fulls came to 40.2 gal.
    My trip computer said I got 26.7 MPG
    My calculations show it was more like 28.6MPG :shades:
    There was about 850 miles of freeway driving (50 - 80 MPH), the rest was city driving, short trips of 2-5 miles at 0- 40 MPH.

    I am totally stoked at this mileage in a 250 HP sedan. :)
    If one of those 4 bangers that gets 34 highway MPG could get 30 MPG combined would have saved about 2.5 gallons on the same 1150 miles, or $8.

    The savings of $7 per 1000 miles? That's $350 for 50K miles saved by the 4 bangers.
    Big deal :surprise:
  • Last trip of over 1200 miles mixed 800 highway and 400 city I averaged 26.8 in my 2007 Aura XR. Best leg was 29.9mpg (one 4400 foot hill with a 7-10% climb at 75mph).

    Not I-4 mpg but very good for a 3.6/252hp V6 I think.

    Anyone interested in some really good mileage? check pout this new car from BMW. I took this pix at a Palm Springs parking lot, notice the plate is from Canada :shades:
    imageSee more Car Pictures at">
  • I am on my third oil change which I got a few months ago at just under 9000 miles.
    I now have over 17000 miles and the DIC says I have 40% of my oil life remaining. At this rate I will be over 12000 miles on this oil change. The only thing I have done to the oil was replace one quart of oil with one quart of Slick 50.

    Anyone else experiencing this kind of oil life according to the DIC in their Aura?

    Anyone using Mobile 1 and if so are they getting unusually long oil life according to the DIC oil life meter?
  • Arent you putting your engine warranty at risk?
  • No, not at all.
    To maintain the warranty I need to change the oil when the DIC indicates I am within 10% of the oil life.
    I have just been reading of other GM owners that are getting very high mileage between oil changes according to the on board oil life computer.
  • That sounds car doesnt have that feature despite having every toy you can imagine. Should you have an engine problem...I wonder how they would know if you changed the oil as you're supposed to. Mine has 3 months or 6 depending on usage. The mileage is 3K or 7.5. I have decided to do the Mobil 1 thing and go with 6 months or 6K miles depending which comes first. My car does very little in city driving.
  • Anyone else experiencing this kind of oil life according to the DIC in their Aura?

    I have 6800 miles om my XR, 30% life left according to DIC. This next change will be my first. I have not done anything to my oil.

    So I am in unchartered territory here with going so long without an oil change.....
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    Have your dealer check the tranny to see if its working correctly. I went through this with an 01 Chrysler Sebring that was getting horrible fuel economy. I kept telling the dealer that the car was running way too many RPMs at interstate speeds. Finally they discovered a glitch in the tranny's controller that never let it go into overdrive, or, engage its lock-up clutch. After it was finally fixed, the car's fuel economy jumped about 10 MPG.

  • Me and my wife have been looking for a new vehicle to replace our old 1993 Saturn, with 220,000 repair free miles. My wife was looking at the Honda Civic, which gets an estimated 30+ MPG. after test driving a 2007 Aura 3.5 V6, with its comfortable ride and awesome power. We are now considering the Saturn. We have got so many conflicting answers from current Aura drivers on their MPG. Is there anyone out there that has truly checked there MPG that can give me a more realistic answer, rather than the 14.5 MPG Hwy all the way up to the unrealistic 35+ MPG. I know that we can not compare the Civic to the Aura as far as power and MPG, but if the mileage is not to bad we would sure like to stay with a somewhat American Made Saturn. I know that if I pick the Saturn and it does not get decent MPG, I will never hear the end of it from my wife. Thank You.
  • jimmy-

    I have a 2007 Aura XR so it has a bigger engine and more HP than the 3.5 you are considering. I have had this vehicle for about 6 months now and I check and re-set my mpg with every fill up. I drive my vehicle to and from work and around town and I have been getting around 27 mpg overall. If I do a lot of "around town" driving, my mpg creeps down to around 24 or 25 mpg.

