2007 Hybrid Sedan Comparison Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

2007 Saturn Aura Hybrid

(2.4L 4-cyl. Hybrid 4-speed Automatic)
  • 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid Picture

    2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid Picture

    Simple controls for the audio and ventilation systems are a hallmark of the Altima's interior. | September 30, 2009

33 Photos

  • Comparison Test
  • Second Opinion
  • Top 4 Features
  • Editors' Evaluations
  • Final Rankings and Scoring Explanation
  • Data and Charts
  • 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid Specs and Performance
  • 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid Specs and Performance
  • 2007 Saturn Aura Specs and Performance

Comparing hybrid sedans is a little like pitting Rush Limbaugh against Al Gore in a Thunderdome-style death match. The fight itself might put you to sleep, but the results, which speak volumes about the commitment of the combatants, will have everyone taking notice.

Despite the politics, now is a good time to compare hybrids. Environmental factors, ever-increasing fuel costs and the simple need for social responsibility are creating a market ripe for the hybrid. Manufacturers are responding with midsize sedans — the most popular car segment in the largest car market in the world.

We've assembled the three big players in this segment: Nissan's 2007 Altima Hybrid, Saturn's 2007 Aura Green Line and Toyota's 2007 Camry Hybrid. We left out Honda's Accord Hybrid since it's been discontinued for the 2008 model year. We're simply looking for the best car by factoring in fuel economy, performance, price and usability in an all-out slugfest of green.

Who's Who?
Toyota is a dominant player in the American hybrid market with its Prius, now in its second generation, which has set the standard for efficient operation and distinctly dorky styling. But it's the Camry that has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for eight of the last nine years, so producing a hybrid version that incorporates the efficiency of the Prius with mainstream usability and styling only makes sense.

Just like the standard Camry, the hybrid version comes loaded with features like dual-zone climate control and Toyota's Smart Key system with push-button start. Our test car also has plenty of options, including the $1,300 Leather Package and $1,200 voice-activated DVD-based navigation and audio system (with satellite radio). The $940 Moonroof Package, $470 Comfort and Convenience Package and $277 Preferred Accessory Package brought the total to $30,667, including the $580 destination fee.

At $30,535 as tested, Nissan's Altima Hybrid undercuts the Camry by only $132. Its $5,250 Connection Package with XM includes heated leather seats, a power-sliding moonroof, Bluetooth capability, a Bose six-disc CD changer with XM Satellite Radio and nine speakers, and many other amenities. The Altima also includes $270 in floor mats and aluminum sill plates.

Saturn's Aura is far less expensive at only $23,070. It has only one option — the $375 Preferred Package, which adds eight-way power adjustment to the driver seat, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and heated power-adjustable outside mirrors.

All three cars come standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, head curtain and side airbags, traction control and stability control. Regenerative braking, which turns kinetic energy from braking into electrical energy to charge the hybrid system's batteries, is a key feature in most hybrids and all three cars utilize it. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are also standard for all three cars.

The Routine
Testing three hybrid sedans might not produce the same thrill as our last 500-horsepower coupe shoot-out, but there is something refreshing about exceeding 40 miles per gallon during your homeward commute. Some editors even thought of the Camry's fuel economy display as a personal challenge to their driving skill.

For two weeks we drove all three cars in every environment they would ordinarily see as family sedans. We loaded them with people and cargo, observed their strengths and shortcomings and took them to the test track to measure their performance. We bickered about the couchlike ride quality of the Camry and were in awe of the directness of the Altima's steering. And we all liked the reasonable price of the Aura.

We skewed our scoring criteria to focus on the priorities of the hybrid buyer. Fuel economy contributed a major amount to each car's overall score, while performance was scaled back accordingly. Feature content and our 28-point evaluation that covers everything from powertrain performance to cupholders have been weighted 15 and 20 percent, respectively. As-tested price, the most heavily weighted category, accounts for 30 percent of each car's total score.

All Hybrids Are Not Created Equal
Understanding the differences between the two types of hybrids tested here is critical to both making an informed purchase decision and reconciling the differences in each car's performance and efficiency. Both the Camry and Altima use Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. (Although Nissan doesn't use the Synergy Drive nomenclature, it has licensed the technology as a stopgap until its own system is ready by 2010.)

