2008 Saturn Aura Interior
This interior review was written when the 2008 Saturn Aura was new.
The majority say the interior of the five-seat Aura is comfortable, but should have higher quality materials. As a result, the sedan's cabin places in the middle of the rankings. New Car Test Drive calls the interior "tasteful, if somewhat bland."
Edmunds finds the front seats "supportive" and "supple" with the optional leather, and says of the rear seats, "There's plenty of legroom and two midsize adults and a small kid can sit in back without much complaint."
Reviewers are slightly mixed concerning the support of the seats in the Aura. "The quiet, roomy interior contains fairly supportive front seats" says MSN. Others say the seat support is moderate. "Front seats offer reasonable support for most people, though we would like to see better lumbar support," says New Car Test Drive. The Washington Post says the "Driver-seat comfort is excellent, as good as, if not better than, that of substantially more costly cars"
The rear seat received mixed reviews. "Leg room ample even with front seats well back, and three grown-ups should not complain on shorter trips," says Consumer Guide. However, other critics claim seating for three is too tight. Car and Driver goes as far as to say "the Aura is a tuna can with five aboard but airy and loose-fitting with four." New Car Test Drive also critiques seating convenience features. "Outboard headrests are height-adjustable into the tall, nicely contoured seatback," they say. "Legroom is increased by scalloped front seat backs. There's no fold-down armrest for back-seat passengers, however."
Many critics find fault with the materials used in the Saturn Aura's interior. "The interior is an improvement over past Saturns, which sounds like a textbook example of damning with faint praise," says Motor Trend, but despite the poor-quality materials, Road and Track says "the styling is arguably snazzier-looking than Honda's latest Accord." U.S. News' Rick Newman says the interior is cleanly laid out and easy to use, but has a "slightly cheap-feeling." Car and Driver says, "Although styled well, the interior is executed with hard plastic, glaring panel gaps [and] ragged mold lines." Many reviewers disliked the use of plastic in the interior. "Interior trim is mixed in quality but pleasingly designed, with padded materials covering the curvaceous dash top and door panels, but less impressive hard plastic most everywhere else," says New Car Test Drive.
Despite materials, reviewers are generally pleased with interior accessories. There's a full set of nice features on the base model, including a sliding center armrest, ambient lighting that cozies up the cabin at night, and all the power accessories you'd expect" says U.S. News' Rick Newman.
Stereo and Entertainment
Most Auras come with a CD/MP3 player with AM/FM stereo with six speakers, and XM Satellite Radio ® is available for all trims. "Although the Aura doesn't offer a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, it does offer two sets of wireless headphones to accommodate differing music tastes," says Kelley Blue Book.
The Aura doesn't offer an optional navigation system, but it does come with one year of OnStar® service, including Turn-by-Turn directions. "This navigational feature, offered on any vehicle with OnStar 7.0 and later, delivers the guidance benefits of a conventional, map-based navigation system with voice commands," says New Car Test Drive. "Instead of requiring the driver to input the destination information, the driver calls the OnStar center, and the live advisor can assist in finding and then inputting the destination information, then uploads the route information to the car which then gives turn-by-turn instructions based on vehicle location. Directions also appear on the radio faceplate display. Downsides are the lack of a visual map, and the requirement that the vehicle be in range of cell phone service to input destinations, since a live advisor is required to input the destination information. Advantages include the reduction in component complexity, the convenience and safety of hands-free operation, and cost."
The 2008 Aura's XE and XR models feature a sunroof. "When it comes to sunroofs, bigger is almost always better," says. "The Aura's multi-panel panoramic glass sunroof consists of a front panel that angles up as a deflector and three others that retract and stack at the rear."
The Aura XE and XR have 14.9 cubic feet of cargo room. "The Aura has more trunk capacity than what's offered by the Mazda 6," says New Car Test Drive. Generally, reviewers are passive about the vehicle's cargo room, however, one reviewer notes a problem with the folding seats. "The roomy trunk has a wide opening, with a lid that pops up smoothly on struts," says . "But it was difficult to flip the seatbacks forward on my test car's split-folding rear seat to get more cargo room. I had to pull up slightly on the seatbacks before a yank on their small pull-tabs let them be moved forward.", or