2008 Saturn Astra

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Quite amazing considering the competition in the US market.
German cars usually drive great, and this should shake up the compact car market.
I hear a 1.8 Liter with 140hp and a 2.0 Liter turbo will be available.

These are pictures of the XR versions. Both in 3 and 5 doors body styles.
Not sure if they will get the Turbo or if they want to keep it for a “red line” version later…

In any case, 140hp is plenty to compete in the segment.
I can’t wait for this car…

Conversation 25 comments

  1. Vince-
    depends on how much this car weighs if 140hp is enough or not! Since cars like the scion tc it will compete with have 160hp and weigh 3000lbs! ouch! so much for lightweight and compact!

    Is there really going to be a 2.0L turbo? Rumors I’ve heard only say the 140hp engine and that’s it.. so let us know 🙂

  2. What have they been putting in the water over at GM? The Saturn showrooms are going to be full of really nice cars, Caddilac too. Pontiac is going RWD. I can’t contain myself! Even Chevy is getting a good looking Malibu. And they are all ditching the Fischer Price interiors. I guess that after thirty years, they have had enough of being schooled by Toyota and Honda. Whatever it is, I am so impressed with GM lately.

  3. In Red, it looks Klunky/Chunky(the 3 door) not sporty, like the Scion tC, or larger 3 door cars, such as the Tiburon or Eclipse.
    Or how about the Excellent looking(inside and out) Accent SE 3 door hatch! If it had this engine(or the new Elantra engine, which is a carry over), I’d buy one in a minute. 110 HP is not much these days. I need to be able to out run the SUV’s and Mid-sized sedans that tail gate you, or try to cut you off.
    The Astra 3 door looks like they took a family sedan, and did a bad chop on it to try to make it sporty, but did not quite finish the job.
    The 5 door is tolerable. It looks like most of the vehicles in it’s class(my idea of a nicely designed 5 door? The old Elantra GT, and the Suzuki Reno).
    I saw this in Blue(?) on the net, and it looked better. Hid a lot of the lines that make it look like someone took their sedan and chopped it into a 3 door(a bad chop, I might add).
    The interior in these photos look stark, much like the VW Rabbit’s.

    Too bad this car does not look sort of like the ’08 Malibu! That sedan looks more like a sporty car than this 3 door, or 5 door.

    I will more than likely test drive one, to see if it lives up to the hype, but this generation, unless they really fix it up, I won’t buy it(unless it is better in person, and different colors).
    I heard they might have a newer version by 2010? Here’s hoping they decide to check out the American competiton, at least for the interior/exterior looks, and apply the lessons learned to this car.

    I guess there is always the new Lancer to check out( and rumors are next year, there may be a hatch of some sort, but that’s specualtion for now).

  4. I cannot wait to test drive the 3 door and i truly hope they dont get greedy and overprice it ! cause if its priced right they will have a major seller on there hands, if it starts at 16.5k and above it wont sell ! im hoping for around 12k for starts…
    That was one of the biggest problems for the Ion redline 20k for a piece of crap with a nice engine…

  5. First, I never hard the Scion Tc described as sporty looking…I thought it looked old the day it came out.

    And yes, for now, all models get the 140hp engine.
    The 2.0 should come later. I am pretty sure, for a Red line model.

  6. It seems competent people are running GM now…..that’s good

    America needs an automaker they can be proud of

    Ford is starting to get this, but by the time they get their Euro models over here, it may be too late.

  7. Could it be that FINALLY, after 20 years of false starts, GM is pulling its head out of its butt?
    The new Saturns suggest that GM is finding its way at long last.

    Chevy, Saturn, and Cadillac can be GM’s primary lines, and Pontiacs and Buicks limited to specific vehicles that don’t overlap the others. Dump the stupid, badge engineering and consolidate dealers, too.

    The re-badged Saturn Astra really isn’t a badge-engineered car because the Opel brand isn’t sold in the U.S. So, the Saturn Astra is a unique car line here. The Astra is ideal as an ION replacement IMO.

  8. Re: Anonymous 10:05
    “In Red, it looks Klunky/Chunky(the 3 door) not sporty, like the Scion tC, or larger 3 door cars, such as the Tiburon or Eclipse.”

    Are you serious? I haven’t ever met anyone who describe the Tiburon as appealing. And Mitsubishi can’t give Eclipses away, so I think Saturn was wise not to copy the juvenile designs you are referencing.

    “Or how about the Excellent looking(inside and out) Accent SE 3 door hatch! If it had this engine(or the new Elantra engine, which is a carry over), I’d buy one in a minute. ““…The 5 door is tolerable. It looks like most of the vehicles in it’s class(my idea of a nicely designed 5 door? The old Elantra GT, and the Suzuki Reno).”

