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I'm calling it the best fully loaded 4 banger under $26,000. This is not easily disputed due to the nature of this vehicle and its' value. From the great 3 year old design that still looks fresh to the excellent bucket seats that seem to form to the driver, the 2009 Saturn Aura 4cyl/6speed combo is worthy of knocking Honda's 4cyl off its' pedastal.

"It handles the same as the 08, but its' quicker for sure' said my co-worker. I nodded and got inside. The first thing I did was pair my phone to the new GM bluetooth interface. It worked and worked well. It took only about 30 seconds to get it done. You find your BT setting in your phone, set it to pair mode, eneter the BT interface in the car by pressing the phone button and ask it to find your phone. once done you can access your phone's voice commands and dial out by simply holding the mute button on the steering wheel for all of 2 seconds. It works great and sounds great.

Nothing has changed on the outside of the car except the deletion of the chrome door strip. It really does not look bad in person. I kind of like it and am now thinking about removing them from my car.

The 2.4-Liter/6-speed automatic w/Tapshift is exactly what this car needed. While its' torque is made high, it still leaves the line much faster than its' 4 speed equal. The tapshift however still leaves much to be desired like its V6 sister. The tapshift is slow to react even when redlining the motor and letting the transmission shift itself out of gear. Another nice chnage is that when you enter tapshift manual mode, the DIC will no display either of the trip computers with the gear selection, however you still cannot access the fuel data which is what I would rather have on the DIC.

The highway noise is still muted like the Aura before it. Its quiet and road manners are exceptional. however, gone is the electronic 'blink' sound from the blinkers and has been replaced with a mechanical 'click' like the old days. This is upsetting as it seems counter productive to go back to a sound that has been around since the blinker became standard on the automobile. The dual exhaust on XR 4cyl sounds good. Nothing to write home about, but it has less whine then previous 4cyl models.

So far response is positive from both sales and the few customers that have driven this machine. Kudos' to GM for making this car much sweeter.
 

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Nice review. I like the Aura, but I think I like the Malibu a little more. The Accord is good too, but I haven't been in a 4 cyl yet...only a V6 (~$30k), so it doesn't count.

GM did good by offering the 6AT and 4 cyl combo!
 

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You would think that Saturn would update their website (or did you get a preview drive?)

Nice review though. Instills some confidence at least.
The '09s just aren't out in full force yet, with huge amounts of 2008 inventory, to warrant changing the site at all yet. Plus, it's still only July.

Great review so far. I still really enjoy our '08 Malibu 2.4L, but after a drive in a late LTZ 2.4L with the 6-speed, I definitely preferred it. Didn't rev the engine out as much (i.e. not as much fuel slurping) but the extra ratios and their spacing made it smoother and a bit quicker. Felt great.

I really hope the Aura starts to pick up more in sales, and hopefully the new nothing but 6-speeds and availability of loaded 4-cyl cars will push that. Well, on top of actual advertising--but that's a Saturn wide issue.
 
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