Saturn Astra

Not sure where these pictures were taken, but they show the Opel version of the Astra with US plates.
What we can see here are pretty much all versions of the car. Including the wagon and convertible.

It will be introduced at the Chicago show.
As we’ve seen before, the car is basically the Opel with a Saturn logo and new bar on the grille.
The base engine should be the 1.8 Liter with 140hp.
With a 2.0 Turbo as an option on some models.

This car will help create a phenomenal difference between GM and Ford.
Imagine this next to the “new” Focus…

I can’t wait for this one, especially the hard top convertible.

Conversation 26 comments

  1. Thats funny that they dont need any camoflauge for the car since it has an opel emblem. Genius.

    Anyway, as for the new focus, that will make every small car from every brand look great. I really belive that will be the car that takes ford under. Its horrific and ridiculous why cant they just produce the european focus which has been around for soo long now.

  2. Imagine this next to the “new” Focus…

    So true, and even next to just about every small import, this car will just slaughter. Can you say best decision made, ever? I think so…

  3. I have two Astra’s (Live in Oslo, Norway). One 2 door Hatch/Coupè OPC edition (240hbp) that I drive most every day and one Station-wagon with the 1.9 CDTI (150 bhp – tuned to 198 bhp) engine that my wife usually drives. We change every now and then since the kids seat (we have an 18 month old son) is in the station-wagon and who-ever delivers and picks him up at kindergarten uses the 1.9.

    The coupè is a 2+2 with bucket-seats all around and they don’t like the baby-seat too much 🙂

    The 1.9 CDTI is a fantastic engine when traveling long distances. You just put it in 6’th gear and it does about 70Mph at 2000rpm’s
    It will easily accelerate no matter what (about 400 Newtons at 1800 rpm’s).

    The OPC (or Red-line in the US) has to be expereinced.
    I bought the IDS II + (Dynamic, interactive suspension with more) on both these cars.
    Sport Mode on the 1.9CDTI turns on the extra 48bhp and 80NM torque.
    On both cars the Sport-mode radically changes the feel of the car.

    Good luck with the Astra in the U.S.

  4. If the 2.0T is offered in the 4 door wagon (not a 5 door) I will buy on this summer. Still wish there was an Aura Wagon in the US

  5. Interesting that GM neglected Saturn for so long but is now upgrading it to save GM’s reputation as a car (not truck) manufacturer.

    The Astra looks like a winner to me. Back in 1996, seven friends and I rented 3 Opel Astra sedans (with A/T) that we drove through Portugal. Those cars had lousy interior fittings on the dashboard (loose knobs and switches, etc.) but had good seats, great handling and braking, and plenty of power from their 4 cylinder engines.

    Given GM’s recognition that interior design can make or break a sale, I’d bet that the new Saturn Astra will be everything that the ION was not.

  6. Even though they have Opel logo, the rear bumpers on both the convertible and hatch look slightly more bulbous than the European market cars. But I’m surprised they didn’t change the shape of the license plate cut out.

  7. Thats probably the best looking hatch on the market. It beats anything from America, Japan or Europe. A great plan by GM to import Opels. Maybe one of the moves that will save the company. – G

  8. Vince, either my ‘puter is going crazy, or your site is… tried to post 6 times, but never got the verification code…

    The black Astra(3 door) looks sharp.
    Have read rumors of the Ecotec (145HP?) Cobalt engine being put into the base model? Then a 170HP Version, then a 205HP Turbo, like the Cobalt can be purchased with?
    170HP would be enough for me.
    That would compete in 0-60 with our tC.
    If MPG competes, too… that would be a bonus.
    Now, if I can convince the spouse to test drive this thing with me, when it’s released( read Dec 07?).
    Looks great.
    With the new warranty…that helps.
    tC

  9. Hey Vince, what about the Cobalt and the G6? This will kill their sales.

    The Cobalt looks great from the outside, but it’s cramped and low quality inside. Same with the G6 (& G5 too I suppose)

    What do you think? Rebadge and modify for Chevy too???

