By James Bergeron
Day 1:

2007 Saturn Aura XR
Click Image to Enlarge

This week, I’ll be driving an all-new car from a company that is trying to redefine itself in the marketplace. Saturn’s new slogan is “Like always. Like never before,” signifying they are still about being different but with a whole new look, new design and new target market segment. Gone are the plastic panels and with them, the horrible fit and finish. Welcome to a new era of Saturn.

My test model is a loaded Saturn Aura XR sedan. My first impression of this vehicle included thoughts like, “Wow, this is a Saturn?” and “Ummmm, not so sure about that leather.” The last Saturn I test drove was a 2006 Saturn Ion Coupe; let’s just say that if Saturn was not a division of General Motors, I would be completely mystified how this company could accomplish such a large leap in styling and build quality in such a short time frame.

2007 Saturn Aura XR
Click Image to Enlarge

The Aura XR comes standard with a 3.6 litre V6 engine producing 252hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. This is mated to a six-speed Hydra-Matic transmission with a manual mode, including paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

Also included in the XR Premium Trim package, with which my tester is equipped, are leather-appointed seats with embossed seat inserts with seat heaters and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and six-way power two-way manually adjustable passenger seat. Also included is a power tilt/sliding sunroof which, unfortunately, will not see the light of day under the ice shield that’s currently covering Ottawa.

After three weeks’ worth of vehicles requiring premium fuel and with the holidays fast approaching, my wallet is thanking GM for the fact that the Aura requires regular 87 octane fuel. Having stepped out of the height of luxury last week, I have some work ahead of myself to ensure a fair and proper judgment of the Aura this week.

Then again, at $35,700, this Saturn is anything but “cheap”.

2007 Saturn Aura XR
MSRP as tested: $35,700

For more information on Saturn and the Aura visit Saturn Canada

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