The Camry Hybrid comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 147 hp and 138 pound-feet of torque that augments its 30-kilowatt electric motor. Nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries are capable of delivering 30 kilowatts of power. Drive is sent through a unique continuously variable transmission (CVT) that utilizes two planetary gearsets instead of the bands and clutches typical of most CVTs. The same components are used in the Altima, where they're coupled to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 158 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Nissan also calibrates the system to suit the Altima's sporting identity — a difference we could actually feel.

Toyota's design is elegant and effective for several reasons. First, it allows the car to be propelled entirely on electric power under many conditions and many speeds, and this saves fuel. Its unique CVT allows power to come from either the gas engine or electric motor, providing the ability to blend power sources for optimal efficiency.

GM's hybrid system combines the base Aura's 2.4-liter four-cylinder power plant with an electric motor-generator. This generator produces 4 kilowatts of power, enough to spin the crankshaft pulley via a heavy-duty Kevlar ribbed belt. The Aura's NiMH battery pack produces 10 kilowatts of power.

The Aura's electric motor is used to start the gasoline engine and can add small amounts of power under high-load conditions. Both the electric motor and gasoline engine, which are coupled in a fixed ratio, drive a conventional four-speed automatic transmission. Like the Camry and Altima, the gasoline engine shuts off under certain conditions and the electric motor restarts it. But with far less electric power than the Toyota and Nissan, the Saturn offers full electric propulsion only up to about 3 mph. Consequently, the gasoline engine is forced to do most of the work.

The Camry and Altima are each certified as Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (AT-PZEV). This means the tailpipe emissions are 90 percent cleaner than the average new vehicle, the fuel system has zero evaporative emissions and the powertrain carries a 15-year/150,000-mile warranty. Meanwhile, the Aura is certified as a Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV).

I Want My MPG
We measured fuel economy using two sets of criteria. First, we performed a test in which all three cars were driven over two road loops — one highway (120 miles) and one city (50 miles). Driving in a group and using the same driving style and similar speeds ensured a controlled environment for all three cars. One driver refueled all three cars at the same pump using the same fill technique on both loops.

All accessories (air-conditioning, radio, etc.) were set identically during these tests to control as many variables as possible. Both the Camry's "ECO" button and the Aura's "Hybrid A/C" button, which limit the ventilation system's energy consumption, were engaged. The combined fuel economy numbers produced during these tests were used in our fuel economy scoring, which contributes to 15 percent of each car's overall score.

Toyota proved it's got the fuel economy game wrapped up, as the Camry produced the best combined mileage of our test group with 43.2 mpg over both loops — 44.5 mpg in the city and 42.6 mpg on the highway. The Altima's fuel economy in the city actually proved marginally better than the Camry's at 47.3 mpg, but its 38.1 mpg on the highway dropped its combined rating to 40.1 mpg.

The Aura wasn't even close. Its combined fuel economy was just 26 mpg, largely as a result of its 18.9 mpg in city driving — where it doesn't benefit from true electric-only propulsion like the Camry and Altima. On the highway loop, the Aura produced 31.5 mpg.

Second, we calculated observed fuel economy over our entire time with each car, just as we do with all of our road test vehicles. Though this data isn't gathered in identical controlled conditions, it provides a useful idea of the fuel economy each car is likely to produce in the hands of the average drivers during everyday driving. The Camry again came out on top, producing 32.6 mpg. At 31.5 mpg, the Altima is a close 2nd, while the Aura lags behind at 24.5 mpg.

3rd Place: 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid

The Aura is a big step forward for GM when it comes to the midsize sedan segment. Its Epsilon platform is a capable player dynamically and its interior is a huge leap ahead of previous efforts. Problem is, the target keeps moving. GM's Japanese competition always seems to stay one step ahead when it comes to design and quality.

The factor that hurts it worst in this test, however, is that its fuel economy simply doesn't compete with other hybrid sedans. Equipped with a mild-hybrid powertrain that lacks true electric-only propulsion, the Aura burdens its gasoline engine more than its full-hybrid competition. Even though our scoring system emphasizes the importance of price more than any other factor, the Aura's $7,500 price advantage over the 2nd-place Altima isn't enough to overcome its deficit in fuel-efficiency.

We'll admit that it would take more than 18 years to recoup the price difference between the Altima and Aura in fuel-cost savings alone. (We're using the current average U.S. fuel cost, a rate of 15,000 miles per annum and the same observed fuel economy we achieved — 31.5 and 24.5 mpg, respectively.) But this is an economic argument, not an environmental one, and the Aura still consumes 136 more gallons of fuel annually than the Altima.

