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Saturn Aura New Owner Reports



  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    Good...........that proves it is a manufacturing flaw and not a
    design defect. That should make Rocker Panel repairs
    a warrantied item and therefore eligible for repair by SATURN .
  • Absolutely. The panels don't appear to be secured well to the body of the car.
  • bob919344bob919344 Posts: 29
    I too have a 2007 Aura XR with only 7800 miles on it..

    The front end sounds like its going to fall off when i hit any type of road bump or just about anything !! Sounds like struts are bad or bad CV joints to me !!
    Highway mileage is stinks !!!!! highway gets about 27+ , town only 17 average. thats not too good to me, my Caddy i turned in for this got better mileage.
    Interior is what it is.....a Saturn by GM " Cheep and flimsy and plastic " also the arm rest is so cheep and flimsy too

    not sure if i will ever get another one after this lease is up ??
  • texvettetexvette Posts: 12
    The front end noise is likely the grille/panel assy in the front, mine did the same thing and dealer corrected the problem.... as far as fuel economy..... regarding fuel economy,,,,, raise your tire pressure 2 pounds and you should get a 10% improvement..... I would also be interested in what vehicles in this price class do not use plastic... most of which is 'flimsy'.... I looked at Camry, Accord, Subaru, and all had the same attributes.... I have had the dash apart on mine to install some electronics, and must say the underpinnings of hte dash are substantial.. and the use of the electronics bus strucutre for the radio and other accessories is very advanced.
  • weezycomweezycom Posts: 8
    have discovered the first reason to take my Aura back to the dealer. The trip odometers won't reset. I've held that reset button down, once for 2 minutes, and no change. All the info is feeding into it correctly, as far as I can tell, for mileage, mpg, tire pressures, etc., but I can't get the reset to work.

    Has anyone had this problem?
  • Yes similar. I have noticed on two occasions, the Trip will zero itself.
  • another update:

    Well it did it again. I'm cruising at about 60 mph on Hwy 17 in GA and look at my speedo and it says I'm going 120 mph!

    The next day I took it in and they are going to replace the "instrument cluster". So now i wait for them to order and receive it, then i have to take it back in for them to do the work.
  • weezycomweezycom Posts: 8
    and I'm finding some other quibbles/dislikes with the car. Overall, it's fine, but this really is an arranged marriage and not a love match.

    They really need to put a rear windshield wiper on future models. The slant on the back window is too shallow for a quick runoff of precip, and that can really be a problem when dealing with ice and snow.

    I miss the sport-tuned suspension of my previous car immensely. Even after six weeks, the ride on this one doesn't provide enough feedback through the wheel and feels rather boat-ish in the corners.

    Either put this 4-cyl. engine in the Astra, or make a wagon version of the Aura. The fold-down pass-through on the rear seats is so squished and the trunk opening so shallow that the feature isn't sufficiently usable, but the Astra (where the fold-down and wide opening are wonderfully usable) is under-powered for a sporty wagon.

    Get rid of the stupid auto unlock feature when the car is put in park. As a single woman in an urban area, I don't want that car door unlocking until I make that decision. An opportunist that knows the feature can reach in and grab my purse and make a getaway, or get in the car unwanted. I imagine moms with youngsters too big for a car seat may not want them to be able to shoot out of the car when they pull up to some destinations as well. Gotta say, that has to be an idea thought of by a guy engineer. And it's NOT AT ALL a good one from this woman's POV.

    Needs an easily replaceable face plate under the ignition to keep swinging keys from eventually scraping up that section of dash.

    Good points:
    decent mileage -- I'm getting a bit over 20 on a highway/city mixed driving about 40/60 split on regular gas.
    Good interior room.
    Console controls are pretty easy to move through (I'd like the fan/flow choices situated a little higher on the center console).
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    You can program the lock/unlock feature yourself through
    the DIC (Driver Information Center ) . This feature is easily
    disabled. Check your owner's manual for instructions.
  • I find applying Rain-X to the windows eliminates the need for wiper blades. Even a good rain, when @ 70 mph, the water clears so fast the wipers are only for looks.

    Sport suspension??? you must have an xe or greenline. The XR suspension works fantastic as long as the tires are inflated over recommended. The OEM tires at 30 psi are like sponges and make the whole car ride like it is on a foam rubber road.
  • Bought a leftover '07 XR a couple of weeks ago and am very pleased with the vehicle. Only problem so far was warped brake rotors at less than 100 miles. In all fairness, the vehicle was built in 11/06 so it is nearly 1.5 yrs. old, so some of these things are bound to happen.. Also has a vibration which is likely out of balance tires. Overall mileage in the first 600 miles has been around 20-21 mpg in mostly city driving. I have seen as high as 28 on a 30 mile freeway trip. Changed out the cloth interior (ugly) for a beautiful aftermarket leather interior (Classic Soft Trim) that was available from the Saturn retailer. No major complaints about the vehicle and it seems to have features that compare favorably to cars costing over $30k! I truly believe this car is price $3-4k under the market. I'll post updates as the vehicle breaks in.
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    Keep a watch on the underdoor rocker panels and please advise
    if you start to see separations or large gaps betwwen the panels
    and steel body. :lemon:
  • On 2/20/08, I leased and 08' Aura XE. According to the selling dealer, it was delivered to them in August 08'. I have had it in for service three times already, the first visit was on 2/25/08 - 5 days after delivery with only 183 miles on it. On the first service visit all for brakes were replace when I claimed pulsation when braking - paperwork claimed rust on friction surface. A wheel alignment was performed because of a left pull and all four wheel balanced because of vibration.

