2008 Saturn Astra XR Review


Ever complain about the lack of affordable European influenced cars on our side of the pond? If your answer is ‘yes’, then Saturn wants you to take a look at the new Astra. The Astra completes a re-invention of Saturn’s model line-up and is of huge importance to the GM division.
 
The Astra currently comes in three or five doors, so ford customers, disappointed by the now hatchless focus, now have another vehicle to consider. The Astra also has the following options available, 17-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, and chrome features (chrome is hard to pull off on an affordable car, but it works well here).
 
On the inside the Astra has a top-level finish. Soft material are everywhere, and the entire cabin has a well bolted down and heavy, solid feel to it. There are also metal door sill plates, fabric lines a-pillars, click free turn signal stalk, and rubberized climate and audio control knobs. It has some ritzy stuff for $25,000.
 
In the back the cargo area offers decent space behind the split-folding seats, as well as tie-down points to keep items secure on the go.
 
Astra’s European upbringing is apparent in the driving dynamics. The Astra rips up curves with near non-existent body roll and eagerly invites drivers to explore its limits. The solid suspension is relatively quiet and well damped for the grip provided, adding to the overall feel of quality on board.
 
Overall, there is a premium feel throughout the Astra. It recalls portions of the Volvo C30, Volkswagen Rabbit, and MINI Cooper S because of its solid, heavy feel, premium interior, and near go-kart handling.

 

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