The Aura's acceleration and handling didn't win it any points against its competition, either. It was off the pace in acceleration to 60 mph, where it registered an embarrassing 11.0-second time — more than 2.5 seconds behind the 2nd-place Camry. The story is the same in the quarter-mile, where the Aura posts a 17.9-second time at 81.8 mph.

Handling and braking numbers brought the Aura closer to its competition. It stops from 60 mph in 139 feet — 3 feet longer than the Altima and 5 feet longer than the Camry. Its 0.74g skid-pad performance is on par for the class and its 58.7-mph slalom speed is only a few clicks slower than the 2nd-place Camry.

The Aura did win points with several features that the Altima and Camry simply don't have. Its mild hybrid system requires fewer batteries, which are traditionally packaged in the trunk of most hybrid sedans. Less intrusion by the batteries means more trunk space than both of the other cars. The Aura also has a 60/40-split folding rear seat, which the Altima didn't have, while the Camry makes a half-hearted attempt with a split-folding design that's partially blocked by batteries. The Aura is also the only car in the group that comes standard with an emergency assistance system (OnStar).

The Aura is a tough sell when compared to the competition. Its primary benefit is the ability to shut down the gasoline engine when stopped, but without the ability to mix power sources it can't compete with the Camry and Altima's fuel economy. Its interior and exterior styling and quality improvement are welcome changes, but the gap to the class leaders still isn't closed.

2nd Place: 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid

The Altima's logbook notes are clear: "Finally. A hybrid with decent steering and a responsive chassis. What took so long?"

What took so long is a misconception by car manufacturers that a hybrid powertrain needs to have unique (i.e., repugnant) styling, and that bizarre dynamics are acceptable. Nissan has proven otherwise with the Altima Hybrid, which takes 2nd in this test by a mere 2.3 points. The Altima is easily the quickest car of this bunch and it's also the personal choice for every editor who participated in this test.

So why didn't it win? Because the Camry gives you more features for the same money and produces marginally better fuel economy. Both the Altima and the Camry are available with navigation, but our Camry test car delivers the goods for only $132 more than the non-nav-equipped Altima. The Altima's batteries also consume significant cargo room in the trunk, reducing its volume to 9.1 cubic feet compared to the Camry's 10.6 cubic feet.

At the track the Altima produces impressive acceleration, proving that hybrid powertrains can increase performance as well as efficiency. Its best-in-test 0-60-mph sprint of 7.6 seconds and quarter-mile performance of 15.6 seconds at 91.5 mph were considerably quicker than the 2nd-place Camry.

Handling tests didn't produce the same margin of victory for the Nissan, since the Altima is saddled with long-wearing tires similar to those of the other contenders. But with more immediate steering response and a more heavily damped ride, the Altima is far more responsive during cornering than the others.

Around the skid pad, the Altima ties the Camry at 0.76g but is slightly quicker through the slalom (61.4 mph vs. 61.0 mph). It takes 2 feet more to stop the Altima from 60 mph than it does to stop the Camry (136 feet. vs. 134).

One of the Altima Hybrid's drawbacks is simply its availability. Nissan has opted to sell it only in the eight states that follow California's stringent emissions standards: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

1st Place: 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid

t's the Camry's abundant features, comfortable ride and fuel-sipping efficiency that take it to the top of the podium in this test. Just like the standard Camry, the simple fact is the Camry Hybrid gives you a lot of car for your money.

Part of the value comes in the form of real-world performance. The Camry hits 60 mph in 8.4 seconds and stops the quarter-mile clock in 16.2 seconds at 87.5 mph. Sixty to zero required 134 feet — the shortest stop in this group. And despite a softer ride, the Camry nearly equals the Altima's handling numbers by circling the skid pad at 0.76g and splitting the slalom cones at 61.0 mph.

The Camry Hybrid is also refined and easy to drive in every way a midsize sedan should be. There's ample driver and passenger space and plenty of adjustability in everything from the seats to the pollen-filtered climate control. The Camry isn't the most fun-to-drive car here, but its value and utility prove once again that Toyota understands the midsize sedan segment better than any other company.

