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jrockb4

Automobile in-depth Astra Review

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This is a very in-depth and thorough Astra review, and they think GM definitely has a winner.

http://car-reviews.automobile.com/Saturn/r...road-test/5304/

Some great quotes:

All that was left was a small car to round out the lineup, and change Saturn's brand image from one that sells on price to one that can lure in a more sophisticated buyer through the strength of its products.

The Astra is that car, without doubt. I knew it as soon as I took a seat inside after its auto show reveal, and just had it confirmed in spades during its introductory launch program in California.

As you can see, I'm grasping at straws here, or at least clutching onto grab handles to come up with something wrong with this car, and I'm having a terribly difficult time doing so. Fact is that the Astra is one of the best cars in the compact class bar none, delivering thoroughly engaging driving dynamics within a sophisticated, upscale environment that should keep on looking good years after the honeymoon is over. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief, but folks you're talking to a real honest to goodness Saturn fan now. What's the world coming to?

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It's a great car, but like most European mainstream cars (VW), it's too good and too expensive for its segment over here. I'm not sure how it'll sell; a comparably equipped AURA is only $2K more.

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It's a great car, but like most European mainstream cars (VW), it's too good and too expensive for its segment over here. I'm not sure how it'll sell; a comparably equipped AURA is only $2K more.

Not everyone wants to go up in size. I disagree about the pricing, I think it's fine where it is, especially with the kinds of reviews it keeps getting, which make me think it deserves the "premium compact" title. Especially considering the limited numbers being brought over, they'll sell every one of them. Limited supply + premium price = optimum profits. When the next gen comes and they offer a sedan, it might be nice to see it start in the 15's instead of the 16s, but for now I think GM is playing their cards right on this one. The only complaint I've heard (aside from those that don't like hatches) is that it's underpowered. And surprisingly, a number of reviewers have thrown that out and said it's powered pretty well, even if it's not setting any speed records.

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I think as we see gas prices continue to climb the "premium" compact segment will grow, because people will want the luxuries and sophistication of bigger vehicles while getting the fuel economy of a small car.

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Not everyone wants to go up in size. I disagree about the pricing, I think it's fine where it is, especially with the kinds of reviews it keeps getting, which make me think it deserves the "premium compact" title. Especially considering the limited numbers being brought over, they'll sell every one of them. Limited supply + premium price = optimum profits. When the next gen comes and they offer a sedan, it might be nice to see it start in the 15's instead of the 16s, but for now I think GM is playing their cards right on this one. The only complaint I've heard (aside from those that don't like hatches) is that it's underpowered. And surprisingly, a number of reviewers have thrown that out and said it's powered pretty well, even if it's not setting any speed records.

I'm not convinced yet on this car until I actually get to comb over it. There is just too much sub-par equipment on it in this brutally competitive segment. Like the 4-speed auto and a 5-speed manual. Someone mentioned this before and forgive me for not remembering, but I agree that maybe this is just a stop-gap product until then new car comes out. Overall though, I'm surprised that it is getting favorable reviews.

Edited by RJB
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Glad to see another positive review. I am really really rooting for this car to sell well.

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… When the next gen comes and they offer a sedan, …

While I think they should offer the sedan (current or next gen), there's no sign they plan to do so, even though the sedan will be built in the same plant as the Saturn versions. Of course they may be planing on domestic production for the sedan alongside the Cobalt.
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I think as we see gas prices continue to climb the "premium" compact segment will grow, because people will want the luxuries and sophistication of bigger vehicles while getting the fuel economy of a small car.

The auto gets only 2 more city MPG and 0 more hwy MPG than the AURA XE-4. With its smaller engine and lighter weight, I'm sure it has the *potential* for far greater fuel economy in the real world though.

But I agree with you; I'd much rather have an ASTRA than an AURA. It's better looking and it's better made, but then there are other buyers like reg who value size.

Edited by empowah
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i thought the easiest complaint would be a high cruising rpm speed like alot of smaller engined cars have... you know something around 3500rpm at ~75 or so.

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I think as we see gas prices continue to climb the "premium" compact segment will grow, because people will want the luxuries and sophistication of bigger vehicles while getting the fuel economy of a small car.

I totally agree! :thumbsup:

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I wish the US could affordably have all the Astra's . A glass roof SRi 3-door with a turbocharged 1.6 would be sweet , as would a VXr/OPC . The Twintop would likely be better competition for the Eos than a G6 vert .

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I think as we see gas prices continue to climb the "premium" compact segment will grow, because people will want the luxuries and sophistication of bigger vehicles while getting the fuel economy of a small car.

I agree.
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I cant believe how much better gas mileage the 1.8 gets over the 2.2 with somewhat similar power outputs . 33 city 46 hwy ...ummm , WOW !

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What? Where are you getting those figures from?:huh:
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What? Where are you getting those figures from?:huh:

+1

euro milage specs aren't measured the same as US specs, are they?

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It's a great car, but like most European mainstream cars (VW), it's too good and too expensive for its segment over here. I'm not sure how it'll sell; a comparably equipped AURA is only $2K more.

saturn changed their business model to sell more models, each with less volume. then chevy can sell greater volume.

no need to sell 200k ions, let chevy sell the cobalts and let saturn sell the astra at much lower volume.

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What? Where are you getting those figures from?:huh:

It states the fuel economy in the article .

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