  10. If this photo was taken here in the US (or even Canada), it makes me wonder why there’s the wagon and convertible on the truck, when GM says they’re only offering the 3- and 5-door versions. Hmmmm, could we be looking at an auto show surprise?

  11. GM had already mention last year the convertible was coming to the US.
    I also heard later they were bringing the wagon as well.
    Unless they change plans before the actual launch.

  12. Hey Vince…

    Just wanted to let you know, these pics were taken somewhere in the San Diego area… These Opels were brought there for journalists to test drive… Actually some blogs reported that one journalist from France died on a drive in a convertible Opel similar to the Saturn Sky…

    Love your blog….

  13. What do you think? Rebadge and modify for Chevy too???
    ……………….
    Hell no ! no more rebadging, keep it different and exclusive !!

    also rear bumpers seem the same, did a pic comparsion of both euro and these and they both seem the same depth !

  14. Anonymous said…
    Thats probably the best looking hatch on the market. It beats anything from America, Japan or Europe. A great plan by GM to import Opels. Maybe one of the moves that will save the company. – G

    12:27 PM
    Sorry 2 Disagree with you, but I think that the 3 -door tC wins. This is a close 2nd, though.

  15. I know about the French journalist. He was from a local newspaper called Nice Matin and flipped over an Opel version of the Saturn Sky and ended up in a ditch upside down.
    It was a sad story and didn’t report on it myself.
    I just can’t see how you can flip over a low convertible like the Sky.

    I didn’t know they had the other Opels there too.
    Wish I was there…

  16. I noticed that the fornt door(top of it, near the roof/door line, where they meet) is “off” vs the rear “window”…it’s offset, the door(top of) and the line/window alignment to it, as if the rear quarter window is smaller?
    I have seen some other concepts that have off-set designs like this.
    Hmmmmm.

  17. Does anybody remember when Buick Dealers across the U.S. imported Opels in the early 70’s to offer small economical cars during the gas chrunch? The quality and reliability were both on par with the Volkswagon Fox which was imported from Mexico! If these new Opels are as poorly manufactured as they were back in the day, Saturn will have a HUGE problem on their hands in the very near future!

  18. These Opels “back inthe days” were actually built under license by Isuzu.
    They didn’t com from germany and didn’t have the same quality as the ones you could get in Europe.

  19. No offence but, how many of you will really buy this thing. No doubt this is a good car, but how many of you buy the Ford Contour, Escort or Focus? I heard everyone screaming for an Euro Ford or GM, but really, how many will buy?

  20. No offence but, how many of you will really buy this thing. This is not the first time that GM or Ford offer something originated from their Europe division. Really, how many of you bought the Ford Contour, Escort or Focus? Just how many?

  21. No offence but, how many of you will really buy this thing. This is not the first time that GM or Ford offer something originated from their Europe division. Really, how many of you bought the Ford Contour, Escort or Focus? Just how many?

  22. No offence but, how many of you will really buy this thing. This is not the first time that GM or Ford offer something originated from their Europe division. Really, how many of you bought the Ford Contour, Escort or Focus? Just how many?

  23. i normally dont respond to comments, but i think that sums up the perception people have with american cars. if we went off of what “used to be” with cars, hyundais, and kias would be awful cars because “historically” korean cars have been poor quality, nobody would be buying toyotas and hondas. and mercedes, land rover, jag, and vw would have been out of production because there cars have always been problematic. so why just hold the american cars to that…..

  24. ” Really, how many of you bought the Ford Contour, Escort or Focus? Just how many?”

    The Contour and Focus we got here never came from Europe. They were “cheapened for the US market” versions of the cars sold in Europe and made in the US and Mexico .
    The US Escort was never related to the European model of the same name.
    The closest thing we had from Ford Europe were Merkurs. Where they dumped a US engine (Turbo 4 from the Mustang) in it.
    A disaster…

  25. The new five door vehicle receives a 1.8-liter, 140-horsepower engine and turned away GM’s exclusive Ecotec four-cylinder powerhouse. It is said to be available with a five-speed manual as standard equipment, but the four-speed automatic will still be available as an option. Astra will surely be a must-have car, with these newly improved parts such as wheels, brakes and GM brake shoes and other accessories.

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