Details like an Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine (a distinction that helps the Camry nip the Altima in fuel economy) and packaging designed to accommodate the hybrid batteries with minimal intrusion into the interior speak volumes for Toyota's commitment to hybrids. And in a game where commitment translates directly into real-world benefits like preserving natural resources and reducing emissions, we'll give it the win every time. Even Rush couldn't argue with that.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed says:
The 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid has basically flown below the radar. While other manufacturers thump their chests with pride about lesser hybrids, Nissan has snuck this car into the marketplace without any grandstanding. So it took me awhile to realize that this is a very competitive hybrid that might, in some ways, compete with not just the Camry Hybrid but also the Prius.

The Prius, despite its claims, gets a real-world average of 41 mpg. If you drive it right, the Altima can get 37 mpg in urban driving. To get such fuel economy in a car that is roomy and has a pleasing amount of power is amazing. Furthermore, unlike the boaty and boring Toyota Camry, this Altima Hybrid offers good road feel, responsive handling and sharp styling.

I have nothing but respect for the way Toyota has led the charge on hybrid vehicles, and some shoppers might prefer the Camry's soft ride and light steering. But there is a staid, complacent feel to this car that can't be offset by fuel economy alone. And while most hybrids also offer high-quality trim levels, this Camry is a letdown — it looks good at first but loses its luster.

On the other hand, the Saturn Aura Hybrid feels like a weak four-cylinder car that gets crappy mileage. (Over the 50-mile city route I averaged 19 mpg.) True, it has a different hybrid system than the Toyota and a much smaller battery pack. And it costs significantly less and thus puts a hybrid within reach of more drivers. But this is a case of getting what you pay for. If this Aura is the best GM can do to date, it bodes ill for the much-anticipated Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.

There are really only two things that might dent your enthusiasm for the Nissan: the compromised trunk space because of intrusion by the battery pack and the gauges for the hybrid powertrain that don't serve the enthusiasm of gas mileage nerds. Still, the Altima is my top pick of these three hybrids.

Midsize sedans all exist to serve the same purpose — basic transportation. In the case of hybrid sedans, efficiency plays a major role as well. We selected features we thought would be important to most people buying a car in the hybrid midsize sedan segment, keeping in mind that utility is as important as efficiency.

Features

Features
2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid
60/40-split folding rear seat N/A S S
Continuously Variable Transmission S N/A S
Emergency assistance system (OnStar or similar) N/A S N/A
Navigation system O N/A O


Key:
S: Standard
O: Optional
N/A: Not Available

60/40-split folding rear seat: A functional split folding rear adds to the usability of any sedan. We included it as a scored feature because battery packaging often affects cargo volume and seat-folding ability in many hybrid sedans.

Continuously Variable Transmission: A CVT like those in the Altima and Camry increases the hybrid system's ability to blend power delivery between the gasoline engine and electric motor, and ultimately increases fuel economy.

Navigation system: Knowing how to get where you're going is vital, and the Camry packages its navigation system in a way that makes it an irresistible value. It's an impossible-to-ignore feature if you're shopping in this segment.

Emergency assistance system: You've probably heard the radio spots demonstrating the GM OnStar system's life-saving benefits. GM offers this system as a no-cost option and it's a huge perk in owning a GM vehicle. No other car in this test offers a similar system.

Evaluation - Drive
Evaluation - Ride
Evaluation - Design
Evaluation - Function

Evaluation - Drive

Overall Dynamics
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.9 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.2 3
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.4 2
Engine Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.0 3
Transmission Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.0 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.3 3
Brake Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.5 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.2 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.7 3
Steering Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 6.7 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.7 2
Handling
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.0 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.7 3

Evaluation - Ride

Overall Comfort
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.6 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.9 3
Ride Comfort
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.0 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 8.3 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 2
Wind Noise
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 3
Road Noise
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 3
Front Seat comfort/Space/Access
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.5 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.8 3
Rear Seat Comfort/Space/Access
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.5 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 8.0 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.8 3
Driving Position
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.0 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.0 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 2

Evaluation - Design

Overall Design & Build Quality
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.0 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.5 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.8 3
Exterior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.3 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.3 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 3
Interior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.0 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 8.0 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 3
Interior Materials
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.0 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.3 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.5 3
Interior Control Tactile Feel
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.8 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.8 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 3
Squeaks & Rattles
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.3 3
Panel Fitment & Gaps
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.3 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.0 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.7 3

