2008 Saturn Aura Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Saturn Aura Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Saturn Aura Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 252 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Saturn Aura

  • Although not without a few rough edges, the 2008 Saturn Aura is a well-rounded midsize sedan with sufficient levels of style, comfort and performance to please most families of four. If you're looking for a domestic-brand alternative to the import standbys, this is one of the best choices for 2008.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Potent and refined powertrain in XR model, balanced ride and handling, attractive design inside and out, roomy seating for all.

  • Cons

    Some ergonomic gaffes and subpar cabin materials, no rear center armrest, lifeless steering.

  • What's New for 2008

    A four-cylinder version of the XE slots into the 2008 Saturn Aura lineup as the entry-level model. Stability control becomes standard on V6-equipped XE models. All Saturn Auras come with satellite radio this year, and the trip computer gains an instant fuel economy meter. The Convenience Package now includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 3 people found this review helpful

2007 saturn aura owner

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I have 07 Aura XR with 88,000 miles on it and transmission went. GM said nothing they can do 5 year/100,000 warranty is up. In shop now for 2 days bring diagnosed. I will never buy another GM vehicle as long as I live. Probably will have to sue for replacement and that GM known defect




3,5,r wave plate

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

We bought our Aura used with 44k miles on it. We currently have 66k. I really love this car. However recently the wave plate went out in the Transmission while I was on my way to work. So I stopped at this repair shop right across the street. I had them look at the car. (keeping it over night) They informed me that the wave plate was the issue and my car was undrivable. So my Fiance go a hold of GM and let them know the issue. They got back to us saying its a known issue that they fixed with the 2009 version but basically since we were past five years even though we are under the 100k for the warranty we are out of luck. So by admitting fault but are leaving us stuck with a 4k bill.



1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Headache

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I've had my Aura for about a year now. I bought it used at a dealership with about 73k miles on it. It seemed like a great car. I was loving it, until things start going wrong. FIRST the dealership never gave me my key fob, forcing me to use the auto locks, which both have stopped working. Then someone hit me, having me replace the strut, costing over $300. And after that I have had never ending problems. A clicking noise under the hood and a bumping noise on wheel still, both have been said nothing is wrong. AND my steering is jerky and it also eats up oil. AND I only get about 16 mpg city, which is what I mostly drive. Every time I try to get it fixed, they say there is nothing wrong!




Awesome car, with imperfections here

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

So I've had my Aura for about a year and a half now. I've had to have the transmission completely overhauled, as well as the water pump replaced -- all under warranty. Also had to have work done on the EVAP system (measures the fuel/air ratio), NOT under warranty. Despite that, this car is powerful, fast. The handling is great, and the car is fun to drive. I bought my car used and the cup holder was missing from the console, which sucks, but I'm over that. I love my car and get complements on it every time I take on a new passenger. Gas mileage is more than satisfactory for a 3.6L DOHC engine. Awesome safety features. LOVE this car, wish I could drive Saturns forever.




Better with age

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I wasn't sure about this car when I first purchased it, having come off of 10 years of German cars. But I can say that I have grown to really like the car. Great power, ride, and comfort. MPG is ok if you're nice to it. On highway road trips, I've gotten close to 30 mpg. Just recently started to have one issue with the car, cruise control occasionally does not work. Have to take it in to get it looked at. Other than that, no problems at all. I get a lot of compliments on it. The Red Jewel paint is awesome. The car looks more expensive than it is. Many people are surprised it's a Saturn. Too bad Saturn went away. They finally had a good lineup of cars.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Saturn's gone but i've got

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

This is a wonderful car and finally they got it right. Gm is the loser. They lost me from being a future customer. All those gm cars and gm couldn't run the corporation correctly. Honda's are my next new car in 2011.



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Full 2008 Saturn Aura Review

What's New for 2008

A four-cylinder version of the XE slots into the 2008 Saturn Aura lineup as the entry-level model. Stability control becomes standard on V6-equipped XE models. All Saturn Auras come with satellite radio this year, and the trip computer gains an instant fuel economy meter. The Convenience Package now includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Introduction

Introduced one year ago, the Saturn Aura was, and is, widely regarded as the best thing to happen to the Saturn brand since its inception. This midsize sedan took North American Car of the Year honors and has proven to be a modest sales success thus far. It's not hard to see why the Aura has found favor with both consumers and members of the automotive press: It offers all the room, comfort and performance of other General Motors family sedans, but does it with more panache.

As is the case with most GM products, the Aura's mechanical underpinnings are shared within the family. It utilizes a stretched version of the Epsilon platform employed for the Pontiac G6 and the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Like those cars, the Aura is front-wheel drive and features a fully independent suspension with struts in front and multiple links in back. Compared to its cousins, though, the 2008 Saturn Aura has sportier chassis tuning. Ride comfort is still among its strengths, but should you find yourself on a back road, Saturn's midsize sedan might surprise you with its agility.