    Still had vibration, left pull and a steering issue. Second visit with only 507 miles on it. All four tires and one rim replaced because of radial runout. Intermediate steering shaft was replaced as it was contacting with the steering gear,

    Third trip to an alternate Saturn dealer claimed the alignment was in negative range and readjusted to positive after I still complained of left pull. Tires rebalanced because of continued vibration.

    Although the left pull has been corrected, the vibration in the seats and steering wheel continue. The car does not handle cornering or curves very well either. The service manager think I'm nuts and is giving me a hard time with a loaner to bring it in again.

    Car design is very nice but mechanically it is a nightmare and the service is even worse. I have driven GM's all my life, but doubt I will after this lease.

    Is it possible the tire replacements have gone bad again or could there be a powertrain problem?
  • Mistype of dealership delivery date - should be August of 07' not 08' Sorry.
  • tracyvtracyv Posts: 3
    I have had all the same problems including the dealership attitude. I would suggest pushing the issues with Saturn directly. That is the only way things got done for me. I love the rust on the brakes explanation, they told me I wash my car too much !!!
  • To answer your question, yes I do have gapping of the rocker panels on both sides of my XR that was built in 11/06. I'll have to address this with the selling dealer. Two thoughts: it appears the sheet metal was cut a bit short (1/8-1/4") and they appear not to have been sealed. Therefore, I'm eventually concerned about rust. Car now has about 1,400 miles. Mileage is still improving and the engine is breaking in wonderfully! Love the car, just need to address the topic above and a slight but steady light vibration (probably the tires). I'll advise when fixed.
  • I have pushed this issue with Saturn directly. It's going in for service again. I'll post the outcome. The "wash your car too much" comment was enlightening and the opposite of one I received from the service department. They claimed I must have an abundance of mud in the wheel wells causing vibration. I guess I don't wash my car enough!
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    I have news for you. Saturn considers the rocker panel gaps to
    be a design defect and as such they are not covered by the warranty. I went thru Arbitration with the BBB and Saturn and
    won my case. The Arbitrator ordered Saturn to repair the panels.
    Saturn Corp. countered with an "Impossible to Repair " document
    to the Arbitrator and I was told that if I repaired the rocker panels
    myself, it would be considered a "modification" of the vehicle and
    would invalidate my warranty. So, get used to the gaps. :lemon:
  • texvettetexvette Posts: 12
    Saturn as always advertised they are a 'different kind of car company'....
  • texvettetexvette Posts: 12
    I took my XR to the Saturn dealer as it shifts very hard with a 'clunk' and slight slippage when you are under torque in 6th gear going up a hill, under light acceleration... they told me it passed all the diagnostics, did not show any codes... they road tested it, then compared it to another XR... seems they encountered the same phenom.. and tech thought is was abnormal, until they found that the other new ones on the lot did the same thing.. now it is merely 'characteristic' of an Aura XR and they did nothing more.

    I am not at all unhappy with the car... fun to drive, reasonable fuel economy for the HP.. BUT... I will never buy anything from Saturn again. I have always purchased GM vehicles, and have had similar maladies with other vehicles,, but GM always made things right..... but Saturn 'is a different kind of car company'... if the car has a design defect... the consumer just lives with it.... as they will not take responsibility.

    I will trade when the '09's come out.. but won't be a Saturn!
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    I definitely agree with your assessment of Saturn as " a different
    kind of car company" .

    They have not only lost my future business, but also that of my
    children and grandchildren. 3 generations of future customers
    who will despise the words "SATURN Automobiles" . I'll make
    sure to teach them well. :lemon:
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106

    A very appropriate slogan; however what it really means is

  • I posted this over at SaturnFans but thought some here might like to read it also...

    I have owned my 2008 Saturn Aura 4CYL for just over 100 days now and thought I would post a few features the car has that I especially appreciate. Feel free to add to my list things you have noticed.

    Computer start: If you bump the key to start the car for 100ms or hold it for 1 minute the car starts and the starter will not grind. If you push the key to start after the engine is running it will not command the starter to engage. No missing teeth from the flywheel, no broken starters, just perfection every time. Wow!

    Speed sensitive volume: The radio volume adjusts up and down depending on the speed of the car, I know this feature has been around for a while on GM cars, just the first one I have owned that had it, and I have grown to really appreciate it.

