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Old 03-23-2007, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

Saturn announced this week that the Aura Greenline qualifies for a $1300 tax break and is officially the lowest priced hybrid on the market for 2007.

For the official word...
http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayS...27&docid=34380

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Old 03-23-2007, 10:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

Too bad it's not much of a hybrid. Actually I think the best parts about the Greenline are the smaller wheels and the 4 cylinder engine.
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
Too bad it's not much of a hybrid.
Compared to WHAT other car exactly? There's not much more than 1-mode hybrids (aka type 1) out there right now.Which the Aura is as well.
WOT

Last edited by WopOnTour; 03-23-2007 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by WopOnTour View Post
Compared to WHAT other car exactly? There's not much more than 1-mode hybrids (aka type 1) out there right now.Which the Aura is as well.
WOT
Compared to the Prius, Camry. The Prius mostly because you can get it for about $24K and it gets 40MPG fairly easily
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
Compared to the Prius, Camry. The Prius mostly because you can get it for about $24K and it gets 40MPG fairly easily
I'm still referring to you comment "not much of a hybrid" and what exactly you meant by that. A type 1 hybrid is a type 1 hybrid- Prius... Camry... Aura. So what's your point? The Aura is still cheaper than the totally impractical Prius (OK so maybe for a commuter) and the mileage achieved by the significantly larger Aura GL are more on par with the with the much more expensive Camry hybrid. So I'm still a bit confused by your original comment.
WOT

BTW: You might enjoy this "Point - Counterpoint" in Business Week.
http://www.businessweek.com/debatero...he+debate+room
The debate continues

Last edited by WopOnTour; 03-23-2007 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:32 PM   #6
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Dizzy Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
Compared to the Prius, Camry. The Prius mostly because you can get it for about $24K and it gets 40MPG fairly easily
Well what I think he means is the 4cyl hybrid gets the same gas mileage as the 4cyl regular malibu, and equal gas mileage as the 6cyl accord and camry hybrid. So that leads me to wonder why didn't they just put a 4cyl in one and call it a day.
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Well what I think he means is the 4cyl hybrid gets the same gas mileage as the 4cyl regular malibu, and equal gas mileage as the 6cyl accord and camry hybrid. So that leads me to wonder why didn't they just put a 4cyl in one and call it a day.
City mileage. For city commuters with lots of stoplights/traffic, shutting down the engine at idle saves a lot of gas. You'll notice the city EPA estimate is 4-5mpg higher than the regular 4-cyl competition (sans the CVT'd Altima) for only a couple grand more MSRP. It also includes plenty of other technologies (StabiliTrak, auto-climate control) that the competition doesn't match for the price.
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Old 03-23-2007, 01:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by WopOnTour View Post
I'm still referring to you comment "not much of a hybrid" and what exactly you meant by that. A type 1 hybrid is a type 1 hybrid- Prius... Camry... Aura.
I don't know what you mean by "Type 1 hybrid"
The Prius can run for a few miles at slow speed entirely on electric power. The Aura GL can never run entirely on electric. If you are in heavy stop and go traffic the Prius will achieve superior fuel mileage.
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Old 03-23-2007, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
City mileage. For city commuters with lots of stoplights/traffic, shutting down the engine at idle saves a lot of gas. You'll notice the city EPA estimate is 4-5mpg higher than the regular 4-cyl competition (sans the CVT'd Altima) for only a couple grand more MSRP. It also includes plenty of other technologies (StabiliTrak, auto-climate control) that the competition doesn't match for the price.
Call me crazy, but 4-5mpg in city driving (if it even turns out to be true) is still going to create a rather long payback time to cover the cost differential between a plain Jane 4-cyl and this "hybrid." This is just a parlor trick to cash in on the hybrid bandwagon. As someone else mentioned, a 4-cyl Malibu costs a LOT less ($5k+) and gets approximately the same mileage without all the extra complexity of this half-baked "hybrid" solution.

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Old 03-23-2007, 04:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

you are not paying $5k more compared to the Malibu for fuel economy alone. Comparing apples to apples is tough. However, comparing the Aura XE to the Aura GL, you lose some power and gain fuel economy, but you still get the Aura, not a stripped down Malibu. You do pay a small premium for the hybrid.

The tax credit doesn't hurt either. This really helps cut the real gap.

