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bowtie_dude

Availability of 3-dr

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If I suddenly found myself in the market for a new car in the latter-half of the year, what would be the chances of 3-dr XR manuals being available? Or would I be stuck with a 5-dr XR or waiting for the next MY?

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Seeing the 5-door in person, I wouldn't be at all disappointed setting for that.

This is coming from someone who hates the side profile of the Cobalt sedan.

The Astra just comes off sportier.

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I drove an Astra Wednesday. Like it very well, nut sure a 3 door would improve the current design.

My quick thoughts:

Love the styling, better than Mazda 3, Civic, GTI, etc. This car does not photograph well but in person IMHO it is the best looking car in the segment.

I'm a big guy 250lbs and almost 6' tall and I can ride in the backseat of both the 3 door and 5 door with zero problems.

The center stack on the dash is about as awkward as that in the MIni-Cooper, but if I can forgive the MCS for that I can forgive the Astra.

Car does not have great visibility out of the rear window, esp. in three door form. Since I'm used to driving a Mustang Fastback, a Miata, a GMC Safari van, and a Ford Econoline work truck, it doesn't bother me. But if you like lots of rearward visibility you'll be disapointed.

Fit and finish on the car beats Honda and Mazda. As a Current toyota owner I can say the car hands down IMHO beats Toyota Fit and finish. The interor has some plastics some of our members might quible about, but its a 17k car, its not a CTS. As such, Astra reminds me more of Volkswagen-Audi than say Ford.

Driving dynamics? Some people might flame me for this but it is IMHO a four door 5 seat Miata. Hands down the best road feel and handeling of anything in its class. By far.

Guages are the nicest of anything in the price range and very easy to read. My Safari van has oil pressure, temp, and battery chage guage and this car needs that also. You can probably get that info through the small screen in the dash, but I'd prefer a guage. The Oil pressure guage saved the motor in the Safari and the Motor in my 55 Chevy when I lost oil pumps in both vehicles, so this is kind of a turn off.

The car is definitely a drivers car, gives you lots of feedback. Driving position is much better than other cars of its class and size. It is a night and day difference between this car and say an Acura Integra, the other small premium car that sold well here for years. If Saturn can get people into the showrooms to look at it they should sell a fair number.

Overall, I liked the vehicle far more than my post above suggests. On a scale of 1 to ten I rate it about 9.5 or 9.7.

Personally, I was going to be able to pay off my xB and buy one until my son Joel had emergency surgury and I got laid off work. My tax return should pay what health insurance doesn't on the surgury, and I( probably start a new Job Monday so I should hopefully still be able to buy one within the next year.

Chris

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Shoot, I drove a 3-door XR with no options, and I didn't exactly go wanting for anything. The car has all the toys.
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>>"...3-dr...5-dr"<<

As with kids wearing their pants down around their thighs & hitching them up every other step like a chronic OCD victim, I wish this ridiculous crap would just go away. I really don't give a tin &#036;h&#33; if 'everyone is doing it', it still makes no sense- no one climbs thru the hatch; it's not a door... it's all automotive PC-ness to shield the image conscious from the horrors of driving a "hatchback". Why people at large buy into... never mind- I know why.

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>>"...3-dr...5-dr"<<

As with kids wearing their pants down around their thighs & hitching them up every other step like a chronic OCD victim, I wish this ridiculous crap would just go away. I really don't give a tin &#036;h&#33; if 'everyone is doing it', it still makes no sense- no one climbs thru the hatch; it's not a door... it's all automotive PC-ness to shield the image conscious from the horrors of driving a "hatchback". Why people at large buy into... never mind- I know why.

Man...I'm just calling it what everyone else knows it by.

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Well, it is more of a door than a trunk decklid. And the term 3-door probably is derived from the term 5-door, from when wagons actually had a rear-facing third row that you would access from the cargo door. In fact, it might even be from the old side-opening access doors wagons had, which were much more door-like before gas struts and liftgates became commonplace.

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In addition, the tailgate does enter the vehicles passenger compartment, unlike a conventional 3-box sedan or coupe, where the boot opens up into a storage compartment, hence, not a door.

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>>"And the term 3-door probably is derived from the term 5-door, from when wagons actually had a rear-facing third row that you would access from the cargo door."<<

Those were never called "5-drs"... but you're right: that would be more of a '5-dr' than anything on the market today.

In my book, either you use this rear portal to physically enter the vehicle, or you don't. So it's a 'door' or it's no different that a trunklid, regardless of if it's directly connected to the passenger compartment or not. This exact same configuration was always called a hatchback, now none are. Think about it.

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When I checked the ASTRA out four or five weeks ago they had both 3- and 5-doors: a silver XE 5-door, with no options but A/C and automatic, and a black XR manual fully loaded with leather and 18-inch alloys. I wasn't aware the 3-doors were in short supply.