For 2008, Saturn is offering three different engine options on the Aura. An entry-level four-cylinder with 169 horsepower is new this year, and it joins a pair of V6s -- a 224-hp 3.5-liter and a 252-hp 3.6-liter. In our editors' views, either of the V6s offers a better compromise between performance and economy: The 3.5-liter is almost as fuel-efficient as many four-cylinders on the highway, while the 3.6 is as smooth and refined as most import-brand six-cylinders. The bigger V6 is also the only one of the Aura's engines that can be had with a six-speed automatic transmission. An Aura Green Line hybrid model is also available, however, it provides very little fuel economy advantage over the base four-cylinder engine.

Inside, the Aura has a sharper, more contemporary design than many GM sedans. Materials quality is still hit-or-miss, but the accommodations are spacious and quiet whether you're seated in the front or back. Overall, the 2008 Saturn Aura is an appealing middle-of-the-road choice in the midsize family sedan segment. However, it faces stiff competition from the more refined Toyota Camry, the more athletic Nissan Altima and the redesigned Honda Accord, which is apt to be a jack of all trades. Buyers shopping in this class would be wise to try all four sedans before making a decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A midsize family sedan, the 2008 Saturn Aura comes in two trim levels -- XE and XR. The base XE comes with 17-inch wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a trip computer and a CD stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The XR is more of a luxury sport sedan, as it includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, heated front seats, remote vehicle start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded stereo with an in-dash CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and rear-seat audio controls. Notable options include a power front passenger seat, power-adjustable pedals, a sunroof and wood-grain interior trim. Regular leather upholstery is optional on the XE, while Aura XR buyers can opt for two-tone "Moroccan" leather.

Powertrains and Performance

Three drivetrain options are available on the front-wheel-drive Saturn Aura. Standard on the Aura XE is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated for 160 hp and 169 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard. Fuel economy for the base XE is 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway.

Optional on the XE is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 219 hp and 219 lb-ft of torque. It, too, is coupled to a four-speed automatic. The upscale Saturn Aura XR comes with a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 that sends its 252 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic that can be shifted manually via paddles behind the steering wheel. In performance testing, the Aura XR went from zero to 60 mph in a very quick 6.4 seconds. Mileage ratings remain impressive on the V6-equipped XE, which has figures of 18/29, while the XR has 17/26 estimates.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2008 Saturn Aura include antilock disc brakes, traction control and the OnStar emergency communications system. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are also included in every Aura. Stability control is standard on all V6 models. In frontal- and side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Aura earned a perfect five stars across the board.

Interior Design and Special Features

Even by the generous standards of the midsize sedan class, the Aura treats rear passengers to a lavish amount of space -- but they must go without a center armrest. It's similarly roomy up front, although it's hard to get in and out of the cockpit gracefully in spite of the wide door openings. The shape of the dash and B-pillar obstructs ingress, and it's a little difficult to wriggle behind the steering wheel, particularly if you're taller or large-framed. The design is attractive, though, and a pleasing mix of simulated wood and metallic accents gives the cabin an upscale ambience, while acoustic glass for the windshield and front windows contributes to the serenity. There's too much rough plastic, fake stitching and rubbery vinyl trim for a car in this price range, but opting for the Moroccan leather in the XR helps camouflage these missteps. Trunk capacity measures just under 15 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

We'd steer most 2008 Saturn Aura buyers to one of the V6s, as acceleration is sluggish on the four-cylinder model. The 3.5-liter in the XE isn't as refined as we'd like, but it provides capable response in traffic and above-average fuel economy. Performance is much smoother and swifter with the 3.6-liter, and for consumers who aren't counting every mpg, it's the more satisfying choice.

Overall, the Aura's European handling is capable and confident. Minimal body roll and a smooth, hushed highway ride make the Aura a great long-distance companion. However, the steering is devoid of feel, hurting the car's sporting credentials, while a lack of assist at low speeds can make parking maneuvers labor-intensive.

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Talk About The 2008 Aura

2008 Saturn Aura Discussions See all Started By

totalsports
totalsports
06-25-2007
Does anyone have any info on any changes to the 2008 Aura.....IE:Colors...Possible Nav system...


cupid50
cupid50
03-18-2014
Just curious. So many people that own Saturn Auras have had really bad transmission problems. Is this part of the recall or that is why we have had some many comments on transmissions going out? Mi...


kcgates
kcgates
08-02-2014
I'm currently having some of the same issues with my 2008 saturn aura xr. I bought the car with 90,000 miles on it in April 2013, the same night I bought the car the door locks didn't work. I called t...



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