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Old 11-19-2006, 04:01 PM   #1
fantarain
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Default 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

I am kind of cross shopping with these two cars and haven't made a decision yet about which to choose. I test drove both cars.
1. passat 2.0T has 200 hp engine, Aura XR has 252 hp v6 engine. Aura XR accelerates faster and power kicks in immediately. It's more exciting to drive IMO. Passat is nice too, but the throttle lag is really annoying to me. I test drove the 2006, don't know if the 2007 would have the same problem.
2. passat 2.0T has a nicer build quality of interior, Aura XR has more hard plastic inside the car, but not too bad for me.
3. Aura XR is introduced for the first year in 2007. It is built in the Epsilon platform of GM, the same with Malibu, pontiac G6, saab 9-3. The model is based on opel Vectra, an GM europe only brand.
4. For the safty rate: passat gets silver pick in IIHS, and 4 stars in most NHTSA rate. Aura has all 5 stars in NHTSA rate, but doesn't have IIHS rate yet.
5. For fuel economy: Passat has 31mpg in high way and Aura XR has 28 mpg, AUra XR needs only regular gas, and passat needs premium.
6. For the price: saturn has the no-haggle price. The aura xr sales on the sticker price. It would be about $1000-2000 more than the passat 2.0T buying price. No too big difference I think.

I was wondering if anyone could give any suggestion about which car is a better choice to buy. If anyone also made a compare of these two cars and made a buy decision, could you tell me which car you finally bought? Thanks a lot!

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Old 11-19-2006, 04:15 PM   #2
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2007 AURA XE
Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Not sure you came to the right place since there's one or two Aura fanatics here, but I'll be the first to offer up an opinion. I think the Aura XR is a better choice for several reasons: performance, looks, ride/handling, and reliability. Although the reliability of the Aura hasn't been established, the reliability of the Passat certainly has (as with all VW cars - not good). VW quality is not what it used to be and they're very expensive to fix. Warranty will cover for the first few years of course, but after that, good luck. The Passat isn't a bad looking car, but they did something to it that just isn't right. It's not easy on the eyes like the Aura, IMO. The only thing I give the nod to the Passat would be interior quality, which is something that VW has been very good at. Ergonomics, fit & finish, quality materials, etc...all top notch.

Go with what makes you smile, and it sounds to me like the Aura tickles your fancy.

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Old 11-19-2006, 04:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Like cowtown_raider said, "Not sure you came to the right place since there's one or two Aura fanatics here". I would go for the Aura, bet you didn't see that coming.

It's clear from your post that you are leaning the Aura way, just do it, you won't be disappointed. I absolutely love my Aura XR, it's just plain fun to drive, like no car has ever been for me.

There is my opinion, buy the Aura XR...................

...
Live and learn...........

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Old 11-19-2006, 04:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

go for the aura xr. I switched from a 2.0L turbo subaru wrx. And while I had it modified to just over 300hp I haven't been to let down by the aura's performance. Yeah it's hard to compare the two vehicles the wrx is a pure performance machine, but I have been very surprised at how the Aura has performed. I was expecting a big let down by switching, but it really hasn't been. The biggest thing I miss is the AWD and of course the top end that comes with a large turbo. On the flip side I love the instant power and tourque that comes with this beefy 3.6L. Like they say there's no replasement for displacement. Oh and one of the main reasons i went with the Aura over say a TL or TSX is and one of the main reasons I got rid of the WRX is premium fuel. It's bad enough to pay these higher gas prices, but even worse when you're paying $.20 more a gal for premium.

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Old 11-19-2006, 05:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

I have always liked German engineering and you very obviously get that with both cars. There are, of course, some basic differences in philosophy to choose from.

Four cylinder turbo, vs V6 is the biggest philosophical difference. Turbos have a kind of sexy, high tech appeal. They also have some issues. There is no doubt that turbos squeeze more performance from fewer cylinders. This puts more stress on those components. The turbo unit itself is a very high rpm, high temperature, high stress unit. They work very well, and technology has come a long way from the early days, but they are another point of service and failure. I prefer the simplicity of non turbo from a purely practical point of view.

Turbo lag shows up in one degree or another in every turbo system. The only way to get rid of that is to go with the closely related super charger, which has its own issues.

Premium fuel. Well, I know you can use regular in the XR and be very happy. I live in an area where there are lots of steep hills. I find that my low rpm torque and responsiveness is improved with premium in my XR. Not worlds different, but I notice it. I did the experiment in my V6 Vue and did NOT notice it, so I used regular. The manual states that for towing or improved performance, you should use premium. My testing seems to validate that, although I did not use scientific methods or instrumentation.

The Aura has another advantage over the Passat. It is a newer design, from a company that is attempting to make a statement. It is almost a case of "our Germans are better than your Germans" . That is just a joke, really, since the Aura is a multinational effort. I imagine it is similar for VW, but I do not know.

