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FIRST LOOK: 2008 Saturn Astra

2008 Saturn Astra  

63 members have voted

  1. 1. So, how do you like the Astra so far?

    • 5 - Wow! What a hot Astra! A direct translation, just like I wanted!
      37
    • 4 - Hey, its great. But if I would...
      19
    • 3 - Not bad, not great. A decent car.
      5
    • 2 - Ehh. I was expecting more. A LOT more.
      1
    • 1 - Puke. Should've held this one up at customs.
      1


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GM@Chicago
2008 Saturn Astra Press Release


:forum:Saturn Astra Image Gallery

ALL-NEW 2008 SATURN ASTRA BRINGS AWARD-WINNING EUROPEAN SMALL CAR TO NORTH AMERICA


CHICAGO Saturn announced the addition of the all-new 2008 Astra to its lineup, bringing a decidedly European flavor to the North American compact car market. It is packed with a wide range of standard equipment and safety features, and delivers sporty performance with very good fuel economy.

The Saturn Astra will be offered in three-door and five-door models, each underpinned by a taught, European-bred suspension that delivers a sharp, responsive driving experience. Power comes from a 1.8L Ecotec four-cylinder engine that is both energetic and economical, delivering 140 horsepower (104 kW) and up to 34 mpg** on the highway.

“In Europe , the Astra’s combination of style, performance, safety technology and fuel efficiency have made it a hit with owners and auto critics alike,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn general manager. “Now, Saturn is bringing the newly restyled Astra to North America and marrying it with our celebrated customer experience.”

The Astra will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. It is the fifth product in a complete revamp of Saturn’s product lineup. In fact, when the Astra hits showrooms, the “oldest” vehicle in Saturn’s portfolio will be the Sky roadster, which debuted in March 2006. Other new models include the all-new Aura sedan, the redesigned Vue compact crossover – including the Vue Green Line hybrid – and the Outlook crossover.

“It’s not a stretch to say Saturn is all-new,” said Lajdziak. “The Astra rounds out our portfolio with a smart-driving, well-equipped small car that shares the European designs evident in all our new vehicles.”

Product highlights
Saturn offers two trim levels (XE and XR) for five-door models, and a single trim (XR) in the three-door configuration, which was created with more enthusiastic drivers in mind.

The standard powertrain combination in all models is the 1.8L Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. The Ecotec engine is enhanced with variable valve timing to optimize power output and fuel efficiency. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional on all models.
The Astra offers technologies to provide an agile, yet comfortable, driving experience. StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control is standard on all three-door Astras, and available on five-door models. This system works in concert with the standard four-wheel, antilock disc brakes to help the driver maintain control during adverse road conditions or during sudden emergency driving situations.

An electro-hydraulic, rack-and-pinion steering system is standard on all models. It provides the solid, linear feel of a hydraulic power steering system, but improves fuel efficiency by operating the power steering pump only when necessary. The system has two available configurations: the standard 15:1 ratio on five-door models and a 14:1 Sport ratio (standard on the three-door; optional on five-doors).

Five-door Astras come with standard 16-inch wheels, but can be upgraded to 17-inch aluminum wheels. Three-door models come standard with 17-inch aluminum wheels, which can be upgraded to 18-inch aluminum wheels and performance tires.

Design details
The Astra has a clean, contemporary design that is infused with Saturn’s signature styling cues, including a bold, bright grille bar with prominent Saturn logo. Both the three-door and five-door models are distinguished from their European relatives with unique front and rear fascias that conform to North American bumper standards.

Rear-end styling also features a bright trim bar, with large, wraparound taillamps and clear lenses. The center high-mounted stop lamp uses LED technology for fast and crisp illumination.

Proportions on both body styles suggest an enthusiastic driving experience, with the wheels pushed to the corners and subtle fender flares wrapped tightly around the tires for a tailored stance.