    Perfect balance of the rotating masses and balance shafts. I do not pretend to understand how GM accomplished this but there is no vibration in this vehicle. If you drive 60MPH, 70MPH, or well north of the speed limit, this car is silky smooth. No engine vibration, no tire vibration, no wheel vibration, and no steering wheel vibration, unbelievable.

    Daytime running lamps and automatic headlights: Come on, what are all the other manufacturers waiting for? NHTSA or Congress to make it law??

    Shift interlock: You cannot accidentally shift to reverse while driving. I frequently shift to neutral while coasting and the button interlock on the shifter keeps me from accidentally pushing the shifter too far and hitting reverse. Why did all the transmission shops around here go out of business?

    Different EQ programs: Depending on if you are playing a CD with MP3’s or the radio the stereo will store your preferred EQ for each, nice…

    The Gauge check: I know it has been mentioned on the forums many times but the sweep the gauges do at start up and the way the back lighting softly comes up to level just has that look of luxury.

    Quiet: The sound deadening, the double laminated glass, the rigid suspension, and the extra attention to the Noise, Vibration, and Harshness. It all comes together to make this one exceptionally quiet vehicle, and I purchased this car for under $20K??

    Speed sensitive wipers: Nice safety feature, well done.

    Driver Information center: Ice possible, cruise engaged, oil life remaining, outside temp, tire pressure, etc… aren’t software algorithms fantastic? Anybody want to venture a guess at how much money all the Aura owners have saved in unnecessary oil changes to date?

    Auxiliary input jack: hours and hours of MP3’s, anyone want to buy a 2 foot by 2 foot case of cassette tapes?

    And so many other features that just seem to be table stakes to the mid sized sedan market today. Four wheel disc brakes, 6 Air bags, virtually maintenance free, etc…
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    Funny, but you seem to sound like a Saturn car sales man :-)

    Nice of you to praise the car so ( ?? ) .
  • georgiaxrgeorgiaxr Posts: 4
    I had to work the Atlanta Autoshow last week and went by the Saturn booth and looked at 2 Auras. Both of them still were showing the rocker panel gaping present on my 07. By the way, the metallic black under the show lights was spectacular!
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    Yes, the gaps/separations are a defect that Saturn has chosen
    to ignore until the 2010 model year comes on line as the next Gen. Aura. It will be a rebadged Opel Insignia according to Motor Trend Magazine. :sick:
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    I hope Saturn doesn't screw up the next Gen. Aura the way
    they have done to the current models 07 thru 08/9. Hopefully by
    2010 they will have found a better way to secure the rocker making them a part of the steel body instead
    of a pair of clip-on plastic pieces of junk. :mad:
  • nicerideniceride Posts: 3
    We purchased an 08 Aura XE a few months ago,
    I personally like the factory grill. What i did was to buy and install 1/4 thick roll of Roll-a-Chrome that i bought at at Auto Zone and cut to length an attach/stick it to all the lower grill bars...looks great !
    Along with the double gold pinstripping that i added to the pewter bronze paint. I also added 7 Saturn emblems to the car that I bought on e bay. one on each inside door panel +1 on each side outside behind small side windows plus one next to the shift lever + 2 v-6 emblems to the leading edge of the front fenders. Also had 3 soft arm rest pads made to attach to center and side armrests.........their much softer then original
    Even the dealer said it has a great look not at all gaudy and looks like something Saturn should have done
    PICS UPON REQUEST >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  • dinofdinof Posts: 106
    I sure would like to see some pics of that car.
    If possible please send to :

    Thanks.....................the car really does need some
    added sparkle bits..............LOL. :)
  • I bought a 2008 Saturn Aura XE in July 2007, so it's 1 year old, and I'm not very happy with it at the moment. About two weeks after I bought it, I discovered that the trunk, where the spare tire is, was filling up with water. And, when driving, I could take my hands off the wheel, and I'd start veering to the right. And, one morning, I couldn't start the car, so I thought the battery was dead. Luckily my husband had the good idea to move the gear shift out of park and back into park, and that got the car started. So we took it in to the dealer ship for all of those problems. The alignment wasn't fixed, but I lived with it. Later on, my husband rotated my tires, which helped a lot.

    Fast forward a year, and my brakes started making horrific noises, so my husband took the brake pads off to inspect them and found that one was cracked and another was crumbling apart. Then I notice that my rear tail lights fogged up under the plastic cover. So again it goes back to the dealership. Those idiots tried to tell my husband nothing was wrong with the brakes (they hadn't even removed them), that they were making noise because they were metallic, so my husband made the guy REMOVE the brake pads and he had to show the mechanic the cracks.

    They did replace all the brakes and they are ordering new tail light covers. Apparently Saturn sent out bulletins to the dealerships warning them about the light covers, so that seems to be a common problem.

    In 1999 I bought a brand new Chevy Cavalier and have not had this many defects in the entire life of the car - I still have that car. Sure, it's had it's wear and tear problems, but this Saturn is only a year old. It should be performing better than it is.
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