This is one of the first hybrids that actually have the potential to save you money. The others are a status symbol and a feel good measure, not a sound investment.

The real cost difference is when you want to be the first to get it and buy the vehicle without the availability of subsidized financing.
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by Ritz View Post
Call me crazy, but 4-5mpg in city driving (if it even turns out to be true) is still going to create a rather long payback time to cover the cost differential between a plain Jane 4-cyl and this "hybrid." This is just a parlor trick to cash in on the hybrid bandwagon. As someone else mentioned, a 4-cyl Malibu costs a LOT less ($5k+) and gets approximately the same mileage without all the extra complexity of this half-baked "hybrid" solution.

Cheers,
You're crazy

The closest car for a cost differential is the XE rather than the Malibu (shorter, lighter vehicle, less standard options). Given the tax credit, the hybrid system is basically free.
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

Marketing: "We need a Hybrid and we need it NOW!"

Engineering: "But you told us years ago that the whole Hybrid thing was a flash in the pan. We have done nothing on this while our competition has developed and patented every possible approach"

Marketing: "What can I have in six months"

Engineering: "Maybe we could rig up a fancy alternator that could feed a little power back to the engine and regenerate a bit? Isn't that a little cheesy?"

Marketing: "As long as we can call it a Hybrid we can sell it!"

(My totally engineering biased and shallow analysis of how this hybrid approach was birthed)
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by Diesel_Clatter View Post
Marketing: "We need a Hybrid and we need it NOW!"

Engineering: "But you told us years ago that the whole Hybrid thing was a flash in the pan. We have done nothing on this while our competition has developed and patented every possible approach"

Marketing: "What can I have in six months"

Engineering: "Maybe we could rig up a fancy alternator that could feed a little power back to the engine and regenerate a bit? Isn't that a little cheesy?"

Marketing: "As long as we can call it a Hybrid we can sell it!"

(My totally engineering biased and shallow analysis of how this hybrid approach was birthed)
Sadly, that's probably not far off.
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by Ritz View Post
This is just a parlor trick to cash in on the hybrid bandwagon.
That's a baseless, and rather mean-spirited, comment.

You and David have scrupulously avoided addressing the Aura GL’s advantages, while taking cheap shots at the technology. I’m sure Toyota’s hybrid system is more sophisticated (read, “complex”) than GM’s hybrid “lite”. Simpler is not necessarily a bad thing: I for one like simple equipment. How about calling the BAS “simple but elegant”?

Comparing a Prius to an Aura in this context is to make a purely polemical comparison. I’m sure the Prius is a fine car for urban commuters, but I’ll wager the Aura GL is far superior to the Prius when it comes to comfort for passengers, and, I should think, is a much safer vehicle. And well it should be: it’s a considerably larger vehicle.

“If you are in heavy stop and go traffic the Prius will achieve superior fuel mileage.”

I’m sure the Prius will be better than an Aura GL- the Volt would probably do even better. Nonetheless, the Aura GL will do considerably better than an XE or even a mythical Aura with an Ecotec 2.4 but without the BAS.


I’m not really sold on hybrids, even though I consider myself to be an environmentalist. I wonder if the environmental cost of mining the heavy metals in a Toyota hybrid have been fully factored in to an analysis of the environmental advantages. As has been mentioned by others, with the Aura GL you get the benefit of on-off operation “for free” when you factor in the tax credit (it’s not simply a “parlor trick”: it offers a real world advantage). I’ll wager talking points that the payback period of the hybrid technology in the Camry hybrid is longer than that of the Aura GL (assuming gasoline at current prices). Simply because it does not offer the full benefit of a hybrid “heavy” is no reason to disparage the technology or the motives behind its development, which seems to be all you are doing.

================================================== =====

P.S. To K-1: What is a “standard option?” [your post #11 here]

P.P.S. to K-1: Some weeks ago, when I complained the Aura GL was coming to market with a 4-speed transmission, you noted that it was a considerable matter to qualify the Ecotec 2.4 for the six-speed transmission . Turns out the 2008 Malibu will do exactly that (it had been announced when you made that claim, but I was unaware of it at the time). My arguments in favor of putting the six-speed in the Aura GL stand. Saturn should do it.
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by sherwool View Post
That's a baseless, and rather mean-spirited, comment.
Oh please. Mean spirited? I think it's just a healthy dose of cynicism.