You would probably enjoy both vehicles. I love the handling, performance, fresh styling and the purchasing experience of the Aura.

Best regards,
Jonathan-1

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Old 11-19-2006, 06:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantarain
I am kind of cross shopping with these two cars and haven't made a decision yet about which to choose. I test drove both cars.
1. passat 2.0T has 200 hp engine, Aura XR has 252 hp v6 engine. Aura XR accelerates faster and power kicks in immediately. It's more exciting to drive IMO. Passat is nice too, but the throttle lag is really annoying to me. I test drove the 2006, don't know if the 2007 would have the same problem.
2. passat 2.0T has a nicer build quality of interior, Aura XR has more hard plastic inside the car, but not too bad for me.
3. Aura XR is introduced for the first year in 2007. It is built in the Epsilon platform of GM, the same with Malibu, pontiac G6, saab 9-3. The model is based on opel Vectra, an GM europe only brand.
4. For the safty rate: passat gets silver pick in IIHS, and 4 stars in most NHTSA rate. Aura has all 5 stars in NHTSA rate, but doesn't have IIHS rate yet.
5. For fuel economy: Passat has 31mpg in high way and Aura XR has 28 mpg, AUra XR needs only regular gas, and passat needs premium.
6. For the price: saturn has the no-haggle price. The aura xr sales on the sticker price. It would be about $1000-2000 more than the passat 2.0T buying price. No too big difference I think.

I was wondering if anyone could give any suggestion about which car is a better choice to buy. If anyone also made a compare of these two cars and made a buy decision, could you tell me which car you finally bought? Thanks a lot!


From what you have told us, the Aura is better than the Passat in almost every category. The categories that it didn't win, you were able to live with. So what's the conundrum here?

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Old 11-19-2006, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Aura XR would be the best choice. If you drive around 15k mikes a year, the premium fuel penalty will add up to $3000 a year.

IMO German cars are expensive to maintain, especially if you have to pay for the repairs and aggravation during the down time. I'm sure someone will reply back how their German car gets better mileage, has better performance, and has superior relaibilty over any American car...

...
2006 Black VUE Red Line - Now running iOS 11

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Old 11-19-2006, 06:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

I think his mind is already made up...he just needs that final push to pull the trigger. Question for the OP...did you pose this question in a Passat forum as well?

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Old 11-19-2006, 07:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantarain
I am kind of cross shopping with these two cars and haven't made a decision yet about which to choose. ... I was wondering if anyone could give any suggestion about which car is a better choice to buy.
Anecdotal evidence needs to be taken with a certain grain of salt, but, nonetheless, I think it may be relevant. I have a friend with a 2000 Passat, which he has generally been happy with ... until last week. His car has 104,000 miles on it ... driven on generally well-maintained suburban roads. He was, therefore, a bit dismayed when he took it in for servicing, and the VW dealer said he needed extensive front end work to the tune of $3500. Well by postponing some work, he cut off $1000, but still, a car that new that only recently turned 100K shouldn't have that problem.

CU, in its annual buyer's guide, lists the Passat as "New", and therefore cannot give a predicted reliability estimate for the vehicle. Obviously, the same would apply to the Aura.

I personally would not consider a VW product. In the 1990's GM had a Spaniard, a certain Mr. Lopez, who headed their relations with suppliers. Lopez was famous for bargaining down the suppliers. VW recruited him, and Lopez stole a lot of proprietary information from GM. VW lied about both their recruiting of him, and what they knew of his stealing GM proprietary information. Eventually most of the truth came to light, and Lopez was canned and GM and VW came to terms. But all in all, I think it portrayed VW as a lying, sleazy company. But, hey, one might expect as much of company that had no compunction about using slave labor during WW II.

Do let us know what you decide, and why.

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Old 11-19-2006, 07:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantarain
I am kind of cross shopping with these two cars and haven't made a decision yet about which to choose. I test drove both cars.
1. passat 2.0T has 200 hp engine, Aura XR has 252 hp v6 engine. Aura XR accelerates faster and power kicks in immediately. It's more exciting to drive IMO. Passat is nice too, but the throttle lag is really annoying to me. I test drove the 2006, don't know if the 2007 would have the same problem.
2. passat 2.0T has a nicer build quality of interior, Aura XR has more hard plastic inside the car, but not too bad for me.
3. Aura XR is introduced for the first year in 2007. It is built in the Epsilon platform of GM, the same with Malibu, pontiac G6, saab 9-3. The model is based on opel Vectra, an GM europe only brand.
4. For the safty rate: passat gets silver pick in IIHS, and 4 stars in most NHTSA rate. Aura has all 5 stars in NHTSA rate, but doesn't have IIHS rate yet.
5. For fuel economy: Passat has 31mpg in high way and Aura XR has 28 mpg, AUra XR needs only regular gas, and passat needs premium.
6. For the price: saturn has the no-haggle price. The aura xr sales on the sticker price. It would be about $1000-2000 more than the passat 2.0T buying price. No too big difference I think.