    Oh my god, the Accent, the Elantra, the Reno!?!? LOL! Oh, I just got a cramp in my side!

    “I guess there is always the new Lancer to check out…”

    You should go buy a Lancer then. It looks like it’s going to be really very nice. And Mitsubishi needs every sale they can get.

  9. What a tiny little info screen in the midst of such generous dash real estate.

    As so typical GM, always a decade late to the party.

  10. this will teach foreigner a thing or two
    gm is and has always been on top
    ther is no way toyota can keep selling the carolla in the us after this comes out

  11. For once i agreed with you, DJ, it will hard for anyone to pay more to get Civic or Corolla anymore. Unless of course, they are still skeptical about the “Saturn” badge, including me. What’s wrong with “Pontiac” or “Oldsmobile” anyways?

  12. Hey, Vince, hope I my earlier comments did not tick you off. Hope we “are cool”.

    I just donot care for the Red version of this. The darker colors are ok. And, yes, I look forward to a test drive. it’s too bad we must wait nearly 10-12 months.
    The Chicago autoshow is supposedly going to have all the info needed this week.

    As for the one gent who got a laugh about Hyundai/Kia…Hmmm…. Guess Edmunds disagrees w/your comments….

    Accent/Rio, 15K(under) msrp, sedans, top spot.
    Azera won best car under 30K(above 25K) MSRP and for wagons(small wagons) Rio won…. LOL, your comments made me laugh so hard, my sides hurt! 😉

    take care/not offense.

  13. 0-60 times for “sporty” fwd cars: (edmunds…)
    VW Rabbit Full Tes drive(is up right now on that site)I-5, 150HP, sub-compact, 0-60: 8.5 seconds.
    tC( think it was on Edmunds last year… or may have been C&D… sure the times can be found w/o much trouble)8.2 Seconds( another site said 8.5, with automatic), 160HP, I-4…and manual is under 8 seconds to 60.
    The Rabbit was described as quick for this type of car( small/sub-compact, sort of like the Astra?).
    Let us hope the times on that link to the Edmunds Townhall forums is wrong, and there are not 10+ seconds to 60 with the I-4/140HP engine!
    It should be , at least, under 9 seconds to 60.
    MPG, though, with the 1.8(if this is all good information posted on that link above), 140HP, should be in the 30’s, maybe Mid-30’s?
    That would be a plus.
    The 5 door looks better than the Rabbit, or even the Vibe.
    For Vince: tC, (on the prompt for thsi site, had a hard time downloading info, so , here’s the link to the page)…http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/features/0411scc_2005_scion_test/
    0-60 in 7.8 seconds for tC( that should be sporty, for a 3000 lb car, with “only” 160HP? Eh? Sounds fairly quick to me. No, it is not “blistering” fast..but not a slug, either). No offense is meant …. just saying….. I guess it could, techinically, be called sporty, for it’s class( without turbo…)? The SE-R is supposed to get 177HP I-4 when it comes out later this year. CVT, though. Hmmm… heard good and bad things about these CVT’s.
    Anyhow……. to each their own. This car will be on my short list of cars to check out. Lancer, next gen tC(rumored to be 180HP std), and the Astra(hoping to hear about the rumored 170HP version).
    Should be a “fun” time for small/compact sporty cars. At least we may finally have some real choices!
    Now… Ford… time to step up, same for Chrysler, too!
    Take Care. and Not Offense.

  14. The exterior looks very GM. Reminiscient of the Aveo sedan and Cobalt coupe, albeit in hatchback form. Not necessarily a bad thing. Just pointing it out.

  15. Douchbag Jones, you clearly aren’t very intelligent. Looking at your spelling skills you probably aren’t very literate either, so you might have missed all the articles about GM losing BILLIONS of dollars.

    I don’t think Honda or Toyota have reported any losses like that, and Toyotas old Corolla (not carolla) will still outsell anything GM comes up with, european or not.

  16. People have to remember this is not a new car !! This car has been on sale in Europe since late 2003 !! Any new Corolla or Civic or Rabbit will be better than the Astra. They have to price this car quite a bit under the Japanese cars for it to be sucessful.

  17. What you refer to as the Rabbit is also the Golf. And that car has been out in the rest of the world for at least 3 years.

    The Astra has a much better interior. And their 1.8 engine might not be as powerful but can’t be any rougher.

    As for the newer Japanese competition, I don’t think they’ll be much ahead of this.
    The previous Jetta was a better driver than the current Civic. Doesn’t mean it is a better car, just more pleasant to drive.

