Saturn Aura greenline



What a disappointment this one is.
he hybrid system in it doesn’t allow for the car to run on the electric motor alone. Unlike the Camry or Altima.
So gas mileage will only be rated at 25 city and 36 Hwy.
A regular Camry gets 24 and 33. And it costs thousands less than this Aura Hybrid (Which will go for around $23 000)

Sure it is less than the other mid sized hybrid out there, but the mileage sucks.
What is the point of this really?
I would call this a pathetic attempt to get on the hybrid bandwagon…

By the way, I sat in a couple of Auras this past week end.
first impression was great. A pretty impressive looking car in person. Inside, it does look a bit busy and the fake wood seems to be everywhere.
But even that isn’t that bad.
Things get worse when you start grabbing things. The door armrest feels very, very cheap and actually almost came apart when I was just pulling it a bit. The center console also feels very cheap and shaky.
And doors don’t feel solid when you close them.
I must say I was very disappointed.

On another note, I just sat in a 2007 Altima today and that was quite the opposite experience.
Even the cloth looks and feels great. Impeccable fit and finish. Everything feels solid well made.
And the interior is really a nice place to be.
What a nice car…

Conversation 25 comments

  1. Hey, Vince, I’d rather(after rebates, and arguing) save # K over normal Camry and get the Optima, I-4(slightly larger engine, HP-wise) and 34MPG, 5 speed Auto-Manual( have it your way, like the old BK commercials used to say…shift it yourself, or not, or both, downshift if ya need to pass, or slow down w/o using the brake on back roads….or on slippery roads, use automanual).
    And that 10/100K— 5/60K is hard to beat!

  2. Vin,
    You’re alone on your assessment of the Aura interior. Just about everyone has praised it. I’ve accepted your bias with some cars/brands. But this one makes your overall opinion just a bit less, well, just less.

    As for the Altima’s fantastic interior… I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m sure its an improvement over the old one, but that’s not saying much.

  3. The Optima is a nice car. But not if you keep it less than 8 or 10 years.
    Resale is far less than anything else in its class.
    You might save money now, but will pay come trading time.
    And it is smaller than the Camry.

    If you really like the car, it shouldn’t matter that much anyway.
    The important thing is to drive something you like, right?

  4. No, I am not alone.
    When pictures of the car 1st appeared tons of people mentioned how cheap the interior looked.(some even called it tacky)
    It does look better in person, I’ll give you that.
    But the door panels and console are cheap. There is no way around it.
    The rest of the interior is just OK.

    I never said the Altima interior was fantastic.
    Because I don’t think it is. It is just very nice and well put together.
    A place where I just want to spend more time.
    Exactly what you would want .

    If you ‘ve actually read the site you would know I do my best not to have any bias against any brand.
    Especially Saturn which I have been praising left and right.

  5. Hey, Vince,I dunno . Have you driven the NEW Optima?
    Same engines as Sonata.
    Same auto-manual.
    Ya know what I mean?

    Anyhow, sounds like ya did drive it, and I read Hyundai wanted the Optima to go up against the Civic and Corolla(for some odd reason)….thus the smaller V6, and slightly shorter car(over all) vs Sonata.

    They wanted to give peopel a choice at 18K: A Mid-sized sedan with 34MPG, or a Sentra with 36MPG, for same price(yet smaller car, the Sentra).
    2MPG does not make a big difference.
    Besides, I drive 40K per year!
    I don’t trade in until Maybe 2-3 months prior to pay off, so by then, I have nearly 200K anyways, and ANY maker at these miles = little -to no- trade in allowance, lol.
    Yeha, there are better cars out there, but considering the miles I drive, the cash I save up front, I would rather have a 18K EX than a 24 or 25K I-4 from Camry.
    I looked… Cmary’;s are starting around (closer to) 22K, w.o sunroof, other options,etc.

    If I drove say no more than 15,000 miles per year, I might save up 1-2 years of car payments, after pay off of my current vehicle(A Sonata), and buy the Camry(or an Azera), But……My cars are used up( and sick of them by 5 years, no matter what brand I buy, to be honest)so…. yeah.
    hey, hope ya didn’
    t take this as some “attack” on ya…or something… just saying, like my father in law got a SX4 over a Tuscon or RAV…why? He drives 700-800 miles per week or as much as I drive… and he wanted to spend as little as possible, on a decent vehicle, reliable, decent MPG, and FWD/AWD capable. he got it with the SX4.
    he has nearly 5K miles on it now.
    Only had it 6 weeks.

