2009 Saturn Aura Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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.
Saturn Aura Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 169 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Saturn Aura

  • Despite some flaws, the 2009 Saturn Aura remains a solid domestic alternative to the midsize sedan imports. Smaller families should find enough flair, performance and amenities to remain satisfied.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent fuel economy with the four-cylinder engine, strong optional V6, comfortable ride, adept handling, spacious seating, high safety ratings, sharp exterior design.

  • Cons

    Inferior cabin materials, minor ergonomic missteps, numb steering, no rear center armrest, a few reliability issues.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, the Saturn Aura's previously optional 3.5-liter V6 engine has been discontinued. Instead, all base XE models come with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Additionally, this engine is offered on the premium XR trim level for the first time. Saturn has also paired the four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission to help boost fuel economy. Other changes include standard stability control and the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity.

Full 2009 Saturn Aura Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, the Saturn Aura's previously optional 3.5-liter V6 engine has been discontinued. Instead, all base XE models come with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Additionally, this engine is offered on the premium XR trim level for the first time. Saturn has also paired the four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission to help boost fuel economy. Other changes include standard stability control and the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity.

Introduction

The Saturn Aura debuted two years ago to accolades from consumers as well as the press, becoming a reasonable success in terms of sales. Like many GM products, the Aura shares much of its front-wheel-drive chassis and drivetrain with similar models like Chevy's Malibu and Pontiac's G6. What sets the Aura apart from its domestic brethren is its modern styling inside and out, as well as its unexpected road-holding prowess.

For the 2009 Aura, Saturn is emphasizing fuel economy. The midlevel 3.5-liter V6 has been discontinued, and the four-cylinder engine is now the only choice for the base XE trim. The four-cylinder has even been made an option this year for the upmarket XR. Saturn has also upgraded the four-cylinder's transmission, from a four-speed automatic to an advanced six-speed auto. Efficiency has risen as a result, and the four-cylinder Aura's fuel economy is now at the top of the midsize sedan segment. The powerful 3.6-liter V6 carries into 2009 unchanged.

Thanks to these effective powertrains as well as its smooth ride, spacious interior and sharp styling, the 2009 Saturn Aura is a respectable choice for a family sedan. But the competition is fierce. When the Aura faces off against the likes of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry or even its Malibu sibling, its faults, such as a less-than-stellar interior and numb steering, become more glaring. We also had numerous reliability problems with our long-term Aura XR V6 test car. Those in the market for any of these family four-doors would be well-advised to check out all choices before deciding.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The midsize 2009 Saturn Aura family sedan is offered in two trim levels: XE and XR. The base-model XE comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a trip computer, OnStar and a six-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. Going with the four-cylinder XR gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, remote vehicle start, foglamps, leather seating, a power driver seat, heated front seats, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The XR V6 is very similar but has 18-inch alloys, automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass. Most of these features are available for the XE model as part of options packages. On the XR only, you can also get an eight-speaker audio system with redundant rear-seat audio controls (and two sets of wireless headphones), a six-CD changer and a power passenger seat. A sunroof is available for all Auras as an option.

Powertrains and Performance

For 2009, the Saturn Aura line is trimmed down to two engine choices (not including the Aura Hybrid). Both the entry-level Aura XE and the upscale XR are powered by GM's popular 2.4-liter inline-4 that produces 169 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. The more capable 3.6-liter V6 has an output of 252 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque; it's offered only for the XR trim. Both engine choices are mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, which includes steering-wheel-mounted paddles that allow drivers to shift their own gears if they wish.

Fuel economy gives the four-cylinder Aura a slight edge over competing models, turning in EPA numbers of 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 26 mpg in combined driving. The V6 XR model's added performance helps it reach 60 mph in an impressive 6.4 seconds, but mileage drops to 17 city/26 highway and 20 mpg combined.

Safety

Standard safety features on the Saturn Aura include antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Passenger sensors, new for 2009, improve front airbag deployment. There's no doubt that these features helped the Aura garner perfect marks for frontal- and side-impact tests from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (five out of five stars) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the highest grade, "Good").

Interior Design and Special Features

Space is the overriding sensation inside the Saturn Aura. Even when compared to those of the foreign class leaders, the Aura's cabin allows plenty of room in any seat. Getting in can occasionally be a problem, however, as the shape of the dash and B-pillar obstruct ingress, and it's a little difficult to wriggle behind the steering wheel, particularly if you're taller or large-framed.