    I am very happy with my mpg especially considering the >250 hp V6 under the hood! For the money, you simply can't beat an Aura.
  • I have had my XR now for over a year, It has over 19000 miles and has never been in the shop for anything but oil changes. My last mileage post was #30. Since then I have been averaging 24 for our overall combined. For my money, I can't think of any other 4 door sedan with leather heated seats, a sun roof, and 0-60 acceleration about 6 seconds. All the passing power you can hope for (about 50-100 in 10 sec.) and it still gives 24 mpg average, and a best of 30 MPG on the highway at 80 MPH.

    I am a car guy and I have been driving since 62. The XR is the second most fun car I have ever owned (excluding the streetrod I built).

    You have to decide which is more important, mileage of performance fun, then pick the Aura that fits that need best.

    Good Luck
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    I just took my 08 Aura 3.5 on her first business trip. It was a 500 mile round trip - virtually all at interstate speeds (70 - 75 MPH). I gassed up twice. On the first tank I got 29.5 MPG. On the return trip I had the A/C on low, and, she got 28.7. I was running on hilly I-79 through WV and PA as well. The Tranny downshifted out of overdrive numerous times going up hills. I'm very pleased with the power and fuel economy the 3.5 gets.
  • I recently posted asking what the real mileage to be expected from a 2007 XE3.5 Aura. Since that post I have purchased a 3.5 Aura. I now know the real mileage. I have had the car for approximately 2 weeks it has 19000 miles. I have taken it on several hwy trips approximately 250 miles each way on open desert hwy. I drove the vehicle with the air on at 70 miles per hour. on my trips I climbed 2 small grades. My best mileage so far has been 25.5 MPG driving fairly easy. My trips around our desert town and to my wifes work 25 miles hwy driving with three stop lights have been 19.5 - 21 MPG. To say the least my wife was not to happy with the mileage, but loves the car. You have to consider that we now have a nicer more comfortable car with more power and safety I check MPG the correct way gallons used divided by miles driven. I do not make up MPG stories and I know that everyone drives different, which can account for my MPG. I hope to take a Oregon trip soon, which would be about 1100 miles each way. That should give me a more accurate Hwy Mpg. All and all I would not get rid of car its well worth the mpg difference for such a smooth looking handling vehicle. I thank all for your posts. God Bless.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Your MPG should improve after 5000 miles, and I check my mileage just like you as my computer does not have that feature on Optimas. Go figure.
  • I have 5K miles on a 2008 Aura XE 4cyl. I post all my fuel purchase records at
    I am seeing about 27 or 28mpg with mixed driving about 60% "highway" and 40% city. No long road trips yet to see what I get for highway only. It did improve fuel economy wise as it broke in and the weather warmed up.
    I am sure I could get slightly better if I could learn to keep off the gas, It is hard to not have a lead foot in this car it is so much fun to drive...
  • Normal driving to-from train station and errands on weekends. Not racing everyone at every light. Two oil changes so far using Mobile1.

    Aside from SUV-like MPG, occasional hum from the steering wheel pump (?) on tight turns, moon-roof rattles and an annoying Fuel Low message ... I love the car, first GM after owning two Mazdas and a Honda.


    DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Saturn or any other car company, and I do not derive my income from the sale of automobiles.

    - Think about that the next time you read a glowing car review posted just before the weekend.
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    I did a 300+ mile trip today in my 08 XE 3.5. The trip was all interstate, with two of us aboard, a trunk full of luggage, the a/c on, and the cruise set at 70 MPH. The car managed to average 32.1 MPG. I calculated the mileage maually during fill-ups - turns out my trip computer is a bit pessimistic.

  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Trip computers are always wrong. You have to calc. manual.
  • steelermansteelerman Posts: 36
    Trip computers are always wrong. You have to calc. manual.

    My DIC was within 0.5 mpg of the calculated mileage. Which one was wrong? - dunno, maybe both!
  • All tires now ~36 PSI, still averaging 15-16 MPG for 'round town driving.

    Long road trips, yes MPG on computer goto 22-23.

    Can actually see MPG drop 16.0 ... 15.9 ... 15.8 in stop-n-go traffic. Again, I'm conscientiously light on the pedal.

