Road Test Rewind: Aura XR Gives Hope to Saturn

Aaron Gold from drove the 2007 Saturn Aura XR back in loved the car's V6 "good road manners" and "stellar" powertrain. He yearned for a four-cylinder option, which was added a year later for the 2008 model year. He also didn't care for his test car's dark interior or some of the chrome trim. But that didn't sour his experience with the car. "The Aura is a remarkable achievement for Saturn," he wrote. "It's a solid car, well built and exceptionally good to drive on a curvy road."

The seats are comfortable (and heated, to boot, which my wife Robin really liked) and everything is within easy reach. The center stack, which houses the stereo and air conditioner (or, in the case of the XR, automatic climate control) is nicely arranged. And the quality of the plastics and fabrics is much better than in past Saturns. My kids gave a thumbs-up to the back seat, and I too found it roomy and comfortable, though taller occupants will have to watch their head on the Aura's low roofline. The Aura XR comes with a separate stereo tuner and wireless headphones for the rear seat, so the kids could tune into XM Kids or Radio Disney while Robin and I dialed up something more palatable to post-pubescent tastes. The 15.7 cubic foot trunk had cargo nets to hold our grocery bags, and since the Aura uses struts to hold up the trunk lid, you can pack it to the brim and not worry about the trunk hinges squashing your stuff.

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