General Motors has officially
announced pricing for its 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid sedan. The
vehicle will retail for $22,695 including destination charge and will also be eligible
for a $1,300 tax credit from the federal government for 2007 tax returns.
For comparison, the Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Altima
Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry Hybrid are priced from $22,985, $25,015, $22,975
and $26,820 respectively, including destination charge.
The 2007 Aura Green Line is considered to be a "mild
hybrid" since it cannot move forward under electric power alone. The Aura
Green Line hybrid powertrain (164HP 2.4 liter 4-cylinder plus electric
motor/generator) is capable of providing mild electric assistance under acceleration,
stopping the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and starting it back up
again when the gas is pressed. The car also takes advantage of regenerative
braking to help recharge the battery pack.
The Aura Green Line boasts EPA ratings of 28MPG/35MPG
city/highway compared to 20/30 for an Aura with the 224HP 3.5 liter V6 and
20/28 for the Aura with the 252HP 3.6 liter V6.
A more viable comparison may be with the Pontiac
G6 base sedan. This vehicle is the Saturn Aura's platform-mate and also
uses the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine and transmission without the hybrid
add-ons. EPA ratings for the G6 are 23/33 city/highway which means that the Aura
Green Line’s hybrid system affords the driver an additional 5MPG in the city
and 2MPG on the highway.