Auto show #7. Another disappointment…

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The Saturn Aura looks really good. From outside.
I am surprised every time I see one. It does have a modern yet classy presence to it.
Although it could do without some of the chrome…

Step inside and it looks more like a Las Vegas casino than a classy car. There is just too much of the “shiny stuff”.
Every bit of super glossy fake wood is accented by a chrome line. Like if that wood wasn’t shiny enough.
And, as you can see on this pic, the door armrests are very cheap looking.
And they looked like they were designed in the 80’s. They just don’t have any shape to them at all.
They don’t even fit right.

I didn’t drive the car yet, and I hear it does drive great.
But the interior design needs a bit more class, or simplicity. Or both.

I don’t mean to say this is a bad car (The GM fans are gonna jump all over me anyway).
It just needs a few things here and there.
It is amazing to me that nobody at GM even noticed these shortcomings.

Conversation 16 comments

  1. WOW that fake wood across the dash is hideous and the arm rest is so obviously misaligned its ridiculous. Will GM ever get it?
    I guess this auro is doomed to the rental car fleet like every other GM.

  2. The interior design of the Aura is a matter of taste and not a functional drawback, so it is up to the buyer whether he or she likes it or not. Quality, however is functional but quality is quite good on the Aura. So let us hope GM finally improves.

  3. wow, they are trying to make it like a upscale car, without using there upscale designers, note to GM, go borrow your Saab designers

  4. How do you justify jumping on the Aura interior with guns ablazing while letting that ugly ass interior of the Tundra slide. Vince your obvious bias for Toyota is disgusting. Try being more fair……. I enjoy your site but sometimes I have to shake my head at your Japanese blindness.

  5. The Tundra wasn’t open so nobody could actually sit inside.
    That’s why I didn’t comment on the quality.

    Looks are a matter of taste.
    I like the GM large trucks interiors and I don’t like the Corolla’s.
    That’s just my taste.

    If the site is so disgusting to you I suggest you visit other sites, read a magazine or get some fresh air.

  6. fake wood is alwayes better looking than the real thing.
    real wood gets old and craks.
    this is a beuty and will last for ever just like the car
    stop whining

  7. Keep the guages and the steering wheel and replace the rest of the interior with the Outlooks interior and then you’ll have a winner. Love the storage bin on top of the dash on the Outlook.

  8. “fake wood is alwayes better looking than the real thing.
    real wood gets old and craks.”

    Same with fake leather (plether) interior seats. They might not have the WOW factor of real leather when new, but they sure do last longer. Just check out any 8 or 9 year old 3 or 5 series with or without the standard plether interior. Or better yet check out any 20 year old Mercedes with the mbtex interior. And it breathes like leather too.

  9. This is an awesome car, especially compared to past junk from GM–and actually is one of the first to seriously have people trading in Accords and Camrys.

    That said, it isn’t without fault. The core essentials are there (looks, features, drivetrain, etc.), but it still has some odd and/or cheap touches here and there, that could still be sorted out. At intro, there was the story of the GM of Saturn trying out a few early production cars and not liking the wobbly center console. A fix was supposedly immediately implemented, but that’s one thing that’s still a current complaint from some owners.

    It’s a 95% car–and with a few better thought out touches, like a cleaner center stack and better door panel bits, it would really be improved even more. That said, the current issues are tiny, and it just goes to show how terrific the car is in general that little things like armrest feel and minor trim details are all that can really be thought of to mention negatively.

  10. Those door panels look like melted down orange traffic cones. Who the hell thought ORANGE was a good interior trim color?

  11. I’m a big GM cheerleader, but you’re absolutely right about their (and all American manufacturers) total inability to get the details right. They need to be called out on it, and they need to start getting it right, down to the very last detail. Sometimes it seems like they get the overall design theme right, and then pretty much consider it “Mission Accomplished.”

  12. Most of the design is very good. The one drawback, albeit a deal-killer, is that horrible orange faux wood. In an otherwise very stylish and smartly styled car, why would Saturn use such a gag inducing material to this extent? I know you get fake wood in every other brand of car in this class, but I wouldn’t buy those either.

    I love the baseball glove leather in this Aura, which reminds me a little of the Volvo S60R. Note to GM… your interiors are amongst the best on the market these days. With a little refinement, they could be THE best. But any resemblance to a 1974 Pinto interior is not okay. Eighty-six the fake wood and add piano black or aluminum. Why is this so difficult?

  13. There is a choice of fake wook or metalic looking stuff so stop whining. Know the facts before blasing GM. This car will be a huge success. The Camry is ugly and boring.

  14. “This will not get loyal Camry/Accord owners to dump their rides.”

    Not in huge numbers, no, but check out some Saturn clubs or forums and you’ll see quite a few actually have–and are extremely happy with their decision.

    The Aura still needs some finishing touches and little fixes, but is otherwise terrific. And as far as interior color choices, it seems enough people balked at the all black or morroco brown ONLY for the top XR model, as dealers were told not long ago that the beige & gray available on the XE model will also show up soon.

    That’s good, and if they just revise door panel and console bits a little more, work on the wood trim, and a few other tidbits, all will continue to be well–they’re doing “continuous improvements” with the Solstic/Sky based on customer feedback, so look to see the same with other cars.

  15. “There is a choice of fake wook or metalic looking stuff so stop whining. Know the facts before blasing GM. This car will be a huge success. The Camry is ugly and boring.”

    Faux wood is available on the uplevel XR, aluminum finish is available on the XE. It’s not really an available “choice” if you want the better car to get the aluminum-trimmed interior… you’re stuck with awful ersatz wood. Used to this extent, it’s just not a smart design alternative for an upscale version of an import fighting sedan. It begs the question whether the parts of the car you can’t see are this chintzy.

    Yes, the Accord is available with fake wood, and yes the geriatric Camry has cheap green plastic “leaded crystal???” on the dash that looks like a $15 clock radio. But these cars are the class leaders. GM needs to move way above that level to really convince people to give the Aura the consideration it deserves.

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