The Saturn Aura was introduced in the 2007 model year. Since its introduction, the Aura has been heralded as one of the best vehicles made by Saturn since its inception. The 2007 Saturn Aura won North American Car of the Year awards for its clever design and mechanics. The 2008 Saturn Aura hasn’t changed much since it was introduced. It still offers the same luxurious interior with ample leg and headroom. It still offers mechanics that give the driver a smooth and responsive ride. Although it does have some setbacks, you’ll be hard pressed to find a midsize sedan at this price range that performs as well as the 2008 Saturn Aura.
Body Styles: midsize sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.5-liter V-6, 3.6-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: Saturn Aura XE, Saturn Aura XR
The 2008 Saturn Aura receives a new base model that has a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. Stability control is now standard on all V-6 models. All 2008 Saturn Aura models come with standard satellite radio and a trip computer with a fuel economy meter. The Convenience package now includes an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
The 2008 Saturn Aura uses a stretched out Epsilon platform used for the Pontiac G6 and other vehicle models. The Aura is front-wheel drive and has a fully independent suspension with multi-linked struts. Standard features on the base 2008 Saturn Aura include 17-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, power mirrors, and daytime running lights. The XR model upgrades the wheels to 18-inch alloy wheels, and it also adds heated outside mirrors and fog/driving lamps.
The interior of the 2008 Saturn Aura is one of its best features. Even by midsize sedan standards, the 2008 Saturn Aura offers a lot of space for its passengers. The back seats have a lot of sprawling area, but passengers will have to do without a center armrest. The front seats are also very roomy. Something about the design, however, makes it difficult to get in and out of the vehicle, even with the wide doors in place. Actually, it’s the B-pillars and the shape of the dash that makes it particularly difficult for larger drivers to fit behind the steering wheel; the lack of a telescoping steering wheel only exacerbates the issue. The interior is very attractive. There are plenty of faux wood and metallic accents to brighten up the design. The addition of these small items makes the 2008 Saturn Aura feel a bit more upscale than it actually is. The acoustic glass and solid design makes for a very quiet ride as well. Unfortunately, there is a lot of plastic, rough stitching, and vinyl for a car in this price range. Standard features on the XE include air-conditioning, full power accessories, a trip computer, and a CD stereo system with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The XR adds leather upholstery, a power driver seat, heated front seats, remote vehicle start, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror for night driving.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Saturn Aura comes with one of three engine types. The Aura XE model has a standard 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower with 169 lb-ft of torque. The engine is matched with a four-speed automatic transmission. The XE model also has an optional 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that produces 219 horsepower with 219 lb-ft of torque. It also uses a four-speed automatic transmission. The Aura XR uses a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 253 horsepower with 251 lb-ft of torque. It uses a six-speed automatic transmission. If you’re looking to buy a 2008 Saturn Aura, it is best to opt for the V-6 engine since the four-cylinder engine is a bit sluggish. The 3.5-liter isn’t as refined as the 3.6-liter. The handling on the 2008 Saturn Aura is more European, so expect graceful turning and performance all around.
The 2008 Saturn Aura comes equipped with standard anti-lock brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, and an OnStar emergency communications system. Stability control comes standard on all of the V-6 models. The NHTSA gave the 2008 Saturn Aura five out of five stars for front and side impacts.
EPA Fuel Economy
Saturn Aura XE: 22/30 mpg city/highway
Saturn Aura XR: 17/26 mpg city/highway
- The refined XR powertrain
- Good balance between ride and handling
- Attractive design exterior and interior
- Lots of space in the cabin
You Won't Like
- Subpar interior materials
- No center arm rests
- Boring steering
A great, economical choice for the family.
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