    Is there a "stingy" mode on the chip that controls fuel/air mixture?
  • With nearly 6k on my 07 XR, I finally got a chance at a road trip to see the hwy. mileage. Drove from the Cincinnati area to the Atlanta area with approximately 650 pounds of people and luggage. Had the cruise set to 80 whenever possible and averaged 25.7 mpg for the last 300 miles. This is a trip that has few straight stretches and much time was spent in the KY and TN mountains. This is very comparable to the 200 hp, 2002 Honda Accord EX-V6 that I used to own. It would do 26-27 mpg on the same trip. However, the extra room and 52 extra HP is certainly worth the slight mpg loss! :)
  • That's pretty good considering the hills.
    I continued to see improvements in MPG up through 10Kmiles so next time you take the trip, you might see another 1to 1.5 MPG improvement. I did.
    I am now consistently getting 29 on the Interstates that are pretty level. I have gotten 32 mpg@68-70mph on desert interstate with not much more that 1000 ft elevation changes.
    Definitely very satisfied with the mpg / performance.
    BTW I keep the LS2's @ 37/35 psi F/R which really helps the cornering and mpg.
  • bwolterbwolter Posts: 51
    I get good mileage from my 08 Aura 3.5. In San Antonio traffic I average 26-27. If I drive up to Austin, my average has reached 35. Coming back to San Antonio, it averages 32-33. I am very pleased with that kind of mileage. I'm posted an evaporator leak in another topic.
  • I took my first long trip recently, from Pittsburgh to Manassas Va. The car had 5300 miles on it, 37 psi in tires (warm), 55 degrees out, no A/C used. I took the mountain route, lots of up and down grades. I was in 4th and 5th gears climbing the hills and the same gears going downhill to keep off the brakes. I averaged 28.2 MPG over a 181 mile leg under those conditions. My average speed was just under 50 mph. I noticed that the transmission does not shift into 6th gear unless the car is going over 45 MPH. I made extensive use of the manual mode and the tap shifters on the hills. That way I could drop into 5th gear instead of having the auto mode drop into 4th gear from 6th. The result was that for the gentler hills, I never had to go to 4th gear. For the longer or steeper hills, I had to go down to 4th from 5th when appropriate. I was also able to go to 6th sooner than the auto mode would have upshifted me as I crested the hills. I kept forgetting that I had to upshift from the lower gears when in manual mode. A few times, I was stopped at a light in manual mode and the engine rev-ed high when the light changed and I did not upshift. I now put the transmission back into auto mode when I stop.

    Needless to say, I was very pleased with the mileage under those unfavorable conditions. On the next leg of the trip (57 miles) using freeways only and traveling 60 - 65 MPH, I averaged 33.6 MPH. I checked my speedometer using my GPS and it was 237.9 miles (car) and 237.2 (GPS). When I hand calculated my mileage, I found that the car's computer over estimated MPG by 3% or about 1 mph too high. Still happy with the results.

    On the return trip, I averaged 33.5 MPG on the expressway using the A/C this time, but saw the MPG fall off to 27.3 when I hit two lane highways, traffic and traffic lights (before 3% error reduction).

    I expect to get 34 MPG on level uncongested highways and accept that hills, traffic and lights must reduce this figure commensurate with the distance travelled under less favorable conditions.

    By comparison, my 2000 Chevy Venture van with a 3.4 - 4spd automatic, rarely hit 30 MPG on the trip computer which always read 5% high or about 1.5 MPG less true mileage. The difference was due to weight, aerodynamics and the engine/transmission efficiencies.

    When I feel that my MPG levels off, meaning that my engine is fully broken in, I will switch to synthetic oil to maybe get even better mileage. If you use synthetic too soon, you may not allow the engine to break in sufficiently.
  • I also would like to know if there is a "stingy" mode. My 4-cyl 08 only gets about 16-18 mpg in town. I've tried driving as gently as possible (getting honks from other drivers).
  • cwr64cwr64 Posts: 2
    I have the 2008 4cyl XE, 5K miles. Today finished a 2-way trip of 300 miles each way, 1 person aboard, light luggage, 95% on flat interstates at 70mph on cruise control, air temperature at 50-73 degrees. All tires at 30psi per the sticker. Going - 27mpg with premium gas. Returning - 26mpg with mid-grade gas. Calculated mpg - not the trip computer. I am very disappointed.
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