Precise Handling and 33 MPG Make Aura a Winner

Saturn Aura XR at the Beach

Scott Burgess from the Detroit News wrote about his experiences driving a 2009 Saturn Aura XR in this past Friday's auto reviews section of the newspaper. This is "the Aura Saturn should have introduced two years ago," he said. While he was impressed by the car's fuel economy, it's the overall package that left a lasting impression. "The mileage numbers may lure some customers into the dealership, but the ride will seal the deal."

I had almost forgotten how nice the Aura is inside. While there are no dramatic interior changes to for the 2009 model, there are some additions. The steering wheel now includes standard controls, and it's wrapped in leather. The dash still has that cool, gentle line pushing across it, and the wood trim still adds a touch of sophistication that many $25,000 cars lack. It's simple and elegant; not offering too much, but just enough. The seats include a double stitch that I thought I might notice while driving but I didn't. The seats are comfortable and nicely bolstered to provide some holding action in long sweepers. The fun of the Aura really lies in its handling. Promoted as European styling and handling, the Aura remains true to that promise. The steering is precise and nicely weighted. Hold it through a turn and the feedback from the wheel feels like a sports car. The body rolls very little through turns, and while the four-cylinder engine doesn't pack as powerful of a punch as the V-6, it still has plenty left in reserve on the highway.

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Video: Climbs Mt. Washington in the Saturn Vue Hybrid

Gary Gastelu from's Car Report recently drove a 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid to New Hampshire's Mt. Washington, the highest point in the northeast United States. "Drivers come from across the country to see if their vehicles can make the climb up to the 6288 foot summit," he said. "Today is Alternative Energy day here, so we brought the Saturn Vue hybrid ... and we're going to see if green can get to the top."