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Old 05-06-2007, 10:11 AM   #1
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I thought this was positive. Initially there was some complaining from SOME of these folks that the Aura Greenline wasn't "green enough" or maybe should not even be counted as a "real" hybrid.

The SECOND link below is to their Aura Greenline review:
Shattering Myth of Hybrid Premium

A new study of 118 Prius drivers, recruited mostly through flyers placed on their windshields, shatters the conventional wisdom that hybrids do not pay for themselves. Most of the Prius shoppers wanted an eco-friendly car. But when asked what kind of car they would have purchased if they had not bought a hybrid, these shoppers would have purchased a vehicle costing thousands of dollars more than a Prius. Therefore, the Prius was not only their most desired vehicle; it was cheaper than other cars on their shopping list.

“This study captured the people that traded down from a luxury vehicle, such as Audi A6, BMW X3 or Acura TL,” said Jonathan Klein, general partner of the Topline Strategy Group, the Boston-based business and technology strategy firm which conducted the study. Klein said today’s hybrid buyers “could be considered the second wave of the hybrid market.” The first group of hybrid buyers, considered early adopters, was motivated by a desire to reduce their environmental impact or buy their fascination with new technology. The changes in the market reflect a move “from green to practical,” according to Klein.

What if the hybrid version of a vehicle carried a price tag identical to the non-hybrid version of the car? Well, take a look at the Saturn Aura Green Line, the first hybrid that essentially costs no more than its conventional counterpart. In broad and simple terms, the Aura Green Line, which starts at $22,695, costs about two grand more than the Aura XE. When you subtract a $1,300 federal tax credit, you’ve whittled the premium down to a few hundred bucks. In exchange, you bump your city mileage from 20-mpg to 28-mpg, and the highway fuel efficiency from 30-mpg to 35-mpg. Depending on how much you drive, the fuel savings could erase the cost of the hybrid system within a few months. From there on out, it’s all gravy.

Of course, these accounting gymnastics mean nothing unless the vehicle’s styling, safety, performance and handling are up to snuff. And on these accounts, the Saturn Aura is scoring very high marks.

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