Cheers,
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

My wife might be interested in trading her XE for the GL. Don't know if the dealer will get any in "her" color with a cloth interior and no sun roof in time for the 30 day, 1500 mile swapout.
She does not care whether it is a six speed or a four speed. She just wants an automatic. She is averaging 27.5 mpg combined city/highway and she is curious what she could squeeze out of the GL. I have not driven it in city, but I got over 33 mpg highway in her XE.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

Quote:
You and David have scrupulously avoided addressing the Aura GL’s advantages, while taking cheap shots at the technology.
I was just referring to the Hybrid system. The Aura is a nicer car than the Prius overall.

Quote:
I wonder if the environmental cost of mining the heavy metals in a Toyota hybrid have been fully factored in to an analysis of the environmental advantages.
The batteries are the same as laptop computer and camcorder batteries so the mining would've been done regardless.
Quote:
Simply because it does not offer the full benefit of a hybrid “heavy” is no reason to disparage the technology or the motives behind its development, which seems to be all you are doing.
GMs the biggest car company in the world. They should've been at the forefront of this technology. Their motives were being cheap.

================================================== =====

Quote:
P.P.S. to K-1: Some weeks ago, when I complained the Aura GL was coming to market with a 4-speed transmission, you noted that it was a considerable matter to qualify the Ecotec 2.4 for the six-speed transmission . Turns out the 2008 Malibu will do exactly that (it had been announced when you made that claim, but I was unaware of it at the time). My arguments in favor of putting the six-speed in the Aura GL stand. Saturn should do it.
I believe GM wants to put the 6 speed in all their cars eventually.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

David-

You sure manage to pack a lot of misinformation into one short post.

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The batteries are the same as laptop computer and camcorder batteries so the mining would've been done regardless.
Where to start with such twaddle?

The vast majority of batteries in modern laptops are Li-ion. To the best of my knowledge, no mainstream auto manufacturer offers them in their hybrids today. I think Tesla is coming out with one this year, and Toyota should put them in the Prius in a couple of years, but for now they are using NiMH batteries. Perhaps you would be good enough to check your facts before you post.

As for the "mining would've been done regardless", that is simply insipid. Suffice it is to note that if auto manufacturers were not using the nickel, I think it likely that the vast majority of nickel they have used would not have been mined. You might care to ruminate over the idea that from an environmental standpoint, the less mining done, the better.

Quote:
GMs the biggest car company in the world. They should've been at the forefront of this technology. Their motives were being cheap.
Kindly have the decency to admit, you don't have a clue what their motives were. So stop claiming you do. And whatever their motives (complacency, ignorance, genuine lack of conviction that the technology was the right way to go), I suspect there was a good deal more to it than "being cheap". They apparently believed there was not a business case to be made for hybrids. I suppose they were wrong, but that doesn't justify your and Ritz's absurd characterization of GM's motives (e.g. calling it a "parlor trick"). Somehow I thought you were capable of more nuanced analysis.
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Old 03-24-2007, 02:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

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Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
You're crazy

The closest car for a cost differential is the XE rather than the Malibu (shorter, lighter vehicle, less standard options). Given the tax credit, the hybrid system is basically free.
Don't knock the Malibu. I've driven both Auras and Malibu's extensively. A loaded Malibu LTZ is every bit as good as an Aura XE. The 3.6L XR raises the ante a little higher, but it doesn't necessarily handle or ride better than the Malibu LTZ. It just goes faster, quieter, and has a nicer interior.

I like the tax credit, and I hope GM's engineering of the hybrid system works out better in the long term than the VTi. The 6-speed auto should be put on the GL. Only I'm not sure if the plant has enough capacity.
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Old 03-24-2007, 07:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn Aura Greenline- Lowest cost hybrid

[QUOTE=sherwool;1025430]David-

Quote:
As for the "mining would've been done regardless", that is simply insipid. Suffice it is to note that if auto manufacturers were not using the nickel, I think it likely that the vast majority of nickel they have used would not have been mined.
I'm not wrong. All the nickel that is available and found will be mined regardless of its use. Toyota or the battery manufacturers don't do the mining themselves. They buy it. NiMH are still used in a lot of cordless devices (phones, MP3, tools)


Quote:
Kindly have the decency to admit, you don't have a clue what their motives were. So stop claiming you do.
Why defend GM so much? I can guess their motives as well as anyone else.
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