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Saturn Aura New Owner Reports

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Do you have a new Aura in your driveway? What are your initial thoughts?

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  • I am proud to say that I now have a Saturn XE in my driveway. It's Midnight Blue with the gray interior. Has Preferred and Convenience Packages as well as the premium floor mats. I leased my car on Wednesday, 2/21/07. My initial thoughts are wow. The styling is a knock-out and, with the dark blue, the car is very sophisticated looking. I previously had a 2005 Malibu Maxx (a platform-mate of the Aura, built in the same factory). I LOVED the layout of the car but had to constantly apologize for the exterior of the car and poorly executed interior bits. Not so with the Aura. This car has been thoughtfully finished and everything feels done to the highest level.

    Likes: Amber ambient lighting, comfortable bolstered seats, beautiful gauges, sophisticated Audi-like styling, excellent buying experience, large trunk, cargo nets on side of trunk, tambor door over cupholders, chunky and comfortable steering wheel, OnStar, A lot of car for the money, it suits me exaclty.

    Dislikes: There is no handle or indent for closing the trunk lid without touching the exterior paint, I should have gotten the leather interior as cloth doesn't match the style of the exterior, the nearest dealership is 15 miles aways (in Central Florida that equals an hour round-trip of just driving).

    Finally, the Saturn buying experience was incredible. Like many of you, I had heard about the Saturn way but I thought it was more marketing hype than reality. I was wrong. The experience was pleasant from beginning to end. Even the dreaded F&I office was pleasant. I am now slightly embarassed about how combative I was with the sales associate and F&I manager - behavior that I developed over the last 3 purchases that my wife and I have made in the last 4 years. I would recommend a Saturn for the buying experience alone - the excellent new products are a bonus.
  • ousous Posts: 6
    I got mine two days ago. An XE, loaded. Techno Gray. I love the leather interior, very comfortable and supports well. I have owned Chevy/Olds cars, vans and SUVs in the past. My last vehicle was a 2002 Trailblazer with 95,000 trouble free miles. I was worried about giving up so much utility on the switch from a SUV to a sedan but did it hoping my gas mileage would improve enough to make me forget the trade-off. I did a 600 mile round trip just for fun and only got 28mpg on dry roads so my fears might have been justified. My SUV got around 22mpg in the same road and circumstances. And with the small gas tank on the Aura, I stopped for fuel as often as the SUV. Bummer. EVERYTHING else on the Aura feels great. Fit, finish, road noise, handling and braking are excellent.
  • dehg7019dehg7019 Posts: 2
    I'm proud owner of '07 Aura XR - black with brown leather and every option. Car has just under 4,000 mi. Am experiencing strange noise at first start-up of day if temperature is below 60 degrees. Sounds like jet engine whine. Seems to come through speaker system, is affected by radio on/off, turn signal on/off, and even opening of door. This lasts for a few minutes and goes away. Dealer service department called Saturn engineer and was told it was the electric power steering. Illogical to me since the noise is in the passenger compartment; not the engine compartment. They offered no solution.
  • I've had my new XR for about 2 weeks now (Ocean Mist w/Black Leather) and have been loving it so far.

    Pros: -Interior is gorgeous with understatement reminiscent of Lexus
    - Car is insanely quiet, even at 80MPH
    - Great road feel, very little body roll in hard cornering.
    - Nice sound from factory stereo/speakers
    - Integrated phone with OnStar
    I'm happy GM has finally decided to become competitive!

    Cons: -Design of front air dam... I somehow managed to break the front air dam on some ice backing out of my driveway. Upon reading some forums, I found out that this is a fairly common occurance, even in the XRs with the 18" wheels. It's an easy fix ($145 installed at the dealership) but I anticipate having to make a few more visits for this flaw.
    -Torque Steer. FWD with a powerful engine, whaddya going to do?
    -Bit of groaning in the steering wheel when you go hard over in either direction. Dealer indicated that this is not abnormal for this model
  • white6white6 Posts: 588
    FWIW, Saturn's own literature states that the Aura uses hydraulic power steering, not electric power steering.
  • 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
  • I was all ready to buy an Impala LTZ. I figured the size and 3.9 L V-6 (233 HP???) was enough for an old hot rodder like me. Then I read this forum. Researched the Aura(s). I found it was the same size as the Malibu, Lexus ES330, Camry, Accord, etc. Then I say the Power train specs, the 4 or 6(?) speed choices. I read about the 3.6 DOHC 24 Valve VVT All Aluminum V6. The Corvette designed paddle shifters and 4 way tilt wheel. And on and on and on went the added or better features on the Aura XR.
    One driver of 3-4 miles and I opened the checkbook.
    This is the closest thing to an infinity or lexus you can get for under $30 grand.
    Thanks to all that write to this forum, I almost bought a Chevy.
  • Does anyone know what the "I" stands for located on the gear shift plate??? :confuse:
  • According to my owners manual (Aura 2007 Pg 120) The I is for "Intermediate" Read as second and third gear. The manual says if you are driving in a hilly area and the transmission needs to shift up and down to compensate for engine loading.
    The I position will allow the transmission to operate in a more efficient gear.
    With the XR, you have to shift to M and shift the car manually to get the most efficient operation.
    Hope this helped

