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2008 Saturn Aura

Overview
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2008 Saturn Aura Review

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The 2008 Saturn Aura sedan is the second salvo in Saturn's rejuvenation war, joining the hot SKY roadster and soon-to-be-launched Astra sedan and coupe. Like the SKY roadster, the Aura is more stylish and confident than anything Saturn produced in its first 15 years of existence. Although the Aura shares a platform with the Pontiac G6, Saturn's version feels significantly more refined inside, outside and on the road. Joining the lineup this year is a gas-electric Aura hybrid dubbed the Aura Green Line. Even as Saturn begins unleashing its most appealing cars ever, the automaker has committed to maintaining its popular "no haggle" pricing policy.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2008 Saturn Aura's confident styling is backed up by eager handling combined with a comfortable and surprisingly quiet highway ride. An attractive, well-appointed interior and overall sense of refinement solidify the sedan's appeal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a proven track record of reliability and resale, you'll find the Aura faces the unenviable task of competing with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, vehicles that have earned and deserve their status as the two best-selling cars in the country.

What's New for 2008

A four-cylinder model joins the lineup featuring GM's proven 2.4-liter engine. XM Satellite Radio is made standard across the line, while the XE V6 receives StabiliTrak stability control.

Driving the Aura

Driving Impressions Despite the athletic styling and eager stance, we weren't sure exactly what to expect from the Aura once we got behind the wheel. Having seen the spec sheet we did...

anticipate a healthy dose of get-up-and-go from the XR model, but we didn't expect such smooth shifts from the six-speed automatic transmission. The XE's V6 powertrain isn't as refined, but it's more than adequate and downright competitive. The passenger cabin remained notably quiet on the highway, and the Aura handled twisty two-lane roads better than most midsize sedans this comfortable.

Panoramic Sunroof
When it comes to sunroofs, bigger is almost always better. The Aura's multi-panel panoramic glass sunroof consists of a front panel that angles up as a deflector and three others that retract and stack at the rear.

Rear-seat Wireless Headphones
Although the Aura doesn't offer a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, it does offer two sets of wireless headphones to accommodate differing music tastes.

2008 Saturn Aura Details
2008 Saturn Aura photo Interior

The Aura's interior is defined by the attractive styling, quality materials and overall sense of refinement that have begun permeating the passenger cabins of more and more domestic entries. There are still details to be polished, but to compare the Aura's interior with that of earlier Saturns is to contrast two different automotive eras. The mere availability of the unique Morocco Brown leather package furthers the Aura's contemporary image. Ambient cabin illumination enhances the upscale feel at night.

Exterior
2008 Saturn Aura photo

In addition to the chrome-bar grille serving as the new face of Saturn, the Aura is distinguished by big, expressive headlamps, a sleek profile with sharply-defined fender flares and distinctive LED taillamps. Aura XR models have 18-inch alloy wheels (in place of standard-issue 17-inch steel wheels), chrome door handles and front foglamps.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Included as standard equipment on a base Aura XE are a six-speaker CD/CD-MP3 sound system with auxiliary audio input, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, automatic headlamps, cruise control, split-folding rear seatbacks and 17-inch steel wheels. Standard safety equipment includes electronic traction control plus front, front-side and side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

Optional equipment includes a 3.5-liter V6 (XE), a 3.6-liter V6 (XR), traditional glass sunroof or four-panel panoramic glass sunroof, six-disc premium audio system with rear-seat wireless headphones, remote vehicle start, power-adjustable pedals, leather seats, heated front seats, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and electronic stability control.

Under the Hood

Thanks in part to variable valve timing and the advantage of a six-speed automatic transmission, the Aura XR's more powerful, more sophisticated 3.6-liter engine returns combined fuel economy almost as good as that of the XE's 3.5-liter engine. The XR also offers the added benefit of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The frugal 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine provides adequate power, but is not as smooth or refined as the four-cylinder engines of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.

2.4-liter inline 4
169 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
160 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30

2.4-liter inline 4 hybrid
164 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
159 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/32

3.5-liter V6
219 horsepower @ 5900 rpm
219 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/29

3.6-liter V6
252 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26

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2008 Saturn Aura Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 378 Ratings for the 2007 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Poor choice

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The car is junk. Check internet before buying. Timing chain problems, transmission problems, very costly to repair."

I bought brand new & totally satisfied after 7 yrs

By on Thursday, May 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, comfortable and fun to drive"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Car is comfortable in city traffic and long drives. Have never had to do any work except basic maintenance. Best vehicle I've ever had."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great looking, great performance, great value!

By on Thursday, March 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Style, performance, low maintenance"

Cons: "They don't make them anymore!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I didn't know these cars even existed until I saw it the dealer's lot. We were looking for an SUV for my wife. When I saw the excellent body styling comparable to much higher-end midsize cars, high performance motor and suspension, 6 speed paddle shift auto trans, power leather heated seats, power moon roof, 5 CD changer, 18" aluminum wheels w/low profile tires and remote start, I bought it on the spot and got a flaming deal. Then I drove it. Wow!! It really moves and handles. I've had it 5 years and it's still worth $5000 more than I owe. Very little maintenance and it still looks current. This is the way cars ought to be, good looking, high fun, low maintenance and low cost. If Saturn had introduced these cars a few years earlier maybe they wouldn't have gone out of business."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

it's a great car,i enjoyed driving it a lot.

By on Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Super fun to drive"

Cons: "great, just a little to far back"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I live up state NY and do a lot of driving to and from work, plus I drive to and from Brooklyn to very frequently ,and it has served me very well. Great car."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Very reliable car, the interior was not good.

By on Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "It has a lot of guts....very quick acceleration."

Cons: "Interior cloth not good quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Very pleased with the almost 8 years of ownership of this car.Very reliable and low maintanence.I needed tires after 65K...most people say that is great. Never had a problem with the exhaust system. All around great car."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Reliable performance sedan with all the basics

By on Saturday, November 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "quick car due to large engine and small body style"

Cons: "Paint flaking off in interior and rarely outside"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Reasonably well performing car, the 3.5 V6 has plenty of pick up, and the body style is still stylish by today's standards. Gas mileage is average for a big V6, and the car's interior is fairly cheap like that found on many GM cars. But overall value is good. The price was right, and the car has been very reliable with minimal service (mostly oil changes, which are super-easy to do yourself on this car, and fluid top-offs). The car's rotors were not engineered to be adequate on the front in my estimate. I went through 2 sets of rotors on the front tires because of constant warpage. I finally purchased a higher end rotor with pre-drilled/slotted characteristics and it's been fine ever since."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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