Once inside, the driver is treated to an attractive-looking dash with engaging and legible gauges, though the amber-colored stereo and trip-computer readouts can be completely obscured in direct sunlight. More disappointing is the overall interior quality. In entry-level XE trim, the interior is adorned with metallic accents, but they do little to hide the inferior plastics used throughout. The XR trim level, at least, has attractive leather surfaces and simulated wood accents. Neither model has a fold-down armrest for the rear seat. Trunk space, at just under 15 cubic feet, is about average for this segment.

Driving Impressions

The fuel economy gains for the 2009 Saturn Aura are admirable, especially considering today's gas prices. The four-cylinder should be a fine choice for many shoppers, though the V6 provides considerably more power, particularly at low and middle rpm.

In general, the Aura feels steady, smooth, quiet and planted on the road, making it fine for long-distance conveyance. It seems as though the main gripe we have with the Aura is its steering. The four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines come with different steering setups, but neither offers much feeling from the wheel. The four-cylinder's electric steering is at least easier on the arms, as the V6's hydraulic system is overly heavy, making for a laborious effort at parking speeds. It has also suffered from reliability issues.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Value wise, a much better

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Aura XE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I purchased my Aura new in Nov 2009 just as Saturn was exiting the business. Therefore I got an amazing deal. Options are the Comfort and Convenience packages which include power seat, auto dimming rear and side view mirror with compass, Homelink, Power Sunroof and Bluetooth. To date I have put 53K miles on my Aura. The only issues I had were a bad strut and faulty seat frame. Still on my original brakes and second set of tires. It still looks new inside and out. Quality materials have held up well and the paint is nice as it's thick and durable. The Aura is one of the quietest vehicles I've driven. It eats up highway miles and I never get uncomfortable or fatigued.




100k and still perfect

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Aura XE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Bought new in July 2009 - just turned 100K Have only replaced tires, wipers and rear shocks (dirt roads and potholes - yuck), oil & filter changes - everything else original including brakes. Avg @ 28 mpg summer, 26 winter. Maintenance at Buick/Cadillac dealer has been great! This is simply an extremely reliable car, with a great ride and handling, very quiet, good performance, comfortable, roomy and did I say reliable? Still looks new inside and out Rides far quieter than my friends Acura. I like it so much I am trying to find one for my daughter for a college graduation present.




Please don't waste your money

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Aura XE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Please choose another vehicle, I gave my son my 2002 BMW for college graduation and purchased this car 3 months ago, What a mistake. The ESC traction lights keeps popping on and no one seems to know why. The dealerships are out to get your money, they say, let me do this, put this on, reset this, its a waste of your money. They don't know, but they gladly will take your money. I hate like hell I wasted my money on this piece of junk. GM ought to be ashamed of themselves putting this junk together. I'm going to trade it in and take whatever I can get for it. I will take the loss, but you can bet for sure, I won't be buying another GM product. I should have kept what I had. SAD



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Beware: transmission problems

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I will never buy a GM product again. My Aura only has 72,000 miles and the transmission has already broke. Trying to deal with GM is a joke. Everything from the dealership (Daniels Long Chevrolet) to customer service. Our warranty expired one month ago but am still 27,000 miles under the 100,000 mile mark and of course GM does not want to do anything about it. My car has been in the shop for over 5 days and I am constantly being told I have to pay more for diagnostics. How many error codes need to pop up for GM to admit they made lemon of a car. All GM cares about is getting you in the door, once you are there customer service is no longer cares.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 years and still satisfied

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Our 2009 Saturn Aura XR 2.4L 6 speed now has 31,000 miles and we still love it. It still compares well with it's sleek exterior to newer models from Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford, Nissan and Kia. The interior is very up scale with leather seats and contrasting trim, plus there are luxury items you might expect only on pricier cars. From the 6 CD XM radio that plays regular CDs or mp3 with song titles and other info, to the dual front power seats the car is comfortable, sporty, and up scale. We also have had excellent follow up service from out local Chevrolet/Cadillac/Buick dealership for all regular maintenance and even a warranty replacement recently on the driver side door arm rest.




Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Saturn Aura XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I have had my Saturn for over 2 years and its been great. The ride is smooth and it gets good gas mileage for a v 6 @25 a gallon. Love the bluetooth and XM as well as the onstar directions so much car for such a great price to bad Saturn is no more another bad move by GM.



Talk About The 2009 Aura

2009 Saturn Aura Discussions See all Started By

jamar06
jamar06
09-04-2014
I have literally been on this site reading the various but similar postings about the GM vehicles. I too have had the same exact problem with my Saturn. I was driving along and without warning, I hea?...


mark19
mark19
07-25-2008
Please post any information about the 2009 Aura here....


chet109
chet109
10-06-2013
All the sudden last night I looked outside and saw several lights on my car turning on for no reason. My head and tail lights, my interior lights. I tried turning them off with the key in and out but?...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 33
  • highway
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