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2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

4dr Sdn XR

Starting at | Starting at 17 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

2008 Saturn Aura for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $25,675 original MSRP
Printable Version

2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

Benefits of Driving a 2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

With the addition of a base XE four-cylinder model, the 2008 Saturn Aura is now an even better deal than before and offers something for all types of sedan buyers, standing out as an especially sophisticated and sporty--yet frugal--sedan. At the other end of the line, the XR model, with its more powerful V6 and six-speed automatic, offers a driving experience that rivals that of luxury-brand sedans costing much more. The Green Line, as well, is attractive--and attractively priced--for those who want to minimize their fuel bills and energy use yet need a roomy sedan.

What's new for 2008?

The introduction of a new XE four-cylinder model is the big news for Saturn's Aura line in 2008. Otherwise, all Auras get XM satellite radio, the XE V6 now has electronic stability control standard, and XE and XR models get a Driver Information Center with real-time fuel economy display. The optional Convenience Package now adds a heated, auto-dimming driver outside mirror, and the Ebony/Morocco Premium Trim Package now includes embossed accents on the steering wheel, shifter, and door inserts.

Model Strengths

  • Ride and handling
  • interior comfort
  • looks and feels more upscale than its price indicates
  • performance (XR)
  • fuel efficiency (four-cylinder and Green Line).

Model Review

The 2008 Saturn Aura is now offered in four different models, each well equipped but with its own distinct powertrain. At the low end of the price range is the XE-4 (four-cylinder) model, which comes with a fuel-efficient 169-horsepower, 2.4L DOHC four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission. The XE-6 upgrades to a 3.5L pushrod V6 with variable valve timing, making 219 horsepower, and also comes with a four-speed automatic. The most luxurious model in the range is the XR, which features a 3.6L DOHC V6 with variable valve timing, making 252 horsepower and fitted to a six-speed automatic. The XR model's six-speed automatic transmission has a TAPShift feature that enables the driver to manually select shifts with steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

Printable Version

2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

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Review: 2008 Saturn Aura Green Line

Source: MSN Autos

When Saturn introduced its gasoline-electric hybrid Aura sedan in the 2007 model year, it was the lowest-priced, production hybrid vehicle in America.

No longer. Toyota dropped the starting manufacturer's suggested retail price of its long-running Prius hybrid to just under $21,000 for the 2008 model year.

This pushed past the Saturn Aura Green Line with starting MSRP of just over $22,000 to once again make the Prius America's price-leading hybrid.

Now, what's the appeal?
The pricing snatches from Saturn a key differentiator between its midsize Aura Green Line sedan and the more well-known Japanese-branded hybrid cars.

Certainly, the Aura Green Line can't claim superior fuel economy or a more sophisticated hybrid system than what's in Toyota's Prius or the Honda Civic Hybrid.

The Prius and Civic Hybrid offer higher official government fuel economy ratings in the 40 miles-per-gallon range for 2008 while the Aura hybrid's rating like that of a non-hybrid, small car at 24/32 mpg.

And while Japanese cars provide full hybrid power, meaning they can be propelled solely on electric power for short distances, the Aura Green Line can't. Its less complex "mild hybrid" system is not designed to allow electric-power-only propulsion. Rather, its electric power comes on primarily to supplement the engine power, and from my test driving, it doesn't do a class-leading job of it.

Thank goodness the Aura has other qualities, notably handsome looks and commendable handling that stem from its development from a European Opel car.

I enjoyed the comfortable ride and easy handling nature of the Aura.

And some consumers may recall that the gasoline-only version of Aura won the 2007 North American Car of the Year Award from an independent group of U.S. and Canadian auto journalists.

The car won before the introduction of the hybrid version and, thus, was judged based on its two initial engines, which were strong V6s with a reported horsepower of at least 224.

Hybrid has different character than Aura V6 models
But the Aura Green Line, which is priced higher than an Aura with V6 and weighs about the same as a V6 Aura, gets only 164-horsepower from its 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with electric motor assist.