Interior design and features
Bold design, refinement and precise execution are the hallmarks of the Saturn Astra’s interior, which envelops passengers in a contemporary environment that maximizes space and comfort. Details include a continuation of the exterior’s center hood crease on to the center of the instrument panel, as well as a V-shaped center stack motif that also complements the design language of the exterior.

All models convey the Astra’s sporting character through firm, well-supported seats and a thick, three-spoke steering wheel with rake and telescopic adjustments. Ahead of the steering wheel is a rounded cockpit binnacle that houses a large, three-dimensional gauge cluster – including large speedometer and tachometer dials. The sporty Astra three-door receives specific seats with more aggressive bolsters and lumbar support.
Additional interior highlights include:
  • Illuminated glove box with damped door actuation
  • A large, two-panel sunroof: the largest in its class (available on five-door only)
  • Available heated seats in cloth or leather surfaces
  • Auxiliary 12-volt power outlet
  • Easy-to-remove rear cargo cover
  • Power door locks (with central locking feature) and power windows with express down feature
  • Standard six-speaker AM/FM/CD radio and available seven-speaker sound system; multi-disc and MP3-capable radios available
  • Steering-wheel mounted audio controls (on XR models)
Astra’s bold proportions, including a long, 103-inch (2,614 mm) wheelbase and 80-inch (2,033 mm) width, provide exceptional roominess and generous storage capacity. The 60/40-split folding rear seat also folds flat with the touch of a single, high-mounted lever. When the rear seat is folded, the five-door Astra offers 44.8 cubic feet (1,270 L) of storage space.

Occupant protection features
The 2008 Saturn Astra features a comprehensive list of safety systems to help protect occupants in the event of a crash. Highlights include:
  • Rigid body structure with safety cage
  • Six standard air bags, including dual-stage frontal air bags; roof rail head curtain air bags and thorax/pelvic air bags (front-seat passengers)
  • Active head restraints
  • Collapsible pedals
  • Front safety belt pretensioners and load limiters
  • OnStar with one year of Safe & Sound service
Body structure: The unitized body structure is designed with a safety cage around the passenger compartment, and features optimized front and rear crush zones that absorb energy and help maintain the structural integrity of the passenger compartment. High-strength steel is used strategically throughout the body structure.

Air bags: All Astra models feature dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted thorax/pelvic air bags to help protect front occupants and head curtain air bags for front- and rear-seat occupants. Also standard is an automatic passenger sensing system for the front passenger seat; it suppresses the activation of the passenger-side frontal air bag if it detects a child or smaller-stature person in that seating position.

Active head restraints and collapsible pedals: Standard active head restraints instantly move forward if a rear-end crash is detected, reducing the risk of neck injuries. Similarly, the collapsible foot pedals move during a crash to reduce the risk of leg or ankle injuries.

Safety belt pretensioners and load limiters: When a crash is detected, the safety belt pretensioners immediately reduce the slack in the front safety belts, helping limit the movement of passengers. The load limiters permit a small amount of movement in the front safety belts, thereby reducing peak chest loads in a more severe crash.

OnStar: Astra comes with the latest-generation OnStar system, including available Turn-by-Turn Navigation. The system also includes advanced automatic crash notification (AACN). With AACN, an OnStar advisor is immediately contacted by the vehicle when a crash occurs; the advisor can determine the appropriate emergency help required and assist in sending it to the scene of the crash. Astra buyers will receive one year of
Safe & Sound Service provided by Saturn.


** Fuel economy estimates based on 2007MY EPA test cycle. Final numbers will be announced closer to availability.

Posted Image

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"The standard powertrain combination in all models is the 1.8L Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. The Ecotec engine is enhanced with variable valve timing to optimize power output and fuel efficiency. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional on all models."

The transmission choices are somewhat disappointing. <_<

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they need to advertise the hell out of the Saturn lineup. something akin to mazda lineup commercials would be great, something to show these are refined sporty cars with great design....

