Although it’s essentially an Opel Vectra, Saturn‘s new four-door sedan is probably the most appealing of its New York offerings. Yes, it’s no Saturn Sky Red Line, but that’s beside the point; it’s not supposed to be. What it is supposed to be is a workaday Saturn that people can get emotionally attached to, and on that front, it’s got a pretty good chance at success.
Two powertrains are available from the get-go. The first, a 3.5-liter variable valve timing V-6, comes standard on XE models and generates 224 hp. A four-speed overdrive automatic transmission is standard. Uplevel XR models are equipped with a 3.6-liter DOHC V-6, also with variable valve timing. Power on the XR jumps to 252 hp, and is routed through GM’s all-new Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic. This is the first application of this new transmission, and GM’s first usage of a six-speed, front-wheel-drive automatic. Steering-column-mounted shift paddles are available on the six-speed, but not on the four.
The Aura goes on sale late this summer, and a 2.4-liter, Ecotec-based hybrid Green Line version will be available later in the 2007 model year.