Monday, January 22, 2007

Saturn Aura Beams Into Dartmouth Showroom

It’s that time of year again when automakers seek to take us from the post–holiday glum days and re-energize us with visions of their latest creations. I know I’m ready.
So news from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is welcome respite. I may have to wait until January 25th for the real hands on treatment in Providence at the four-day Northeast International Auto Show but meanwhile I’ll gladly settle for the good news from the Motor City.
Saturn seems to have made quite the impression in the auto press with their new Aura mid-size sedan. Getting the nod as 2007 North American Car of the Year is bound to be a boost for the automaker.
Coupled with Chevrolet’s winning the top honors in the full-sized truck category with its revamped Silverado, the show couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for General Motors.
Saturn of Dartmouth general sales manager Edward Figueiredo sees the award as validation that Saturn is reaching out to the market segment that wants roomy mid-sized sedans with lots of standard features.
“In essence, the Aura winning the North American International Auto Show Car of the Year is very, very big for us,” he explained.
Not since the L Series which last rolled off the Saturn assembly line in June of 2004 has Saturn offered anything comparable in size and roominess.
Plus, the list of standard equipment is what one ordinarily finds in vehicles priced considerably higher. The 4-speed Aura XE has a base MSRP tag of $20,995 while the slightly more powerful 6-speed XL starts at $24,995. Standard features include On-Star navigation and the GM version of electronic stability control called StabiliTrak. The vehicle has mustered a five-star safety rating, too.
“It’s an endorsement for the Aura as a whole,” added Mr. Figueiredo.
The Aura first hit the showrooms in September 2006 but this award has become its coming out party. Dealerships like Saturn of Dartmouth fully expect that the recognition will translate into foot traffic in the showrooms.
“I think it’s going to take off like a rocketship,” beamed Mr. Figueiredo. “A vehicle of this caliber would be in the mid to high $30,000 and still have less features.”
He noted that the car feels like a full-size sedan and offers plenty of power from either the 224 hp, 3.5L V-6 in the XE or the 252 hp, 3.6L V-6 in the XR.
“The Aura is well built, safe, sound and has excellent fuel economy,” he added.
A network of six air bags protect the occupants from both frontal and side impact crashes. The more powerful XR musters 20 city and 30 highway mpg and employs Variable Valve Timing to alter intake and exhaust valve timing to maximize fuel economy.
Check out the Saturn Aura and everything else at the upcoming Northeast International Auto Show in Providence from January 25 – 28 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $6.00 for seniors, $3.00 for kids, and children 6 or under are admitted free. Go to for details.

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