    Like he said, he told us he could afford better, but why spend the cash, when by trade in time… 200,000+ miles….he’ll get little, no matter what it is.

    Yeah, If I was gonna keep a car say 6-7 years even, and drove little, I;d get the base I-4 Camry.
    Or, for the 18K maybe a Corolla(or the Optima, but I lose 3-4 MPG, but gain a larger car, and better comfort for 4-5 adults, when we travel).

    Maybe the next gen Corolla, if it gets up to the Civic/Sentra sizes (nearly 180 inches total length). Then we would not be talking about nearly 10-12 inches difference between the Corolla (current model) and Optima.

    I like Toyota, but I almost feel like I am getting taken for a ride when I see the prices on some of their models( Saw a loaded up Camry for 31K +…. you can get a fully loaded Azera for 3-4 K less).

    reminds me of an article I read in late 1992, right about the time the Altima first came out, something like “Is the Corolla abetter car than the Altima?” “Yes, it is, but not 4-8 K better, when fully loaded”. Think it was AutoWeek that wrote this.
    I agree, Vince…Toyota and Honda are better, but at the MSPR’s they’re asking, they’d better be(made of gold, lol)! 😉

    Take Care /Not Offense.

  6. Hey, Vince,(Optima Poster here) , hey, sorry if I sounded like a jerk, or something in my reply/last post.

    I actually have 20K limit( thus my rant) plus, I do drive 40K miles per year, thus trade in means little (in the end).

    So, it’s the Sebring or Optima( I may not get run out of town for owning the Optima, lol).

    again, great site, no offense meant.
    Take care/ not offense.

  7. Vince is fair;he even tried to be level handed in reporting on Sebring models.

    Me? I will stick with the tC!

  8. http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/jedlicka.aspx?make=Kia&model=Optima

    ———————————-
    Jed here says that it is a decent car, and low resale value(like you said) and Not like Honda/Toyota, but,as he said, Most other makers are Not up to Toyota/Honda resale values either!
    I wonder how this Saturn will hold up, then, down the road(if it is falling apart as you said, and it really is that bad…).
    Only GM can take a good car and cheapen it for the U.S. market!
    As for doubting Vince’s comments? Go back to April(or was it June, one of these 2 months, I believe)article and Pictures of the Cobalt( and see the trunk tha looks open, but isn’t. That is bad. Sounds like if Vince’s experience is repeated many thousands of vehicles, Saturn may not make this mad rush to the forefrotn of autodom, and “slay” Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, Mazda, etc…).

  9. I’ve sat in the new Altima, too, and while it’s interior is better than the previous version, the previous Altima’s interior was real lowball, so the new one could only be better. Yet it still has it’s cost-cutting shortcomings, and is nothing to shout about. The Aura’s interior is right on par with it’s competiitors, including the Camry and Accord. Speaking of which, has anyone ever taken a real close look at the new Camty and Accord’s interiors. You might be a bit disappointed. Hard plastics, flimsy pieces, etc., just like the new Altima. As far as the Aura hybrid, let’s be honest. An Accord or Camry (let’s toss in the Altima, too) will cost more money, and you won’t get the MPG they claim, so why the grousing over the Aura’s 25/36 MPG ratings? Oh that’s right, it’s not Japanese.

  10. Vince, you’re right on the money about the Aura’s interior. I sat in one at the New England Auto Show in Boston, and the hard plastics, coarse edges and flimsy feel just doesn’t put in the Accord’s league. You would think that if domestic brands were really intent on taking on the Accord and Camry, they would actually sit inside them and run their fingers along the dash and trim. I mean, even VW did that with the huge leap they made with the previous generation Passat and Jetta.

    One other thing. Take a look at the photos you posted of the dark blue Aura. It looks adequate right now (even bordering on slightly handsome in the right colors), but tell me it’s not going to be totally anonymous looking in two or three years, or even earlier when the ’08 Accord comes out…

  11. “Hey vince lets not forget its only a mild hybrid.”

    What is the flipping point then if it only gets 2 more miles per gallon than a 4 cyl camry.?