EDIT: if ever there was a need for the marketing overbudgeting that GM has been notorious for, it is for Saturn. stop the cobalt and Impala ads, and segway that money into Saturn.

Edited by turbo200

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Wait a second... it's 80 inches wide? That has to be a typo. That's as wide as my truck!

This is a fantastic car for Saturn. The only problem I see is, will they be able to keep up with demand? Isn't there a production cap on these first, imported Astras? Also, with the 1.8L, I was hoping for about 38 mpg highway, but I understand this is probably figured with the new rules.

Kudos to GM for recognizing with this car that Americans can be interested in a premium small car. As far as amenities and overall execution go, size no longer matters. It's something VW has known for decades with their Golf/Rabbit, which is purchased by all kinds of people. With Saturn's good customer service rep, I don't see how this car can lose.

Edited by ocnblu

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I think this will be a solid compact entry for GM/Saturn. The only thing is I wish is it had an optional larger engine, like the 2.4l ecotec or something. I love the looks of the 3 and 5 door...they're both sleek and modern looking. The Astra seems like it would fit well with the Apple-like niche marketing Saturn will be going for. Right now its good time to be a Saturn dealer.

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Only disappointment in the specs is that hp goes down 5 from the ION, I'm sure torque is going to be downeven more. And thats not even taking into account the optional 2.4 or Red Line versions of the ION.

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Only disappointment in the specs is that hp goes down 5 from the ION, I'm sure torque is going to be downeven more. And thats not even taking into account the optional 2.4 or Red Line versions of the ION.

I hope that it is lighter than the Ion. Only then can they justify that 5 hp drop.

By the way Fly we have another 1.8l. LOL

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Wait a second... it's 80 inches wide? That has to be a typo. That's as wide as my truck!

I noticed that too. Has to be a typo. That's as wide as a Chrysler Pacifica, and wider than the last B-Body. Edited by AM6_Cutlass

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Wait a second... it's 80 inches wide?

The number is correct: the car is 2033mm wide (80 in.), including the side mirrors.

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YEAH!! They figured out a smaller engine was the answer. Glad to see GM is going with the better gas mileage vs the max power.

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Interior measurements for the 3-door are incorrect. The figures are actually:

37.7"

36.6"

42.3"

35"

53.9"

52.7"

51.3"

51"

Cargo volume is 340/1070 v 380/1300 for the 5-door and 350/1305 for the Rabbit, 275/1045 for the Reno, 289/— for the Versa and 230/— for the new xB, 275/- for the Yaris, 380/- for the Fit, 184/- for the xA and 220/980 for the Aveo 5-door (VDA for all).

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This is a fantastic car for Saturn. The only problem I see is, will they be able to keep up with demand? Isn't there a production cap on these first, imported Astras? Also, with the 1.8L, I was hoping for about 38 mpg highway, but I understand this is probably figured with the new rules.

In case you missed it:

** Fuel economy estimates based on 2007MY EPA test cycle. Final numbers will be announced closer to availability.

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Only the 1.8L?! I am soo glad to have the Astra, but a wider (and better) selection of powertrains needs to be available.

I'll be the happiest when this is available with diesels and the 2.0L Turbo.

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I was hoping for a diesel option as well but didn't seriously think GM would be that forward thinking. 34MPG using the new calculation is pretty good though. I'll give it a serious look if pricing is in the VW Golf/Rabbit range (assuming the fit and finish is as good).

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Much better then the odd looking ION---okay the 2dr in RL is good but the rest were fugly.

But the sole engine is disapointing. Accleration will be at the back of the class---and down right horrible with an automatic. Fine for base engine--probably gets great mileage. Becasue of high gas prices in Europe buyers often pt up with gutless cars....won't fly here.

This is need to be addressed ASAP--half way though model year or next year! The 2.4L needs to be an option--and then whatever 2.0 Turbo GM can get in there.

Edited by avro206

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