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>>"...3-dr...5-dr"<<

As with kids wearing their pants down around their thighs & hitching them up every other step like a chronic OCD victim, I wish this ridiculous crap would just go away. I really don't give a tin &#036;h&#33; if 'everyone is doing it', it still makes no sense- no one climbs thru the hatch; it's not a door... it's all automotive PC-ness to shield the image conscious from the horrors of driving a "hatchback". Why people at large buy into... never mind- I know why.

Dude, hatchback bodystyles have been called 3dr and 5dr since at least the early '80s or longer...get used to it. It's nothing new.

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When I checked the ASTRA out four or five weeks ago they had both 3- and 5-doors: a silver XE 5-door, with no options but A/C and automatic, and a black XR manual fully loaded with leather and 18-inch alloys. I wasn't aware the 3-doors were in short supply.

A quick check of some local retailers...

Saturn of Torrance

8 XR 3-doors

3 XR 5-doors

9 XE 5-doors

Saturn of Cerritos

21 XR 3-doors

21 XR 5-doors

11 XE 5-doors

Saturn of Santa Monica

4 XR 3-doors

9 XR 5-doors

10 XE 5-doors

Saturn of Huntington Beach

5 XR 3-doors

3 XR 5-doors

6 XE 5-doors

Or 38 3-doors within a 30 mile radius.. the product mix seems to be pretty balanced.

Edited by empowah
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i sat in a 3door today.

nice interior. the center stack items are too low IMHO.

the plastics and everything are alright, not anyting to complain about really. the shifter is really nice. gauges are nice, possibly the best in class. why are people not giving saturn props for its interiors? overall, the interior is a good competitor for the top cars in the class. makes the civic interior look stupid (not like it didn't do that itself).

sort of a really claustrophobic cabin. low roof. high beltline. very little glass. horrible view out the back. don't buy this car if you like to see what is going on behind you or to the side rear of you. i really didn't feel comfortable in it. the cabin felt intrusive.

doesn't appear to have much for cargo space.

i thought it seemed tight on space. i had the seat all the way back and i had to keep the seat way down to feel like i had headroom. cabin width wasn't terrible. i will have to sit in the 5 door at the auto show to see if its as cramped feeling.

this does not have the appeal of a volume seller. it does have appeal of for a special, picky buyer. It doesn't seem to have the capacity of the VW's or the mazda. however as it is, it will be a nice alternative for those who may be shopping the volvo or the minis, etc.

it's definitely not a me-too car, which is odd, because it sells so huge over the pond.

it was fricking cold and snowy out so i didn't test drive it. i can understand the appeal of the car, it's nice.

Edited by regfootball
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>>"Dude, hatchback bodystyles have been called 3dr and 5dr since at least the early '80s or longer...get used to it. It's nothing new. "<<

It's not about it being new or getting used to it; I've heard it since it started.

It's about calling it what it is and tossing the PC bullsh!t out the window. It's about being aware of what's going on; that a 'pre-owned' car is nothing different than a 'used' car (except that it just might possibly cost you more)... it's about not blindly accepting whatever marketing shoves down your throat and smiling & nodding at your choking neighbor over it.

I think I'm going to now say my house has... 20 exterior doors and no windows, because it sounds mysterious.. or fortified.... or something ultimately ridiculous. Cool & exclusive, huh? You watch, it'll catch on in a jif.

Whatever, I'm a dinosaur, ignore me.

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Whatever, I'm a dinosaur, ignore me.

'Curmudgeon' I think is the appropriate term.. :)

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>>"Dude, hatchback bodystyles have been called 3dr and 5dr since at least the early '80s or longer...get used to it. It's nothing new. "<<

It's not about it being new or getting used to it; I've heard it since it started.

It's about calling it what it is and tossing the PC bullsh!t out the window. It's about being aware of what's going on; that a 'pre-owned' car is nothing different than a 'used' car (except that it just might possibly cost you more)... it's about not blindly accepting whatever marketing shoves down your throat and smiling & nodding at your choking neighbor over it.

I think I'm going to now say my house has... 20 exterior doors and no windows, because it sounds mysterious.. or fortified.... or something ultimately ridiculous. Cool & exclusive, huh? You watch, it'll catch on in a jif.

Whatever, I'm a dinosaur, ignore me.

Uhhh how is calling a hatchback a 3-dr a "politically-correct" statement?? Saying "hatchback" will not cause you to be viewed as a bigot.

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For lack of a more specifically-technical term... it's marketing spin to avoid the only other bodystyle name for it: hatchback... which picked up a 'cheap econobox' connotation in the '70s and '80s.

And being politically correct reaches much farther than merely the behavior of a bigot.

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Even in countries where hatchbacks don't have an "econobox connotation", the same terms are used to differentiate between, well, 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks.

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