I was wondering if anyone could give any suggestion about which car is a better choice to buy. If anyone also made a compare of these two cars and made a buy decision, could you tell me which car you finally bought? Thanks a lot!

For $600 you can chip the 2.0T and without sacrificing daily driver manners you now have (with the 93 octane program) 252hp and 303ft/lbs of torque. You could probably eke out a bit more with an exhaust (and perhaps reduce the turbo lag a bit).

http://www.goapr.com/VW/products/ecu...passat20t.html

Personally, I think I would prefer the Passat if the money was about the same. The beauty of the turbocharged 4-banger is that you can still get really good gas mileage if you stay off the boost.

Cheers,

Last edited by Ritz; 11-19-2006 at 07:41 PM..

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Old 11-19-2006, 10:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

I have a friend of mine who has a Passat AWD V6. Her maintenance bills are outrageous. In less than 40,000 miles, she needed pretty massive brake work. If the car has 17" wheels, she is facing some hefty costs for rubber. I haven't seen any evidence that Saturns are any different in that regard. Every item on my 2001 L100 car except for wiper blades, oil filters, air filters and spark plugs is "dealer only." That means I'm screwed into going to the dealer for parts. The costs are pretty high in and of themselves unless you can get a wholesale to the public Saturn dealer who is willing to sell you the parts so that you can put them in yourself. If I hadn't have gone that route on my brake, clutch and struts, I'd have been looking at delaying necessary maintenance. Not something I like to do.

In all, I would expect slightly better reliability out of the Saturn, however, I would expect the Passat body to last longer, based on its tight German construction. Its probably a tossup as to which dealer network is likely to support replacement parts better. I would suspect that GM is slightly better in that regard.

Its a tossup as far as I can tell, however, I lean towards the Saturn based on looks and the lower stressed motor. Based on high speed cruising ability, I'm gonna have to go with the VW. The Saturn Aura has a 115 mph electronic speed limiter in its engine software. It also comes standard with the all intrusive OnStar, along with their annoying commercials. Go with the VW.

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Old 11-19-2006, 10:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L100
The Saturn Aura has a 115 mph electronic speed limiter in its engine software. It also comes standard with the all intrusive OnStar, along with their annoying commercials. Go with the VW.
A) Why do you need to go above 100 MPH in the first place? B) Why is Onstar intrusive? They don't spy on you. And if you don't want it. Don't use it. And do not renew it when the free year is up. C) All I have to say is WTF? Why would you buy or not buy a car based on a commercial? GM's ads might not be the best, but that wouldn't stop me from buying a GM vehicle.

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Old 11-19-2006, 10:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_Rules
A) Why do you need to go above 100 MPH in the first place? B) Why is Onstar intrusive? They don't spy on you. And if you don't want it. Don't use it. And do not renew it when the free year is up. But, I don't see why you wouldn't. It has come to great help and convenience for my experiences. C) All I have to say is WTF? Why would you buy or not buy a car based on a commercial? GM's ads might not be the best, but that wouldn't stop me from buying a GM vehicle.
Personally, I don't think I'd ever use OnStar. It was an interesting gadget on our VUE. I find that its biggest value to us is that you can use it as a fancy hands-free phone. I doubt that will be enough to get us to renew after the first year though. Same goes for the XM that "came with" the radio upgrade.

Anyway, given similar pricing, I think the Passat is probably a better deal here and will definitely get better mileage. It will also be a LOT more fun to drive. However, it IS a German car and the maintenance costs can bite you in the hiney once you're out of warranty. Saturn does have a longish powertrain warranty these days. Fortunately, I'm a certified Audi/VW/Porsche tech so I can fix my own (several turbo A4's, a twin turbo A6, and a few others along the way). For what it's worth, my father-in-law has an '05 Passat FWD and hasn't had a minute of trouble with it and he's got 30,000 miles on it now.

Cheers,

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Old 11-19-2006, 10:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritz
Personally, I don't think I'd ever use OnStar. It was an interesting gadget on our VUE. I find that its biggest value to us is that you can use it as a fancy hands-free phone. I doubt that will be enough to get us to renew after the first year though. Same goes for the XM that "came with" the radio upgrade.
Yeah, I thought that was a stupid statement and I edited it out. But, the original question still stands? How is Onstar intrusive?

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Old 11-19-2006, 11:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyP
Aura XR would be the best choice. If you drive around 15k mikes a year, the premium fuel penalty will add up to $3000 a year.

