The all-new 2007 Saturn Aura handily beat the Honda Fit and Toyota Camry to earn the award. (The Saturn Aura got 205 points; the Honda Fit got 176 and the Toyota Camry 89 points.)
John Davis of Motor Week called the Aura “a striking and entertaining family sedan alternative to Camry and Accord (with an) excellent interior that is original, yet mainstream.”
“The Saturn Aura is a breakthrough car for General Motors,” said Road and Track Detroit editor Matt DeLorenzo. “The exterior styling, interior upgrades and drive
train, especially the 3.6-liter V6 with the six-speed automatic, come together as a complete package. The road manners are solid, the interior is beautiful, and the overall fit and finish is top-notch. Add in a competitive price structure that keeps the sticker below $30,000 and you have a world-class family sedan.”
“This smart Euro-styled sedan could lead a Saturn turnaround,” said Ken Gross, a freelance automotive journalist who writes for Playboy and other magazines. “It’s well thought out, very nicely styled, entertaining to drive and thoughtfully priced.”
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Tom Lankard agreed: “The Aura is what a Saturn was promised to be from the beginning: an affordable, well-engineered, slickly designed, people-friendly, state-of-the art car.”
The North American Car of the Year award is designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on many factors, including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value, says NACTOY organizer Chris Jensen of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. To be eligible vehicles must be “all new” or “substantially changed” from the previous model.
“A lot of automotive awards are given out each year,” NCTD.com editor McCullough said. “But the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards are different. Rather than coming from a single media organization, these two awards are decided by 49 independent automotive journalists. They represent the best automotive journalists from print, radio, television, and the internet.”
The jurors for the award represent newspapers such as USA Today, the San Jose Mercury News, The Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, The Plain Dealer, the Toronto Star; magazines such as Fortune, Car and Driver, Road & Track, AutoWeek, and Popular Mechanics; online media such as Edmunds.com and NewCarTestDrive.com; television broadcasts such as MotorWeek and Autoline Detroit; newsstand buyer’s guides such as Consumer Guide; and trade publications such as Automotive News and Motor.