Hit -- 2007 Saturn Aura
It's not as if GM has reinvented the game. The Aura is a fairly programmatic GM product, a knitting together of many of its far-flung resources. It's just better knitting. The stamped-steel bones of the car are GM's German-engineered Epsilon platform a mid-size, front-drive which sees service under the Pontiac G6, the Chevrolet Malibu/Maxx, Saab 9-3 and the Opel Vectra, built in Germany and England for European markets. The Aura's handsomely machined surfaces, harmonious lines and general conformation are owed to Opel's styling department, and the first impression when you see the car is that a German sedan has sneaked off the boat. Especially in XR trim with its turbine-like, 18-inch alloy wheels the Aura actually looks pretty posh and sophisticated, with subtle but vital metal highlights glowing around the windows and the grille, and haute-tech LED tail lamps. Amazing, considering this car replaces the L-series, whose styling was crueler than cosmetic animal testing. -- Dan Neil
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