IMO German cars are expensive to maintain, especially if you have to pay for the repairs and aggravation during the down time. I'm sure someone will reply back how their German car gets better mileage, has better performance, and has superior relaibilty over any American car...
Bobby,

I believe your math is off concerning fuel penalty of $3,000 dollars a year. Using the highway mpg figures given for the XR (28 mpg) and Passat 2.0 turbo (31 mpg), the Passat would use 483.87 gallons in 15,000 miles of driving. The cost of premium where I live is $2.35. Total fuel cost for the Passat in one year would be $1137.09.

The Aura XR would need a total of 535 gallons to travel 15,000 miles. Current cost of regular gas is $2.12. Total cost of gasoline for the Aura comes out to be 1135.71. The Aura has an advantage of $1.38 cents for the entire year over the Passat if both cars achieve their EPA highway mpg figures over 15,000 miles.

If you used 12,000 miles travelled the Aura's fuel cost is $908.57 and the Passat's $909.67. I think your larger point is that the fuel economy advantage that the Passat has over the Aura is negated because it uses premium fuel.

...
Jeff

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Old 11-19-2006, 11:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritz
Anyway, given similar pricing, I think the Passat is probably a better deal here and will definitely get better mileage. It will also be a LOT more fun to drive.
Sorry, friend. I must disagree with you on both points. If a Passat were more fun to drive than the Aura, it would need to be a near mystical experience. Seriously, the Aura stacks up nicely against any vehicle in the price class. Subtle advantages and disadvantages will be apparent to those whose taste is so inclined. To claim the Passat will be a LOT more fun is simply silly.

As for the Onstar system, my first year is free, the second year will cost me $16 per month. This is worth it to have a backup cell phone, a backup to my GPS (Garmin Nuuvi) and a nifty little feature that nobody has mentioned yet. Should you be in an accident (highly unlikely), the system automatically calls the Onstar operator. If they don't get a response from you, or you ask for help, they notify the police and can give them GPS coordinates of the accident. I pay a thousand bucks a year for auto insurance and I get nothing like that kind of protection. It's worth it to me. You can make your own choice.

Best regards,
Jonathan-1

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Old 11-20-2006, 12:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan-1
I have always liked German engineering and you very obviously get that with both cars.
The Aura was engineered in the States.

Hambone

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Old 11-20-2006, 12:41 AM   #18
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HamBone
The Aura was engineered in the States.

Hambone
Well, let's see. The body is from Opel, the engine is Australian, assembly is in the states. I assume that GM engineering management is in the states. It still sounds like a lot of different folks have their hands in the mix. I actually like that.

Best regards,
Jonathan-1

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Old 11-20-2006, 09:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan-1
Sorry, friend. I must disagree with you on both points. If a Passat were more fun to drive than the Aura, it would need to be a near mystical experience.
I'll take that to mean you haven't driven a Passat. I've driven both. There is no comparison in terms of handling and road feel. And if you want to spend a little more, you can get AWD with the Passat, which is quite nice for those of us that get lots of snow or enjoy skiing. Then there's the "little things" like fit and finish and the quality of the interior. There really is no comparison here either. Check it out for yourself. The Aura seems like a decent car for the money, but it's not class leading in comfort, performance, or styling. But it is rather cheap. If that's your chief buying criteria, it might be a win for you. I drove one and didn't really like it. It wasn't terrible, but it didn't really excite me at all. It's a step up from the L, but it's not the paradigm shift in performance/quality that Saturn is crowing about either.

Also, the ECM software upgrade on the Passat is a 5 minute install (flash it through the OBDII connector) and is a 5 minute un-install if you've got a warranty issue and don't want your mod to be discovered by the dealer. I've driven a chipped 2.0T and that extra bit of boost turns it into a real stump puller.

Lastly, either one of those cars is going to be a decent daily driver so the original poster will do OK regardless of which way he or she buys.

Cheers,

Ritz

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Old 11-20-2006, 10:29 AM   #20
Jonathan-1
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Default Re: 2007 Aura XR vs 2007 2.0T passat sedan, which to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritz
I'll take that to mean you haven't driven a Passat. I've driven both. There is no comparison in terms of handling and road feel. And if you want to spend a little more, you can get AWD with the Passat, which is quite nice for those of us that get lots of snow or enjoy skiing. Then there's the "little things" like fit and finish and the quality of the interior. There really is no comparison here either.
I've driven BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Nissan, Lexus. So, the Passat is better than all those??? Wow, did I make a terrible mistake .

I've had AWD, it is highly over rated. You can pat yourself on the back in your AWD while sitting behind a long line of stuck vehicles. That is one reason I am questioning whether I should even put winter tires on my Aura.

"No comparison." OK. I am delighted that you like the Passat. Enjoy.

Best regards,
Jonathan-1

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