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2009 Saturn Aura Trims

Hybrid

Avg. Price: $13,147

Saturn’s Aura Hybrid for 2009 is a stylish, five-passenger sedan that hasn’t quite made it to the big leagues yet, technology-wise. Because the ’09 Aura Hybrid lacks the more advanced “two-mode” hybrid technology common to its Japanese competitors, the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Nissan Altima hybrid, it’s not able to accelerate beyond a glacial 3 mph on electric power alone. The EPA estimates the ’09 Aura Hybrid to get 26/34 mpg. Respectable figures, perhaps, but certainly not award-winning, especially for a hybrid. The Aura Hybrid is priced right, however, allowing drivers to save some green while driving green-ish.

A 2.4-liter, DOHC, variable-valve-timed inline four-cylinder (I4) engine kicks out 164 hp and 159 lb-ft of torque, and a single electric motor, powered by a 36-volt nickel-metal hydride battery, handles both generator and engine-assist duties. Combined, the gas engine and electric motor put out 169 hp. A four-speed automatic transmission directs power to the front wheels to the tune of 0-60 in 11 seconds, significantly slower than the Camry or Altima hybrids. The switch from gas to electric power at a stop is reasonably smooth, and regenerative braking assists in keeping the smallish battery pack charged.

The ’09 Aura Hybrid is not an especially exciting car to drive, in comparison to most, with electrically operated power steering and low-rolling-resistance tires taking a toll on handling capabilities.

Standard convenience, comfort, and appearance features for the 2009 Saturn Aura Hybrid include 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way powered driver’s seat, remote power door locks, power windows and mirrors, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, the Onstar communications system with a voice-activated phone, a single-CD/MP3 player with six speakers, Bluetooth technology, and a USB connection. Options for the ’09 Aura Hybrid include leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats, and a power sunroof.

With five-star front and side crash-test ratings, the ’09 Aura Hybrid is considered among the safest hybrid vehicles out there. Additionally, the Aura Hybrid is equipped with such standard safety features as four-wheel disc ABS, StabiliTrak traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, a remote anti-theft alarm system, daytime running lights, and the Onstar post collision safety system.

Owners of the 2009 Saturn Aura Hybrid seem divided as to its fuel savings, but are, for the most part, more than satisfied. Owners rave about the Aura Hybrid’s looks, and quiet, comfortable ride, while a few bemoan its lack of a spare tire and lagging acceleration. Most owners appreciate the ’09 Aura Hybrid for its plain old value for their money.

XE

Avg. Price: $10,439

The 2009 Saturn Aura XE pulls power from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and routes it to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission equipped with manual-shift capability. Its 17-inch wheels maintain composure due to standard traction control, and when it comes time to slow them down, antilock four-wheel disc brakes do the job with the help of an antiskid system. Power mirrors, windows, and door locks are all included, along with remote keyless entry.

Cloth upholstery is the standard material covering the split-folding rear and front bucket seats, with the driver’s seat offering power height adjustability. A tilt and telescoping steering wheel further helps in the ergonomics department and is leather-wrapped. Controls for the AM/FM/CD/MP3 player are also integrated into the steering wheel, and satellite radio and a digital media player connection are included as well. Air conditioning, cruise control and OnStar with one year of service are all included, as well as a tachometer, trip computer, outside-temperature indicator, and illuminated visor mirrors. A center console provides some storage, and a rear defogger keeps the view clear in the back. Up front daytime running lights are matched by automatic headlights for safety, and joined by dual front, front-side, and curtain-side airbags, along with a tire pressure monitor and a theft-deterrent system.

XR

Avg. Price: $11,183

The 2009 Saturn Aura XR adds a bit of luxury to the base Aura trim, with leather upholstery for the front bucket and split-rear seats. The front seats also are heated at this level, and the driver’s seat gains 8-way power. The Aura XR is still motivated by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift, although the 17-inch wheels that power is delivered to are now alloys. Power is found throughout, in the mirrors, windows, and door locks, and remote keyless entry is included. The AM/FM/CD/MP3 player has a digital media connection, satellite radio and integrated controls in the leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel. OnStar and Bluetooth are also included, along with air conditioning, cruise control, tachometer, trip computer, outside-temperature indicator, and illuminated visor mirrors. Floormats are included with this trim, shamefully deleted in the XE, as well as a center console and rear defogger.

Safety features for the XR include traction control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with antiskid, daytime running lights and automatic headlights, dual front, front-side, and curtain-side airbags, along with a tire pressure monitor and a theft-deterrent system.

XR V6

Avg. Price: $11,951

For those looking for a bit more hustle from their commuter muscle, the 2009 Saturn Aura XR V6 offers you 3.6 liters of V6 power, still mated to the same six-speed automatic with manual shift. The features really start piling on at this level as well, with automatic climate control and remote engine start added to the mix. Heated leather bucket seats include 8-way power for the driver. A split-folding rear awaits rear passengers, and a center console divides the front buckets. The power mirrors are now heated, and the driver’s side mirror is an automatically dimming unit, as is the rearview. Strangely, the stereo is not upgraded, with the same AM/FM/CD/MP3 player as the other trims found here, also with a digital media player connection and satellite radio. Power windows and door locks are joined by remote keyless entry, OnStar, Bluetooth, cruise control, a compass and outside-temperature indicator, trip computer, tachometer, illuminated visor mirrors, and a garage door opener. The tilt and telescoping steering wheel is leather-wrapped and includes integrated controls for the stereo. Visual indications from the outside include 18-inch alloy wheels - a 1-inch jump from the other trims - and foglights.

Safety features for the XR V6 include traction control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with antiskid, daytime running lights and automatic headlights, dual front, front-side, and curtain-side airbags, along with a tire pressure monitor and a theft-deterrent system.