    Aura XR owner for 3 days :shades:
  • This is a bit long, sorry. I don't know what the limits are for this forum. I hope you enjoy my first impressions.

    After getting acquainted with the car and adjusting the 4 way steering column and 8 way seat, my wife riding shotgun and I were ready to take our new Aura XR for its first test drive in the mountains. Ok, our San Jacinto Mountains of the southern California aren't real mountains but the roads will give me some idea of how the new Saturn Aura XR handles.

    As we approached the bottom of the hill on highway 74 out of Palm Desert a young man in an Acura 3.2 TL blew past us. I was going 60 in a 60 MPH zone so he must have been hitting 80. I figure I will see him again once he catches up with some slower traffic.

    As I approached the first corner I pulled the shifter back to "M." This sets up the manual shifting of the close ratio 6-speed automatic transmission. I double tap the downshift paddle on the right side of the steering wheel. This put the transmission into 4th gear and I lightly pressed the accelerator pedal, we feel a little press in the back as we power out of the first turn. I tap the downshift once more and accelerate quickly up the straight heading for the next turn. The low-end torque of this new GM quad-cam engine is, OMG fantastic.

    Left hand and right hand corners keep coming at us with little or no rest in between. I just drive around the corners at 15 MPH above the posted recommendation. It was extremely comfortable for my wife, who doesn't really like mountain roads. She was actually having a good time.
    I caught the Acura about three miles up the hill and he picked up the pace quite a bit. When we got to the passing lane, he took the inside line (I wanted the inside lane) so I passed him on the outside, hoping he would not lose control and take us both out. I was doing about 65 MPH through this series of corners starting with a right hand, 270 Degree, wide sweeper. When we exited the passing lane, the Acura was about 6 car lengths behind us. He made a charge on the straightaway so I tapped the paddle for 4th and accelerated away. We never saw him again.

    After lunch in Idyllwild, the road got very twisty going up over the summit. As I approached one corner I wanted to see just how good the "Stability Control and Traction Control really were so I just turned into the corner at 60 MPH. It was posted at 25 MPH but there was plenty of run off area so I wasn't afraid of bending the new car.
    Well, the car turned and stuck, the sand on the road made some funny noises under the 225-50x18 Goodyear Eagles, but that was all. The traction control handled the braking and the stability control took care of the lean and sliding and we came out of the corner in the middle of the lane at 45 MPH. I was skeptical that a computer and some brakes could do anything good, but I am here to tell you, IT WORKS, it really works.
    A few minutes later I warned my wife that I was going to do a brake test so hold on. On the next straight stretch I told her now and hit the woa pedal as hard as I could. No screech, no slide, no skid, it did put a tremendous strain on our shoulder belts and stopped. My wife looked at me and said wow! that was impressive. She had the biggest grin on her face, which made me a very happy man. I just said ABS :shades:

    When we hit the Interstate I hit the go peddal hard and held it there till the speed-o hit 80. We weren't off the uphill on-ramp yet. This car is supposed to do 0-60 in 6.4 and 95 MPH in the 1/4 mile. I believe every word of it. The only thing out of the ordinary was the tremendous feel of torque-steer, which will take some getting used to.

    That Quad-Cam, 24 Valve, V6, revs like a Formula 1 engine, to the fuel cut off at 7-grand. The power band never ends. From 2000 RPM to 6500 it pulls like mad. It was hard to tell where the torque started to drop and the horses started to build.
    The 6-speed makes use of every part of the power band like nothing I have ever driven before. You can't make a bad shift, unlike a standard gearbox, this one has a computer that determines if the shift will over-rev the engine or not, before allowing the shift you requested via the paddles. Shifts are snappy and quick, unlike the other GM automatics that have pushbutton shifting on the floor-mounted levers (like the Malibu, Pontiac G6) which shift whenever they feel like it after you press the button.

