2008 Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid Review
The Saturn Aura is a popular mid-sized sedan that has been on the market just a few years. Since being introduced at the North American International Auto Show in January 2005, the car has become widely popular, both as a standard vehicle and now as a hybrid version, the Saturn Aura Green Line. The popularity of this vehicle, in both forms, has been heralded as “the best thing to happen to Saturn since its inception” by Edmunds. In fact, the 2007 Saturn Aura won the North American Car of the Year award.
GM likes to add that the green Aura is the lowest priced hybrid on the market, and a $1,300 hybrid tax credit from the IRS may also be available to those who qualify. The hybrid version of the Aura features the same safety package that earned it’s gas-only twin a five star government safety rating for both frontal and side-impact crash tests.
The second hybrid to come from GM and Saturn (right behind the Saturn Vue Green Line), this four-door sedan is considered a mild hybrid and runs on a 2.4l Ecotech Engine with an electric motor/generator and 4T45-E four-speed transmission. However, this difference under the hood does not result in drastic differences in fuel economy. While the Aura Green Line gets 24 MPG in the city and 32 on the highway, its standard-vehicle sister, the Aura XE gets 22 MPG in the city and 30 on the highway.
One interesting feature in this entry-level hybrid is the air conditioning features. The driver can choose if the air is cooled using energy from the battery or the engine. If the AC is set to 65 or above, it can run on pure electricity – meaning no more debates about whether it is more efficient to roll the windows down or crank the air conditioner.
With the 2008 Aura Green Line starting at $24,550, it represents a good deal for anyone in the market for a hybrid car. With the room you’d expect from a standard sedan, slight fuel economy over the standard versions, and utilization of greener technology, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how far Saturn has come since the days of its plastic hatchbacks. Just don’t expect the substantial savings (financial and environmental) that you would see with a full hybrid. In addition, you might have to contact quite a few dealers to get a test drive of a new hybrid Aura as these hybrids are in very limited production and are only available in select markets.
Since the hybrid Saturn Vue is scheduled to get the 2 mode hybrid system, beginning production in late 2008, we can only hope that news of a 2009 or 2010 Saturn Aura Green Line Two Mode won’t be far behind.
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