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#8

in 2009 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $8,730 - $10,378
Original MSRP: $22,655 - $27,250
MPG: 22 City / 33 Hwy
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2009 Saturn Aura Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Saturn Aura's interior disappoints many reviewers, in part because it seems so promising at first glance. Most find the dual cockpit, two-tone design sharp -- but are let down by hard plastics and wide panel gaps inside that make it look as if the cabin is going to age badly.

  • "The interior is an improvement over past Saturns, which sounds like a textbook example of damning with faint praise." -- Motor Trend
  • "Once inside, the driver is treated to an attractive-looking dash with engaging and legible gauges, though the amber-colored stereo and trip-computer readouts can be completely obscured in direct sunlight. More disappointing is the overall interior quality. In entry-level XE trim, the interior is adorned with metallic accents, but they do little to hide the inferior plastics used throughout." -- Edmunds
  • "The otherwise sharp interior was marred by some particularly chintzy-looking plastic wood trim. They need to lose that stuff." -- Arizona Republic
  • "Although styled well, the interior is executed with hard plastic, glaring panel gaps [and] ragged mold lines." -- Car and Driver

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Seating

Saturn hasn't won many reviewers over with the Aura's seats. The cabin is quite spacious, even for tall passengers, but the seats are short on lumbar support, and some find them hard on long trips. 

  • "The quiet, roomy interior contains fairly supportive front seats." -- MSN
  • "The Aura is a tuna can with five aboard but airy and loose-fitting with four." -- Car and Driver
  • "The front seats offer reasonable support for most people, though we would like to see better lumbar support. We found the fabric upholstery to be of high quality. The quality of the optional leather on both the XE and XR seemed marginal, however." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Even when compared to those of the foreign class leaders, the Aura's cabin allows plenty of room in any seat. Getting in can occasionally be a problem, however, as the shape of the dash and B-pillar obstruct ingress, and it's a little difficult to wriggle behind the steering wheel, particularly if you're taller or large-framed." -- Edmunds
  • "Good six-footer headroom. Long seat tracks cater to even the lankiest riders. We're disappointed to see that power-adjustable pedals are no longer available." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Most reviewers point to sub-standard materials inside the Aura. The ergonomic layout makes sense to many drivers, but hard plastics throughout generate many complaints. The lack of even an optional navigation system is also an obvious drawback in a segment where navigation has become expected equipment.

  • "There are grace notes: the warm pin-spot LED lighting, for instance. And still, there are reminders that there's work yet to be done in spring training: the harsh, clattering sound of the automatic door locks, for instance, or the strange black-corrugated plastic in the instrumental panel." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "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." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "It has quality seat leather and upper dash plastic, a nice dash, and the vastly improved GM corporate switchgear that's everywhere. The fake woodgrain is bent and curved in unnatural ways, and the black-plastic, lower interior door panels are shiny, but you can replace the former by ordering metal interior trim that matches the material around the gearshift." -- Motor Trend
  • "Another feather in its cap: Many cool upgrade accessories can be had at a bargain price." -- Road and Track
  • "Gauges are large and legible. Controls are mostly handy and intuitive, though some testers find the steering-wheel controls a bit small for easy use." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

The Aura's 15-cubic-foot trunk is class-competitive -- larger than the Honda Accord's, but smaller than the Ford Fusion's. 

  • "Trunk space, at just under 15 cubic feet, is about average for this segment." -- Edmunds
  • "Aura's trunk is class-average for volume and aperture size, but it's usefully shaped.....Aura's Cabin lacks small-item storage." -- Consumer Guide
  • "At 14.9 cubic feet, the Aura's trunk is comparable to the competition. Folding the standard 60/40-split rear seats exposes a wide -- but not especially tall-- opening between the trunk and the cabin." -- Cars.com

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