    Now I must say I have one complaint about this big 4-door sedan. It has the heart of a fine racecar, but it sounds like an old Buick. It needs some throat clearing so it can sing when the rev counter hits 4K-plus.
    The automotive writers got this one dead on, Car of the year. Maybe car of the DECADE?
    I can't wait till my next test drive. :shades:
  • bdubseebdubsee Posts: 15
    Is anyone else having trouble registering for the Saturn Owner Center on I have been trying to register for four weeks. I've e-mailed customer service and I get the standard "we're working on it". How hard is it really to give me access? <--Last question rhetorical. :mad:
  • Purchased my Saturn Aura XE a couple of days before Thanksgiving, 2006. Can't say enough good things about the car; color is Pewter Brown and absolutely gorgeous with a beige interior. What a classy vehicle. The smooth ride is what really turned me into buying this vehicle.

    If anyone is looking for a great looking vehicle, and not bad on gas - look into buying a Saturn Aura. The salesman and people at the dealerships are incredibly nice to deal with.

    Monetarily - ya can't go wrong either.
  • I have had the same trouble. Last week it said my VIN was not valid. Same thing this week so I sent the Email info. Maybe next week.
  • oldufferolduffer Posts: 1
    I'm pushing 70 and wanted something that rides smooth. Living in the Portland, OR metro area I travel along the I-5 freeway all the time and wanted a car that will get up and go and boy did I get the right one. After going to the Portland auto show we noticed most of the people at the Saturn expo and that is what turned me on to my first Sasturn. So I got on the internet and found the one I wanted under 25 grand and bought the XR midnight blue from one (Russ) of the only two dealerships in the portland area. I only have 1800 miles on her but i can tell this is some car for the money. I haven't run it up to the redline yet but will do it soon i'm sure when my wife isn't around.
    The only weird thing is that I have yet to see another 2007 Aura on the road. And why isn't there more advertising or dealerships here in the NW.
    I was told this is the same engine as in the Cadillac...3.6.
    Obviously I love my car as much as golf and it is way more foregiving.
    thx Saturn.
  • Good choice. I don't see many Aura's down here in golfers heaven either. Palm Desert is full of High end European hot rods. Every other car is a BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, or Lexus. They all are quick and the name of the game here is to be the first to the next stoplight.

    This XR really makes them wonder if spending 50, 60, or 100 grand was such a good idea.
    It'll go from 0-60 in under 6 seconds which is amazing for a car that you got for under 25k.

    One word of warning. When you do decide to "take it to the redline" Hold on tight to the steering wheel. The torque steer will just about rip it out of your hands in an attempt to make a right turn. For max fun, turn off "traction control" and use manual shift paddles.
  • bob919344bob919344 Posts: 29
    Just took Delivery this past Saturday for a New 2007 Aura XR fully loaded with EVERY option avail !!

    I was turning in a 2004 Caddy lease and was quite scared to " step down " i thought !!!!

    To my surprise......The car is GREAT !!! Drives Fantastic, Handles Great with 18" alloys, and has everything in it.. Lots of power, and drives awsome.

    After working for BMW for over 15 yrs in MGMT and driving a free 7 series car fro the last 10 yrs+ This is a Great car !! I considered a Camry Top line model and for the money this car beats it !!!! Really very surprised so far and NOT unhappy with my choice !

    Great car for the $$ .....gas mileage could be a bit better, but hope it increases as it breaks in.

    But for $360 less a month than my 2004 Caddy its a STEEL


    enjoy.....i sure am :)
  • andygrvandygrv Posts: 8
    My XR has about 4000 miles and is less than 2 months old. The engine has a slight knock when it idles. The dealer thinks that the engine is miss firing. The car has been at the dealership for the last 2 days.
    In addition, there is annoying ticking noise from the speedo meter when I hit the gas.

    Wondering if any one else had these issues?

    Second thoughts
    May be I should have bough a Toyota or a Honda?

    Still a little leery about GM quality.
  • phaetondriverphaetondriver Posts: 175
    I have 7K miles on my XR. No weird noises yet, TG.
    My experience says the knock can be: 1, bad spark plug/wire. 2, computer program glitch. 3, fowled injector from dirty gas/defective fuel filter.
    I would love to know what the dealers service dept. finds.
    Clicking from the Speedo? In the old days it would be a broken gear or bind in the cable form the trans to the speedo. Todays electronic gauges, No idea!

    Keep us posted
  • bob919344bob919344 Posts: 29
    My Aura XR is only less than a week old...All i can say is Toyota quality has slumped big time since turning up Volume!! SOmrthing that usually happens with any Mfg when they start to push out volume than quality. With high volume quality will always suffer with any car.

    I too was going to get the Toyota over the Aura, but after reading all the reviews, it pushed the Aura OVER the Toyotas now.. Give them a chance to fix it and hopefuly it will get repaired .

