NEW FOR 2008:

– New XE model with 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine
– StabiliTrak electronic stability control standard on XE V6
– Heated auto-dimming driver’s exterior mirror added to Convenience Package
– Embossed accents on steering wheel, shifter and door inserts with Ebony/Morocco premium trim package
– Driver Information Centre adds real-time fuel economy on XE and XR
– Exterior Colours: Red Jewel Tintcoat, Carbon Flash and Deep Blue replace Berry Red, Onyx Black and Midnight Blue

An all-new model in 2007, the Saturn Aura moves into 2008 with a new engine choice: the 2.4-litre Ecotec four-cylinder engine, previously available only with a hybrid system, becomes the Aura’s entry-level offering.

The Aura is now offered as the XE-4, with 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine; the XE-6, with 3.5-litre V6; the XR, with 3.6-litre V6; and as the Green Line, with 2.4-litre engine and hybrid system. All use a four-speed automatic except for the XR, which has a six-speed automatic.

The Hybrid is a "mild" version, which adds electric power to the gasoline engine during acceleration, shuts off fuel on deceleration, provides an "auto-stop" which turns off the engine at idle, and recharges its batteries through regenerative braking; it cannot run on its battery alone. The system is also used on the redesigned 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, which shares the Aura’s platform.

Features on the XE models include 17-inch painted wheels, air conditioning, automatic headlamps, heated mirrors, speed-sensitive variable intermittent wipers, cargo net, cruise control, driver information centre, floor mats, tilt and telescopic wheel, cloth seats, 60/40 split folding rear seat, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring system and OnStar.

The XR models add 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, auto-dimming driver’s side and rear-view mirror, automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, garage door opener, eight-way power driver’s seat, heated seats, premium stereo with XM Satellite Radio, remote starter and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.

The Hybrid builds on the XE trim line and adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, non-heated power mirrors, automatic climate control, premium speakers, XM Satellite Radio and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.

Handsomely styled, the Aura is a very well-built car, with excellent fit and finish, a solid feel, good handling, and a comfortable interior. The new four-cylinder XE allows buyers to get in for an entry-level price, while the two six-cylinders offer increasing power, and the Hybrid is good fuel economy in a midsize package at reasonable cost.

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