  12. Because GM engines are so bad, they can not make a proper Hybrid that uses start/stop. Hence “mild hybrid” where the engine doesnt shut off. If you try to use a GM engine in a start/stop engine hybrid, the engine will self-destruct in a short period of time.

  13. Yeah, that is bad. The Sonata I-4 gets 33 MPG,(162HP) the Optima 34MPG(hwy)(161HP), and even the new Sebring gets 32MPG(172HP).
    Note: all 3 engines are GEMA!
    Anyhow, yeah, why waste the $$$$ for anywhere from 4-2 MPG difference, unless fuel hits 10 per gallon, that is…then it would become a bigger selling point.

    Now, if this were the same prices as an Optima, Sonata, or Sebring….then they might have something there(especially with the 5.100K warranty and 5 year roadside assistance).

    This thing will probably be what, mid-20’s, or more?

  14. “Because GM engines are so bad, they can not make a proper Hybrid that uses start/stop. Hence “mild hybrid” where the engine doesnt shut off. If you try to use a GM engine in a start/stop engine hybrid, the engine will self-destruct in a short period of time.”

    i’m gonna say that this person has absolutely no idea of what hes talking about. If GM hybrid engineers are so bad, how come their begining to develop a 3.6L hybrid and already have a hybrid V8. Toyota or their Lexus partner may already have a V8 hybrid. BUt what about a V6 hybrid?

  15. I said the engines are bad. Their engines are not durable enough to handle the constant start/stop of proper hybrid function. Toyota and Honda developed their hybrids quickly because their engines were already durable and did not need much improvement. The 2.4 liter was developed by Lotus/Opel and the 3.6 liter was developed by Holden by the way. The “hybrid” engines are not U.S. designed.

  16. I realize companies like GM and Ford etc. are run by accountants and that they just about have the final say on anything a company does or produces,…what the heck were they thinking with the Aura hybrid? You take a relatively efficient 4 cyl engine attatch it to an electric motor and mate it with a cheesey 4 speed auto just to achieve similar mpg numbers as regular 4 cylinder sedans?! Am I missing something?! Granted I’m no rocket scientist and I used to fall asleep in economics class and all…but….W.T.F?! Forget getting rid of tens of thousands of just factory workers, they also need to get some new number crunchers.

  17. I realize companies like GM and Ford etc. are run by accountants and that they just about have the final say on anything a company does or produces,…what the heck were they thinking with the Aura hybrid? You take a relatively efficient 4 cyl engine attatch it to an electric motor and mate it with a cheesey 4 speed auto just to achieve similar mpg numbers as regular 4 cylinder sedans?! Am I missing something?! Granted I’m no rocket scientist and I used to fall asleep in economics class and all…but….W.T.F?! Forget getting rid of tens of thousands of just factory workers, they also need to get some new number crunchers.

  18. Wrong about the engine “not being able to endure the constant stop/go”
    This is straight form GM:

    “Like most other hybrids, the Aura Green Line also shuts down its gas engine at stops to conserve fuel and uses regenerative braking to charge its batteries.

    It DOES shut down during stops, like other hybrids.

  19. Note to all those complaining about the Aura GLs MPG: Gee, I thought hybrids were all about the environment. A 4cyl hybrid like the Green Line, which shuts itself off during it’s stop/start cycle, would release far less of those nasty pollutants into our precious air than a regular 4 cyl that gets similar MPG numbers. So isn’t that worth some praise? Or should we also condemn all hybrids that don’t get 40mpg +, even those that are – gasp! – Japanese?

  20. I may be totally wrong and I’m not trying to be a wiseguy, but if it has similar mpg numbers then I would assume it’s burning the same amount of gas. And if it’s burning the same amount of gas then is’nt also releasing the same amount of pollutants. I do agree though that vehicles among many other things should produce less pollutants. Global warming is not a fun concept.

  21. This car is already boring. GM should have brought it here years ago. Too little too late. Just like the L-series.

    It’s sad that Saturn had to look to Europe for its salvation, but I guess you go where the talent is. God knows they let it die in Spring Hill, TN.

    However, I am impressed with the rebirth of Saturn’s lineup. GM needs this badly. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes…

    …but hopefully not the Pontiac Phoenix.

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