    I just retired from the Auto business from a major mfg of a high line German Auto maker and trust me...Plenty of problems with them too !! And many over $50K - $90K and lots of problems with many of them .. its called Volume over Quality, like i said before...

    GM is trying to get their BUTTS back into the driver seat and the Aura XR is a great car for the $ so far.. Hope my feeling does NOT change.

    good luck to you and your repairs....
  • Give the Saturn dealership a chance. I have a Saturn XE and it was the best all around deal that I could of gotten. I've had mine for six months. I've noticed when I put into drive, there is a little noise as I go off - I don't think its anything major. I had my husband test drive it, and he said there's no noise, so its in my mind, I guess. Anyways, give them a chance - and I'm sure they'll fix your car.
    I got the Pewter Brown color and it is gorgeous, light tan heated seats and a sunroof; its absolutely gorgeous and I get so many compliments on it. Best move I could of made. I leased it, so this way in three years, I'll either buy it outright or get a new one; whatever the mood and pocketbook strikes my fancy! I have yet to see another one around, I live in the Albany, New York area. If there's anybody out there in this area with one, give me a holler. Would love to get some feedback from a fellow Saturn lover! (XE, that is).
  • andygrvandygrv Posts: 8
    It has been over 4 days and the XR is still at the shop.

    The dealer can't figure out why the engine keeps is miss firing.

    I will keep you guys posted.
  • Hi, andygrv,

    You mentioned that "The engine has a slight knock when it idles" in your previous post. Does it mean when the car is stopped by hitting the break, your leg can feel some shaking on the break?

  • tracyvtracyv Posts: 3
    I have had the same issue with the steering noise. When turning hard to the right or left a loud whining noise comes from the engine compartment. Dealer also told me this is normal for this model. Did not seem to hear it on the test drive? Great I'm looking at 4yrs of dealing with GM about this. Also rear speaker cracks when listening to talk radio. Should have bought Toyota... GM is still GM :mad:
  • bob919344bob919344 Posts: 29
    I worked for Toyota and take a good look at the reviews from professional companties about the product lately.

    Reviews for Toyota product have gone down in the past couple years for the first time. This is due to mass production of their cars. Its the same old saying " Quality suffers when Quantity is first " . Thats whats happening with Toyota in the past couple years. They are only looking for Huge Volume in sales NOT quality as they once did. As many other manufacturers are doing too now. Great for them, not good for the customer who gets one of their bad cars.

    good luck....there is no Eutopia in a car made today, not even a Bentley or Rolls... They all have problems even when spending over $200,000 .

    We the public suffer for the huge numbers they are looking for Not the companties making the profits
  • carolb925carolb925 Posts: 3
    I'll never buy another one! My 2007 Aura XR has an idle stumbling problem. The dealer can't fix it and I'm stuck with a car that's miserable to drive. That's what I get for expecting something great from Saturn.
  • I have been working on cars for over 40 years and one thing I have learned is that no one dealer, mechanic, parts counter guy, or engineer can fix every problem every time.
    If the dealer you are taking the car to can't find the problem, it is not Saturns fault, it is not the cars fault, it is the mechanics fault. Take your car to another dealer or a reputable mechanic and have them run a diagnostic on it.
    You always have the lemon law to fall back on. If the problem can not be fixed in three attempts (may very depending on the state you live in), contact your regional GM office (number should be in your owners manual) and complain.

    In California, many new car owners have been give a new car because a problem could not be fixed in three or four attempts.
    Sorry to hear about the problem, but I hope this helps you get satisfaction.
  • carolb925carolb925 Posts: 3
    I didn't post enough of the details....

    The above link describes the Aura's idling issues and these were posted well before I bought my car. I'm sorry now that I didn't read up on it.
  • bob919344bob919344 Posts: 29
    THATS WHAT ITS FOR............


    most mfg try and avoid this by either replacing the car or buying you out of it to avoid going to court !

    check your state laws...sometimes you can
    do it yourself and not even get a lwayer
  • I'm so sorry you're having serious problems with your 2007 Aura XR. I've had mine now for about six months, I'd say and I'm so pleased with it. I'm sure (if nothing goes wrong) that after this 36-month lease, I'll get another one.
    What I don't understand is why doesn't your salesman go to bat for ya and get ya another car? My salesman and the owner of the place would never allow this to happen. something's definitely wrong with the manager of the place because SATURN, I've found stands by their cars 100 plus percent.
    I've never gotten more compliments on a new vehicle in my life and its a perfect running car!
  • carolb925carolb925 Posts: 3
    I hope nothing goes wrong for you and some of the messages make me think that perhaps this is something that can be fixed and I will get to keep my Aura and enjoy driving it one day soon.
    I get a lot of compliments on the appearance of the car. That all stops when we drive it.
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