    I think this “3 year old” Astra will do great against upcoming models.
    If you can get a German feel at an American price, it’s a no brainer.

  18. “First, I never hard the Scion Tc described as sporty looking…I thought it looked old the day it came out.”

    *sniff* You made me cry a little Vince. You really don’t like the tC? I think it’s brilliant looking. Such a nice clean design, it epitomizes a European sense of style and I thought you liked that. It’s ultra clean design says speed to me, moreso than most other cheap coupes that have too many useless angles, vents, grills, wings, etc. In overall design character, it’s a cheap, chubbier G35.

    I think it’s easily the best looking coupe in the 15-22K range.

  19. Just a couple of corrections since there is so much “brand religion” going on here 🙂

    The Astra 2007 (Europe) has several major changes to its underpinnings compared to the 2003-2006 edition.

    The 2.0 170/200 bhp engine is gone.
    A 1.6 Engine replaces it and comes in 115/180/192 bhp editions.

    It has a better effect/torque curve than the old 2.0, better economy etc.

    Several new Diesel-options (that may or may not come to the US) are coming out (a 1.9 TwinTurbo 212bhp and 1.7 140bhp)

    There are about 13 or 14 different engines to choose from here in Europe, some disappear in 2007 som enter.

    As for “Anonymous” complaining about the “tiny” info-screen.
    Thats what You have “Options” for. The one in the picture is the “default”. I have a larger, Colour 16:9 screen since I have the GPS/Bosè Stereo option.

  20. Well, I saw a really clear (many..really)photo of the Astra 3 door, in what appeared to be a dark blue color. Now I am impressed!
    Much better! I could see every line, and everything is good, from what i saw.
    Now… all that’s left is the test drive!

  21. Not bein’ nasty, but
    1) Where’s the center console/arm rest?(will GM provide an optional folding arm rest for the driver…?)
    2) What is up with the 9 push buttons on the right side of the radio?
    Other than this, excellent.
    Hope they, at least, resolve the arm rest deal(as an option, even).

  22. https://forums.edmunds.com/
    Someone on this thread posted the new 4 doro sedan photos and info… most of it is European figures( MPG is by Liters, etc)… but, has a 0-60 for the 1/8 liter(will we get 2.0?)140HP…time is 10.8 seconds!?
    That sounds a tiny bit slow.
    I read elsewhere( on a endlgand site, tried to do a conversion to miles) and it was around 10.5 seconds to 62 MPH?
    It’s got to be faster than this.
    The 150HP I-5 VW Rabbit( on edmunds full test drive) did a 0-60 in 8.5 seconds.
    That is a 2.4 Liter I-5, I believe.
    It is slightly smaller than the Astra( rabbit is almost 165 inches total length, and the Astra is 167.3 inches, and weight may be close, too?).
    Also, claims are of Only getting the 140HP for now, in USA.
    I had read 170 HP version was also available and 205HP turbo, but … got to wait and see, from the Chicago autoshow, for official facts and figures, it appears.

  23. tc: The Darker Blue and OPC Blue are my preferred colors.

    anonymous: I have an armrest in one of mine (its an option), but I hardly use it (it folds away). Probably because I drive a 6 Speed manual and the arm-rest is not really helping me (more hindering) when shifting gears. With one of the Automatics it might be more practical.

    The 12 (its 0-9, #, *) buttons in mine are used for:

    Manually choosing Frequency or a pre-set depending on Radio-mode

    Manually choosing CD-track

    Manually choosing Chapter/Album/Track when playing MP3

    Dialing when my Nokia is connected.

    Other functions apply depending on options You have bought.

    Anyway, I control most function from the steering-wheel while driving.

    The three large buttons on the bottom are for Climate-control. Temp on the left, fan-speed on the Right and different fan-options in the middle. The middle can be pushed for some more advanced climate functions.

    The four small buttons in that area are for de-fog windows, heated windows/mirrors, Auto-Climate etc.

    The big Dial in the middle controlls most everything with Dial/Push functions (like the i-Drive in BMW). All other buttons in that section are Stereo, GPS and Car-surveillance related.

    In the top section (both sides of the Red-Triangle emergency button) are Heated seats left/right, Sport-button, activates the IDS+ and CDC sports-suspension and other chassis-features and the last is for TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring system).

    Left of the Steering wheel are buttons for fog lights front/rear and a dial for manually adjusting the dashboard back-light. It will normally adjust itself to exterior lighting-conditions (as will the info-display), but You can do it manually too.

    All that said, at least where I live, You can specify pretty much the car You like. Option-lists are extensive. Your wallet will limit.

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