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 Yes
  • 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.

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 years and still satisfied

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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.

Best car in it's class

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

I have driven the Aura XR for a year and 15k mi. It still performs like the day I bought it. It is an exceptional value when you compare it to Camry, Accord etc. The Fusion and Malibu are the closest but both cost more. I consistently get 30mpg in mixed driving. I have driven several 6sp/4cyl combo's and the GM one is by far the best out there in shifting, power and mpg so I am not sure I would trust those other remarks on here. If you want a great performing sedan with class leading safety, mpg and feature set that is fun to drive, looks classy and is whisper quiet then the Aura is for your. Under $20k with Leather, heated seats, XM, bluetooth, onstar and 100k warranty!

Buying another one

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

I have owned so many cars that I can't even list. I must admit that when you look at the complete package of price, performance, features, mileage, looks and comfort that you can't beat the Aura. Get an XR 4cyl under $20k and you will be extremely happy. I constantly get 30mpg in combo driving. Don't worry about Saturn going away, all Chevy tech's can work on it and your good for 100k warranty miles. I put 15k on my first one and am getting ready to buy a 2nd one for the family for $18k. The person that speaks about the transmission is misinformed. This is one of the best 6sp/4cyl in the world. Also, in every car if you roll down just the back windows you get a noise. I am not a GM empl.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Aura xr-4

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

Purchased a Saturn Aura XR-4 after coming off a Lincoln Zephyr lease. I was looking for better mileage without sacrificing comfort. So far I am happy with the Auras performance. Ok its not a Lincoln, but the drive is comfortable and the 2.4 four cylinder gives me enough power and speed thanks to the 6 speed tranny. The interior is a little cheap and I agree the buttons on the steering wheels are small but I new this going in. This car has just about everything, bluetooth, moon, remote start, leather, Onstar, XM. It actually has more feature than my Zepher had. The price was very attractive. The exterior is eye catching. If your looking for an affordable midsize give the Aura a look.

Aerodynamic flaw and transmission

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

I agree with another review that this car's transmission hunts, is too quick to downshift and would add that it feels erratic (jerky), especially at low speeds; had it checked by dealer, they say that thatís how it works. Also agree that steering wheel control buttons are too small and hard to use. I would add an item that was not in other reviews. The aerodynamics seem flawed; when travelling at 50 mph or faster, and only the rear window(s) is (are) opened, the closed front windows and closed sunroof vibrate badly and the air pressure in the car is such that it is painful to the ears. Dealer's solution, crack the front windows or sunroof; this is not acceptable fix in my opinion.

They are discounting auras

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

forget the "policy" of no saturn discounts. i got $2,750 off list, plus was allowed to use $2,000 in GM credit card rewards. this turned a $26,933 car into about a $22,000 car. Moroccan leather interior and sunroof included. Classy - very classy


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.


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.


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.


Talk About The 2009 Aura

2009 Saturn Aura Discussions See all Started By

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?...

Please post any information about the 2009 Aura here....

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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