• Mar 26, 2007
Click image for squeaky-clean photo-gallery

The International Carwash Association (International? Who knew?) has named the Saturn Aura the Most Washable Car of 2007. A variety of criteria are used to determine the winner each year, but predictably, items like securely mounted antennas and wipers, flush-mount trim pieces, sleek body lines, and folding mirrors are among those that the judges look for when making the selection (the complete list is in the release pasted after the jump).

The Aura was the car that fit the bill this year, and as luck would have it, we photographed our Autoblog Garage Aura XR test car as it passed through the wash last year. So, enjoy the suddenly-appropriate gallery of the Aura getting cleaned up in honor of its new award. We won't mention that our car lost its little XM sharkfin antenna cover during the depicted scrubdown. Oops! I guess we just did! (No worries: we got it back a short time later, so the story has a happy ending.) Now, we assume Saturn will also be making duplicates of its washing award and shipping them to various Aura owners like it has done with its trophy for 2007 North American Car of the Year. Hey, a win's a win.

[Source: International Carwash Association]

International Carwash Association Names Saturn Aura Most Washable Car of 2007

LAS VEGAS, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Carwash Association (ICA) named the Saturn Aura as the Most Washable Car 2007 today at the Car Care World Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The annual award acknowledges the vehicle that car wash operators consider the most wash-friendly car of the year.

The honor is a critical distinction in the car care industry as research shows that nearly $24 billion a year is spent battling automobile corrosion damage. With the number of consumers keeping their cars longer, this award is an important nod to Saturn's dedication to designing cars that are easier for car owners to maintain.

"The sleek, European lines which give the Aura its visual appeal, also make it easier to keep clean," said Lisa Hutchinson, director of brand and product development for Saturn. "We took great pride in the attention to detail and quality of the Aura, because we know that Saturn owners take great pride in their vehicles."

The International Carwash Association members considered the following criterion for choosing the Most Washable Car:

-- Smooth aerodynamic lines that do not catch and retain dirt
-- Moldings and ornamentation that do not protrude and are securely
-- Bumpers, mirrors, wipers, etc. that are securely attached
-- Radio antennas that are securely attached or are hidden in the
windshield or back window glass
-- Retractable side view mirrors that are robust at the pivot or mirrors
that do not retract at all
-- Ground affects and desk lid spoilers that are aerodynamic and securely
attached or do not exist
-- Windshield wipers that are concealed under the rear edge of the hood
-- Rear window wipers on Sport-Utility vehicles that do not protrude
-- Front license plate attachments (when required) are secure and are not
susceptible to damage

"Keeping your car clean certainly helps its appearance, but it also contributes to its long-term condition and value," said Mark Thorsby, International Carwash Association executive director. "Our members recognize the Saturn Aura as a vehicle that washes easily professionally, therefore contributing to its preservation."

The biggest car-finish culprits include the corrosive mixture of sand and salt on roads, pollutants from rain fall, bird droppings, road grime and tree sap. They can harm a car finish if not removed in just a couple of days. According to a survey by the International Carwash Association, more than half of all car owners wash their cars less than once a month, and 16 percent say they never wash their cars. And, once kids ride in a vehicle, food is reported as the number one leave-behind odor, followed by sweat and old shoes.

The International Carwash Association is a non-profit trade association serving 3,000 businesses in the United States, Canada and overseas. Membership includes car wash operators, equipment manufacturers, distributors, and related suppliers. ICA members represent approximately 25,000 car wash and car care locations in North America. The ICA provides facts on car care at http://www.carlove.org/.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      That should stop the Camry in its tracks...........
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow. It won.

      Who honestly gave a s**t besides Saturn?

      I can hear the 30-year old virgin using it to brag about his "sweet ride" to 18 year old girls.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's like other awards. You don't give the Oscar to last years winner because it was a better movie than anything made this year. It's the best of the new models.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ugh, people who use car wash machines don't deserve to own anything better than a saturn.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Talking about careless people taking a car to the carwash...I saw a guy with a MASERATI...A MASERATI! I think he needs to have the car taken away from him. But if he has that kind of money to waste, I guess he has the money to fix whatever happened to it after it came through. My car may not be a maserati or a new car, but I try to wash it myself as much as I can.
      • 7 Years Ago
      14. That should stop the Camry in its tracks...........

      yea good luck with that. LOL
      • 7 Years Ago
      What kind of Award was that? It's my first time to hear about those. You can do the car cleaning and much better than that.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Last years winner was the Fusion....guess the Aura did just that much better since the Fusion didn't change...
      • 7 Years Ago
      First time I've heard of this club. But I guess they have to create one for SATURN's new AURA, so it get's more PR.

      Though... I really love the AURA's new styling, I just have a problem with it's name.. it keeps reminding me of the OLDS' AURORA.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Haha, an international carwash association. There's associations like these for everything nowadays.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Those dirty brushes touching the car make my skin crawl! If you truly care for your car don't bring it through a car wash unless nothing touches it....
      • 7 Years Ago
      ROFLMAO at sending the ICA award to car owners like they did at with the NACOTY award.
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