– The Saturn Aura was named 2007 North American Car of the Year, while the Chevrolet Silverado was named 2007 North American Truck of the Year, it was announced at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Award winners were chosen by 49 automotive journalists representing newspapers, magazines, television shows, and Web sites in Canada and the United States.
The uplevel Saturn Aura XR marks the first use of the new HydraMatic 6T70 transmission – GM’s first six-speed automatic in a front-wheel-drive vehicle. This transmission is mated to the 3.6L dual overhead cam V-6, producing 252 horsepower.
In addition to its design and driving character, the panel recognized Aura for its overall value. The Aura XE starts at $20,995, and comes with several standard features including a 224-horsepower 3.5L V-6 engine, six airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and GM's OnStar Safety and Security system.
The Aura earned five stars – the highest rating possible – in all four metrics from the federal government's new car assessment program.
In addition to the powertrain upgrade, the XR adds standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, and remote vehicle ignition. The XR starts at $24,995.
Saturn will add a Green Line model this spring, featuring a 2.4L, four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor generator. The hybrid will start at under $23,000, and will achieve a 25-percent improvement in fuel economy over the Aura XE.
The all-new Chevrolet Silverado incorporates new exterior and interior designs, powertrain, chassis, and safety systems. The fourth generation of the small-block V-8 engine family powers the new pickup, delivering segment-leading horsepower and fuel economy. Silverado also offers three cab sizes, three bed lengths, five suspensions, and two interiors.
The new Silverado received the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Five-Star crash-test ratings. The truck offers 360 degrees of safety before, during, and after a crash with dual-stage front airbags, optional head curtain airbags, StabiliTrak standard on all crew-cabs, and OnStar.
Designed to recognize the most outstanding vehicles of the year based on innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value, jurors narrowed the field to 12 cars and 15 trucks on which they voted.
The Saturn Aura received 205 points, Honda Fit received 176, and Toyota Camry 89 points. The Chevrolet Silverado received 243 points, Mazda CX-7 received 135, and Ford Edge received 92.
The full list of nominees included:
2007 North American Car of the Year:
Lexus LS 460
2007 North American Truck of the Year:
Hyundai Santa Fe
Saturn VUE Green Line
Toyota FJ Cruiser