And the lower power is noticeable and disappointing.

Sure, the Aura Green Line drives mostly like a regular car and even has a regular 4-speed automatic transmission, rather than a fuel-conscious continuously variable transmission like the Prius and Civic Hybrid have.

But the Aura's 4 cylinder, with peak torque of 159 lb-ft at a high 5000 rpm, has a noisy, buzzy sound when it's pressed, which can be often.

Indeed, anyone who has experienced a Toyota or Honda hybrid will realize there's no big power surge in the Aura hybrid like the others have, and the addition of electric power during the Aura's acceleration is less than impressive.

In fact, the test car even felt sluggish in the mid-rpm range when I wanted quick acceleration.

Compounding my frustration were the Aura Green Line's brakes.

As in the Toyota and Honda hybrids, the 4 cylinder in the Aura Green Line can shut off automatically when the car comes to complete stops, thus reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

This is what I expected. But using my normal driving style, I'd slow smoothly to a stop, say, at traffic lights, and find the gas engine wouldn't turn off as I sat there at idle.

Only with practice did I learn that in the test Aura hybrid, the brake pedal had to be pressed firmly to the floor for the engine to turn off. Unfortunately, this meant that my stops were no longer smooth. Rather, they ended in a jolt.

On the plus side…
The Aura shines in a few areas, notably its good looks.

And Saturn's mild hybrid worked without the hesitation or chug-chug sensation that I sometimes experienced in earlier Toyota and Honda hybrid cars as the electric power mixed with the engine power.

The Aura has more headroom than a Prius and standard, one-year, complimentary OnStar emergency notification system that neither the Prius nor Civic offers.

But I wonder if the Aura hybrid has enough of the hybrid qualities that lure buyers-basically, a high-tech nature and top fuel economy.

Inside, on the Aura dashboard, there was no big, dynamic graphic to illustrate the power modes as there is in the Prius.

And during my test drive, I only managed 22 miles a gallon. Frankly, I don't need to buy a fancy hybrid powertrain to get that kind of mileage.

Looks like a regular Aura
I also wished for something that would show that this Aura was special.

But onlookers likely won't notice a difference between hybrid and non-hybrid Auras, because they look virtually identical and are the same size, stretching 15.8 feet in overall length.

Differences on the Green Line are subtle, like the hybrid badging, a hybrid gauge in the instrument panel that shows when the battery pack is being charged, an "eco" light that comes on to tell drivers when electric power is aiding propulsion, and smaller, 16-inch wheels and tires.

Odds and ends
In all Auras, three adults sit close to each other in the back seat, and the dashboard arrangement of controls is cleanly laid out.

The hybrid's trunk is just a tad smaller than the 15.7 cubic feet of a regular Aura. This is because the battery pack for electric energy storage sits behind the rear seatback, on the trunk floor. It's smaller, though, than the battery packs in hybrid Toyotas and Hondas because the battery never provides electric-only propulsion.

Note that some features, such as satellite radio and larger, more attractive wheels, aren't offered on the Aura hybrid.

And the 40-foot turning circle is surprisingly large for a car this size.

I couldn't help but notice the gap between the Aura hood and top of the grille seems unduly large-about the size you'd expect to see at the front of a pickup truck, not a car.

Be careful with the top-of-the-center-console lid that's between the two front seats. In the test car, as it slid uninhibited fore and aft as a make-shift armrest, it could easily pinch wayward fingers.

The Aura earned top, five-out-of-five stars in federal government testing for passenger protection in frontal and side crashes.

Among the standard safety features on the hybrid are electronic stability control and side-curtain airbags.

A final note
Car buyers may be aware that federal income tax credits for Priuses are running out.

But Saturn has plenty of hybrid tax credits still available.

So buyers of the Aura hybrid can qualify for a 100 percent hybrid tax credit-totaling $1,300-on their federal income taxes, provided the taxpayer isn't subject to other tax provisions such as the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Printable Version

2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/100,000 Miles

Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2010 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

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