2007 Chicago Auto Show: 2008 Saturn Astra

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Saturn continues to radically revamp its car lineup. The company revealed more information about the all-new Astra two-door and four-door hatchbacks that will replace the aging Ion in showrooms at the end of the year. The Astra is based on a European make GM produces for sale overseas. That explains the European hatchback looks, but the car will be powered by a more pedestrian 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 140-hp. Based on the current — and less strict — EPA guidelines the car will get 27/34 mpg city/highway.

Only the four-door hatchback will come in two trims, an entry level XE and a better equipped XR. The sporty two-door hatchback will come only in the gussied-up XR model that the company says will be geared more at the driving enthusiast. All Astra’s come with a five-speed manual standard and a four-speed automatic optional. While that may not sound like it breaks any molds, the two-door hatchback comes with traction control and stability control standard, almost unheard of in the class, while it’s an option for the four-door models.

Other safety equipment includes all-wheel disc brakes, active head restraints and six airbags standard.

The company hasn’t released pricing information but we’d guess on the $15,000 - $25,000 range. As always, more photos are below. 

Saturn Astra Two-Door Hatchback

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Astra2drivingside

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Saturn Astra Four-Door Hatchback

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Astra4drivingfront

By David Thomas | February 5, 2007 | Comments (19)

Comments 

G. Weiss

Three years ago, I rented a Vauxhall Astra while we were in Great Britian. I thought that it was very good car, fun to drive and economical to boot. It reminded me more of the old Saturn SL's than the Ion/Cobalts of present, an obvious improvement over GM J-cars.

Carmine

I used to hate Saturns with a passion. Lately, with all the design changes (especially the ouster of their HORRENDOUS old head- and taillights), they're beginning to grow on me. The four door here looks like a more normal Caliber, but I'm pretty into the two door... now they have to put a Red Line engine in it.

Ryan

I've never been a fan of GM's small cars, particulary Saturns. They were dependable A-to-B modules and that was about it. Other than that, they had a low butt-on-the-road seating position, horrible build quality, loud engines, and the styling (especially on the ION) was just plain weird.

This one may change my mind and for the first time I may walk into a Saturn dealership wanting to buy one of their cars. I think it looks really sexy and if it drives like an Astra I had rented a number of years ago overseas, it'll be fun to scoot around in. As long as GM USA hasn't cheapened the interior, I'm sold. Congrats to Saturn!

Paul

I owned a 92 Saturn sedan, a 95 Saturn wagon, and a 96 Saturn coupe. They were all great cars, solid, reliable, fun to drive. I would be a dedicated Saturn repeat customer, but Saturn lost their way around 2000 when they became "just another GM division". My wife will need a new car within the next 12 months, and the Astra 3-door is high on our list, along with the MINI Cooper and Volvo C30. Saturn will clearly have the pricing advantage, MINI the driving advantage, and Volvo the styling advantage. Given the current economy, Saturn just might be able to win me back with this car.

J

This should put up a good fight with the Mazda3 for the compact hatchback under 20 grand.
But do Americans ready for hatchback to come back again? Because everyone seems to have some sorts of station-wagon-phobia.

johnny t

i can't wait for this car. it will be my third saturn. awesome.

J,
You may be right. Ford is going away from the hatchback with the new Focus dropping all hatch variations. Personally I think they're much more useful. The mazda3 is a terrific vehicle and even the Caliber seems to be selling well.
In some ways the HHR is almost a hatchback, same with the PT Cruiser.
I say bring em on.

J

Just look at the Europeans.
Who has a hatchback that can't sell?
Just look at the world as a whole, most people like the versatility of hatchbacks and wagons. Except Americans who likes SUVs. What is the difference between a wagon and SUV? Beat me.

M3

Gorgeous 2-door! I'm glad somebody is finally making a nice looking, affordable 2-door hatch. There are so many nice 4-door hatchbacks out there, but so few 2-doors. I really love the Volvo C30's looks but you could just about get 2 of these Saturns for one Volvo.

steve

Can you say the SAAB GM should sell? Or will they continue to sell the miserable little SAABaru?? This car could win MANY Saabers back.

J

steve,

The Saabaru is dead already.

Mr. Langlitz

In my opinion this supposed 27/34 mpg rating is pure nonsense. The Astra's mileage in Germany is 39-40 mpg on the highway. That's an official figure, referring to standard 1999/100/EG, which is valid for all vehicles over here. BTW, our ratings repeatedly come very close to reality. I used to drive Opel's for 15 years and consequently I know what I am talking about.

kmil

Are "we" in the USA gonna get an interior color OTHER than gray? If not its a big marketing mistake. How about some shade of beige/creme???

If anyone knows or thinks there may be a color other than gray/grey please email: kmil123@msn.com

Thanks!!!

Rob

I predict that GM for the US version will put in a cheapened interior and engine. Good advice: wait and see before you but it; GM will attempt to ruin this car, they are very dedicated to achieve bankruptcy...

William Hadley

I loved the Astra when I first saw it as an Opel, and was annoyed they stuck us with the notchback version of it in the Cava...Cobalt. I'm one American that misses the American automakers producing a hatch (my first three cars were hatches built by Chrysler in the eighties). I was very happy when I heard Saturn was getting the Astra to replace the Ion, though my enthusiasm is tempered with the knowledge it is being produced in Belgium and not Spring Hill. I am perturbed that the only way it seems I can buy a compact car and support US workers is to buy a Honda or Toyota.

Richard

I think they will be producing the Astra in the US sometime in 08. The initial US production will be from Belgium until things are up and running here. Personally I'm fairly impressed with the improvements GM has been making to most of their lineups, especially over the last couple of years.

This is going to be at the top of my car shopping list in 08 if that panoramic roof is availible.

if you guys like the Astra as we do in the UK and want knowledge about the car inc tuning details , have a look at the astraownersnetwork.co.uk all the information you will ever need , we are just a forum of enthusiasts so this is no way related to selling anything , just giving information about the Astra to our fellow friends :)

if you guys like the Astra as we do in the UK and want knowledge about the car inc tuning details , have a look at the astraownersnetwork.co.uk all the information you will ever need , we are just a forum of enthusiasts so this is no way related to selling anything , just giving information about the Astra to our fellow friends :)

letsholo Sebeela

i want to buy one this nice cars but a two liter.

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