Evaluation - Function

Overall Function
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.3 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.4 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.2 3
Headlamp Illumination
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.3 2
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.3 3
Visibility
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.0 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 6.3 3
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 1
Instrument Panel (IP) Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.8 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 8.2 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.7 3
Climate Control Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 8.0 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 8.2 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.8 3
Audio System Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.8 2
Toyota Camry Hybrid 8.0 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.3 3
Secondary Control Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.3 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.3 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 3
Interior Storage
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.7 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.7 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 6.7 3
Cupholders
Vehicle Score Rank
Nissan Altima Hybrid 7.0 1
Toyota Camry Hybrid 7.0 1
Saturn Aura Green Line 7.0 1

Final Rankings

Final Rankings
Item Weight Toyota Camry Hybrid Nissan Altima Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line
Personal Rating 2.5% 66.7% 100.0% 33.3%
Recommended Rating 2.5% 77.8% 88.9% 33.3%
Evaluation Score 20% 74.6% 77.1% 68.3%
Feature Content 15% 66.7% 33.3% 50.0%
Performance 15% 86.8% 99.3% 57.8%
Fuel Economy 15% 100.0% 94.0% 60.3%
Price 30% 67.1% 67.6% 100.0%
Total Score 100.0% 76.7% 74.4% 70.5%
Final Ranking 1 2 3
$30,667 $30,535 $23,070

Personal Rating (2.5%): Purely subjective. After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she would buy if money were no object.

Recommended Rating (2.5%): After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she thought would be best for the average consumer shopping in this segment.

28-Point Evaluation (20%): Each participating editor ranked each vehicle based on a comprehensive 28-point evaluation. The evaluation covered everything from exterior design to cupholders. Scoring was calculated on a point system, and the scores listed are averages based on all test participants' evaluations.

Feature Content (15%): Editors picked four features they thought would be most beneficial to a consumer shopping in this segment. Each vehicle was then given a score based on which of those features it possessed. More points were awarded when these features were standard versus optional, and no points were given if the feature was unavailable. The score given here represents the percentage of points out of a total possible 12 points.

Performance Testing (15%): We subjected each sedan to our standard set of performance tests. Scores were calculated by giving the best sedan in each category 100 percent. The other sedans were awarded points based on how close they came to the best-performing car's score.

Fuel Economy (15%): Points were earned for fuel economy based on a percentage calculation in which the car with the best fuel economy from the two combined driving loops (city and highway) earned 100 points. Second and 3rd-place points were awarded proportionally based on how well the other cars did relative to the winner. For example, if the winner yielded 50 miles per gallon and 2nd place yielded 40 miles per gallon, the winner would earn 100 points and 2nd place would earn 80 points.

Price (30%): The numbers listed were the result of a simple percentage calculation based on the least expensive vehicle in the comparison test. Using the "as-tested" prices of the actual evaluation vehicles, the least expensive vehicle received a score of 100, with the remaining vehicles receiving lesser scores based on how much each one costs.

Dimensions
Engine & Transmission Specifications
Warranty Information
Performance Information


Dimensions

Exterior Dimensions & Capacities
Nissan Altima Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line Toyota Camry Hybrid
Length, in. 189.8 in. 190.0 in. 189.2 in.
Width, in. 69.6 in. 70.3 in. 71.1 in.
Height, in. 58.1 in. 57.6 in. 57.5 in.
Wheelbase, in. 109.3 in. 112.3 in. 109.3 in.
Curb Weight, lbs. 3,550 3,490 3,637
Turning Circle, ft. 37.4 39.0 36.1
Interior Dimensions
Nissan Altima Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line Toyota Camry Hybrid
Front headroom, in. 40.6 in. (no sunroof) 39.4 in. 38.8 in.
Rear headroom, in. 36.8 in. (no sunroof) 40.5 in. 37.8 in.
Front shoulder room, in. 55.7 in. 55.9 in. 57.8 in.
Rear shoulder room, in. 55.5 in. 54.0 in. 56.7 in.
Front legroom, in. 44.1 in. 42.2 in. 41.6 in.
Rear legroom, in. 35.8 in. 37.6 in. 38.3 in.

