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2009 Saturn Aura

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2009 Saturn Aura Review

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The 2009 Saturn Aura sedan is the most powerful salvo launched in Saturn's rejuvenation program. Riding alongside the hot SKY roadster and newly-launched Astra sedan and coupe, the Aura redefines the automaker's role as both import fighter and technology leader. 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 Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn's version feels more refined inside, outside and on the road. The latest model in Aura lineup is a gas-electric Aura hybrid formerly known as 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 2009 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 family sedans in the country.

What's New for 2009

Major changes to the Aura line include the discontinuation of the Green Line name, 3.5-liter V6 XE model and four-speed automatic transmission. The upscale XR trim can now be ordered with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, while Saturn's six-speed automatic transmission with tap shift becomes standard on all models except the Hybrid. StabiliTrak stability control is also made standard, as are redundant audio controls (XE, XR). On the Aura Hybrid, 17-inch alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tires replace 16-inch alloys.

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 four-cylinder engine is surprisingly smooth, delivering performance that is 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.

Hybrid Model
If you want a more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly form of transportation, you won't find a comparable hybrid model from Hyundai, Honda, Ford or Dodge..

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.

2009 Saturn Aura Details
2009 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

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. Build quality is quite good, with tight gaps between body panels and doors, flush fitting glass and a number deep, lustrous paint color choices. Blind spots are relatively few, thanks the large expanse of side glass. 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 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission, six-speaker CD/CD-MP3 sound system with auxiliary audio input, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, automatic headlamps, cruise control, split-folding rear seatbacks and 17-inch steel wheels. Standard safety equipment includes electronic traction control, StabiliTrak stability control plus front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. XR trims add heated front seats, leather interior, power driver's seat and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Optional equipment includes a 3.6-liter V6 and 18-inch alloy wheels (XR), power glass sunroof, six-disc premium audio system with rear-seat wireless headphones, remote vehicle start, power-adjustable pedals, leather seats, heated front seats, and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

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 and sophisticated 3.6-liter engine returns outstanding performance with combined fuel economy acceptable to most family sedan shoppers. The frugal 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine provides adequate power and the best fuel economy in its segment. While far better than many domestic four-cylinders, the Aura's 2.4-liter engine is still not as smooth or refined as the four-cylinder engines of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. A bonus of the new standard six-speed is steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

2.4-liter in-line 4
169 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
160 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33

2.4-liter in-line 4 Hybrid
164 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
159 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/34

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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2009 Saturn Aura Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 386 Ratings for the 2007 - 2009 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

If you can solve electrical issues a great car

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 187,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "nice looking inside and out, fast, handles well"

Cons: "electric nightmare if U cant fix it, dealer can't"

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

"I've had this 2007 XR for about a year and and half now and prior to getting it I worked on it for the previous owner, who got tired of continuous electrical issues to the point he tried to trade it into the very dealers who could not solve these problems (but they did charge him to not fix them). Needless to say, they offered nothing for it, so he gave it to me for free. I parked it for the winter, put it in my garage in early spring and removed connectors and cleaned them, added extra grounds from the battery to the engine, engine to chassis and removed the underhood power distribution block and cleaned all connections. Prior to this, with no rhyme or reason it would show lights on the dash for traction control, stability control security, abs, check engine light, and codes galore for mostly communication problems with various modules. The car has high miles but looks and runs great when it is right, and does not leak any fluids and is very quick, trans shifts flawlessly. The interior is still showroom nice, brown Moroccan leather with heated seats, six disk premium sound, sunroof, 50 series 18" tires, four wheel disks, great climate control and onstar. I added a billet grill, and it has a dark blue exterior that is still in great condition, so I do get comments on how nice it looks. Since all the electrical problems have been solved it h is become a very dependable car, and I would not hesitate driving it anywhere. The 3.6 dohc variable valve timed engine is very responsive, and the six speed auto is seamless and smooth, it does have the paddle shifter too but since I have researched this have decided not to push the trans using this since wave plate issues are common (why ask for trouble)?"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I hate this car

By on Monday, December 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Looks good"

Cons: "Multiple issues on a very lightly used car. Junk."

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

"I bought this car new in 2008. It was my second Saturn and I was initially quite pleased. It is a great looking car, I'll give it that. But my woes started pretty early with the piece of junk rims. I bet I have had the car in no less than 20 times in just under 8 years to have the rims re-sealed. And these things cost a fortune. Absolute junk. Then there's the front suspension. It went wonky after about year 2 and I still don't think it's quite right. I've replaced shocks & control arms, had multiple re-alignments, etc. Next came the fan motor relay that died in June when it was about 1,000 degrees out and I had no A/C, no fan, no nothing. I think the transmission was next. It failed earlier in 2015 when I had just over 50,000 miles on it. Coincidentally, as soon as I took it in for the week-long repair, I got a notice that they extended the warranty on the transmission to 10 years. So, the repair didn't cost me anything other than the expense and hassle of a rental car for an entire week. The current problem is the electrical SNAFU that I don't really believe the dealer will properly resolve, but we'll see. When I turn the car on, sometimes it says, "Service tire monitor", sometimes it says, "Service air bag", sometimes it says both, and sometimes it says neither. In most cases, if one or more messages come up, if I turn the car off and then back on, I will get a different result. Dealer says the front impact crash sensors are bad, a $500 repair. I will repair them and then dump this piece of junk for something else, ANYTHING ELSE, as long as it's not GM. I am done with GM."

Performer! Nice Sedan ride w/ little cabin noise.

By on Wednesday, December 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Rides smooth, int/ext styling, integrity"

Cons: "Turning radius is wider than I prefer"

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

"Saturn displayed the Camry and Accord on their lot right next to the Aura and said, drive them all if you want. Great selling point! This was 8 years ago, and I'm still satisfied. Very smooth sedan ride and it sits down in the corners. Nice styling, great driving performance that I would expect from a much higher end model. Only con is that the turning radius is not tight. Need to use 3 point turns more often than I am used to."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I love my Aura XR

By on Wednesday, November 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "XR has powerful engine for cost -- great value"

Cons: "changing head lamp a pain"

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

"This is a great car that I have taken everywhere. In 8 years of ownership, I have had only two major repairs: new catalytic converter and transmission work. While these seem major, I take the costs of those over eight years any day. I plan to drive this car until 200K. Love it."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great quality and reliability

By on Sunday, August 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 280,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "everything - great design"

Cons: "no cons - great car"

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

"I bought this car in 2007 and have put 280,000 miles on it. I never intended on driving it this long, and I would never have believed I could have had a vehicle with so many miles on it. I can afford to replace it, but just don't want to get rid of it. It still looks and rides great. The 3.6L engine runs great. The black and brown leather interior still looks fantastic. It is such a shame that Saturn no longer exists. It is the only model I have ever owned, but based on the way this car was designed and engineered, I would have purchased another one without hesitation."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

I had this Saturn for 8 terrific years!

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Style, ride,"

Cons: "auto locks and windows failed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I loved this car and it is bittersweet to let it go. So comfortable and beautiful. I kept it well maintained and it never let me down! Great sound system, too. Spacious trunk with fold down rear seats."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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