Monday, October 1, 2007

2008 Saturn Aura Hybrid Review

The 2008 Saturn Aura Green Line isn't the most powerful hybrid on the market, but with a base MSRP of only $22,695, it's the least expensive hybrid currently available, better priced than the hybrid versions of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, or Toyota Camry.

The Aura Green Line comes standard with a 164 horsepower Ecotec engine, and GM's proprietary electric generator/motor that is connected to the engine by a belt. This technology allows for the delivery of less fuel during deceleration, and well as stopping the gasoline engine when the vehicle stops, and also provides a bit of a boost when the car accelerates, but unlike competitors' hybrid offerings, the Saturn cannot run in an all-electric mode. (There is, however, an indicator light on the dashboard that goes on whenever the electric motor is active.)

Inside the car, features are comparable to the standard-engine Auras, and include a vehicle stability system, side-impact and head-protecting airbags for the front seats, door beams designed to withstand side-on crashes, and the LATCH child-seat system.

Comfort features of the 2008 Aura Green Line include an audio system that has AM/FM radio as well as a CD player and mp3 player support, a year's subscription to OnStar, and optional upgrades which provide power-adjustability for the driver's seat and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

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