Engine & Transmission Specifications

Engine & Transmission
Nissan Altima Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line Toyota Camry Hybrid
Displacement, liters 2.5 2.4 2.4
Engine Type inline 4-cylinder inline 4-cylinder inline 4-cylinder
Horsepower (SAE) @ rpm 158 @5,200 164 @ 6,400 147 @ 6,000
Max. Torque, lb-ft @ rpm 162 @2,800 159 @ 5,000 138 @ 4,400
Electric motor ouput, hp (kw) 40 (30) 5 (4) 40 (30)
System Voltage (maximum) 650 36 650
Net Output, hp 198 169 187
Transmission Continuously variable Four-speed automatic Continuously variable

Warranty

Warranty Information
Nissan Altima Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line Toyota Camry Hybrid
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/100,000 miles gasoline engine and 8 years/100,000 miles hybrid component warranty 5 years/60,000 miles on gasoline engine plus 8 years/100,000 miles on hybrid components. Hybrid batteries are covered for 10 years/150,000 miles
Roadside Assistance 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/100,000 miles N/A
Corrosion Protection 5 years/Unlimited miles 6 years/100,000 miles 5 years/Unlimited miles

Performance

Performance Information
Nissan Altima Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line Toyota Camry Hybrid
0-60 mph acceleration, sec. 7.6 11.0 8.4
Quarter-mile acceleration, sec. 15.6 17.9 16.2
Quarter-mile speed, mph 91.5 81.8 87.5
60-0-mph braking, feet 136 139 134
Lateral Acceleration, g 0.76 0.74 0.76
600-ft slalom, mph 61.4 58.7 61.0

Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy
Nissan Altima Hybrid Saturn Aura Green Line Toyota Camry Hybrid
Loop, City 47.3 18.9 44.5
Loop, Highway 38.1 31.5 42.6
Loop, Combined 40.6 26.0 43.2
EPA Fuel Economy City, mpg 42.0 28.0 40.0
EPA Fuel Economy Hwy, mpg 36.0 35.0 38.0
Observed Fuel Economy, mpg 31.5 24.5 32.6
Vehicle
Model year2007
MakeToyota
ModelCamry Hybrid
Style4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Base MSRP$25,900
As-tested MSRP$30,667
Drivetrain
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeInline four-cylinder
Displacement (cc/cu-in)2400cc (146cu-in)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)147 @ 6000 -- gasoline only, 187 hp net -- gasoline and electric
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)138 @ 4400
Transmission typeContinuously variable
Chassis
Suspension, frontStruts with stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent dual link with stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric power-assist rack-and-pinion
Tire brandBridgestone
Tire modelTuranza EL400
Tire size, front215/60R16
Tire size, rear215/60R16
Brakes, frontFour-wheel discs with ABS
Brakes, rearFour-wheel discs with ABS
Track Test Results
0-45 mph (sec.)5.4
0-60 mph (sec.)8.4
0-75 mph (sec.)12.2
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)16.2 @ 87.5
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)34
60-0 mph (ft.)134
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)61
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.76
Sound level @ idle (dB)39.6/42.5
@ Full throttle (dB)73.6
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)65.2
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsThe Camry's acceleration and general feel of power are adequate for the segment, but it doesn't impress like the Altima. There's plenty of delay in its response to throttle inputs, but once moving it will accelerate respectably.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsThe Camry's braking performance, while on par for the segment, is utterly forgettable. It has the usual lack of intuitiveness and wonky feel of a regenerative system but does stop shorter than the others.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsThe Camry's handling responses are slow compared to the Altima. It's still a few rungs up the ladder from the Aura, but overall leans more toward comfort than handling.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)420
Temperature (F)92.2
Wind (mph, direction)1
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)40 City / 38 Highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)32.6
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)17.2 gallons
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3637
Length (in.)189.2
Width (in.)71.1
Height (in.)57.5
Wheelbase (in.)109.3
Legroom, front (in.)41.6
Legroom, rear (in.)38.3
Headroom, front (in.)38.8
Headroom, rear (in.)37.8
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)10.6
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)N/A
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles on gasoline engine plus 8 years/100,000 miles on hybrid components. Hybrid batteries are covered for 10 years/150,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistanceNot available
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available
Safety
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard
Head airbagsStandard
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsABS,brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Rollover protectionNot available
Emergency assistance systemNot available
NHTSA crash test, driver5 stars
NHTSA crash test, passenger5 stars
NHTSA crash test, side front5 stars
NHTSA crash test, side rear5 stars
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
Vehicle
Model year2007
MakeNissan
ModelAltima Hybrid
Style4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Base MSRP$24,400
As-tested MSRP$30,535
Drivetrain
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeInline four-cylinder with electric motor assist
Displacement (cc/cu-in)2500cc (153cu-in)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)158 @ 5200 -- gasoline only, 198 hp net -- gasoline and electric
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)162 @ 2800
Transmission typeContinuously variable
Chassis
Suspension, frontStruts with stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent multilink with stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist rack-and-pinion
Tire brandContinental
Tire modelContiPro Contact
Tire size, front215/60R16
Tire size, rear215/60R16
Brakes, frontFour wheel discs with ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution
Brakes, rearFour wheel discs with ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution
Track Test Results
0-45 mph (sec.)5.1
0-60 mph (sec.)7.6
0-75 mph (sec.)10.9
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)15.6 @ 91.5
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)34
60-0 mph (ft.)136
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)61.4
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.76
Sound level @ idle (dB)37.1/45.0
@ Full throttle (dB)74.3
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)65.9
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsNissan has done a superb job at making the Altima feel more powerful than it actually is. Its follow-your-foot response to throttle inputs is impressive and makes it very easy and fun to drive relative to the slower-responding cars in this segment. Plus it's pretty quick at 15.6 seconds in the quarter-mile.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsThe Altima's brake feel is an improvement over many regenerative systems, but still isn't as intuitive as we'd like. After an adjustment period we were able to make peace with the lack of delicacy in the system.
Handling ratingGood
Handling commentsThe Altima is by far the most responsive and rewarding hybrid sedan available. It maintains most of the standard Altima's immediate steering response and sharp feel, but makes plenty of sacrifice thanks to hard, long-wearing tires.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)420
Temperature (F)92.2
Wind (mph, direction)1
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)42 City / 36 Highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)31.5
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)20
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3550
Length (in.)189.8
Width (in.)69.6
Height (in.)58.1
Wheelbase (in.)109.3
Legroom, front (in.)44.1
Legroom, rear (in.)35.8
Headroom, front (in.)40.6 (no sunroof)
Headroom, rear (in.)36.8 (no sunroof)
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)9.1
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)N/A
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/unlimited miles
Roadside assistance3 years/36,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available
Safety
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard
Head airbagsStandard
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsBrake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlNot available
Stability controlNot available
Rollover protectionNot available
Emergency assistance systemNot available
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
Vehicle
Model year2007
MakeSaturn
ModelAura
StyleGreen Line 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Base MSRP$22,045
As-tested MSRP$23,070
Drivetrain
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeInline four-cylinder with electric motor-generator
Displacement (cc/cu-in)2400cc (146cu-in)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)164 @ 6,400 - gasoline only, 169 hp net -- gasoline and electric
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)159 @ 5,000
Transmission typeFour-speed automatic
Chassis
Suspension, frontMacPherson struts with stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearFour-link independent with stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assisted rack-and-pinion
Tire brandUniroyal
Tire modelTiger Paw Touring SR
Tire size, front215/60R16
Tire size, rear215/60R16
Brakes, frontFour-wheel discs with four-channel ABS
Brakes, rearFour-wheel discs with four-channel ABS
Track Test Results
0-45 mph (sec.)7
0-60 mph (sec.)11
0-75 mph (sec.)15.6
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)17.9 @ 81.8
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)35
60-0 mph (ft.)139
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)58.7
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.74
Sound level @ idle (dB)38.2/45.9
@ Full throttle (dB)79.8
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)65.6
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsThe Aura's uninspired acceleration is a real problem in the real world, where passing and maneuvering safely often require more power. It simply doesn't meet the standard of the class, let alone the standard of the road.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsThe Aura's braking distance is only marginally behind its competitors here. However, like most cars with regenerative braking systems there's an awkward adjustment period before using the pedal smoothly becomes intuitive.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsThe Aura is soft and uncooperative in fast transitions. Its smooth ride quality isn't balanced with any effort to make it well-mannered during spirited road driving. This is well demonstrated in our slalom test, where it's off the pace of virtually every other midsize sedan.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)420
Temperature (F)92.2
Wind (mph, direction)1
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)28 City / 35 Highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)24.5
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)16.3
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3490
Length (in.)190
Width (in.)70.3
Height (in.)57.6
Wheelbase (in.)112.3
Legroom, front (in.)42.2
Legroom, rear (in.)37.6
Headroom, front (in.)39.4
Headroom, rear (in.)40.5
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)12.6
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)N/A
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/100,000 miles gasoline engine and 8 years/100,000 miles hybrid component warranty
Corrosion6 years/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance5 years/100,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available
Safety
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard
Head airbagsStandard
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsFour-wheel ABS
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Rollover protectionN/A
Emergency assistance system1 year OnStar Safe and Sound
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
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