These Astra's have superior build quality and silk like smooth handling characteristics. They handle and feel like a BMW or Benz behind the wheel. The issues that the public has with this car are laughable. If you look it up people complain about the one cupholder up front, the 24 hour clock and the lack on engine choice? It is too bad real pity that the far superior Astra gets buried by the foolish preferences of a undereducated public. This car kicks the pants off the Matrix Versa or Mazda 3. Part of the reason for the 32MPG and not 35 MPG is the stoutness of the Astra. You have to look past the numbers for the real story. The doors are heavy like a Mercedes, it is well built. The car has a strong feeling. The Honda has a plastic feel like it will be blasted off the road in a fender bender, there is more to these things than numbers.
Very Reliable Vehicle
This car has great gas mileage along with a stylish look. I love the handling and the feel. It is one of those cars where you feel like your riding on a cloud but can also drive as a sports car when required
Astra hidden Gem
The 2008 Astra is a hidden gem. The car has fantastic handling, superb steering and is really fun to drive. Throughout the car the materials are all high quality. The car shares many parts with AUDI AND BMW. This car simply outclasses any and all competition. The thud of the door closing, the feel of the knobs and the sound of the engine all say one thing; quality. Combine that with fantastic gas mileage, the fact that it had the highest safety rating of many compact 2008 model and this is the leader of the market. On the downside the cupholder is in an awkward position. If you are in the market for a top class cupholder look elsewhere. For a great vehicle look here.
Saturn XR 3-door Owner
Really enjoyed this car for comfort, economy, and price. Besides being as at the pump, it provided plenty of spunk while being sporty in the corners with sports package. Computer information center is fun to play with as well; it provides numerous driving information. Stereo is crisp.
Why Americans do not like hatchbacks?
I owe Astra XR 5 door since Aug, 2008. I still enjoy my car very much but I do have mixed feelings about features, performance and generally ownership of my Astra... PROS: exterior styling, this car is all about looks, one of the best sellers (as Opel Astra) in Europe for years, features (one touch windows down, real automatic "daylights"), leather seats, reliability... CONS: GM management, Saturn brand is dead - Astra's feature in this country is dead, engine - not refined enough, ONLY 5 speed manual transmission - needs 6th speed, no aftermarket parts!
Great Car, Great Value
I bought my 08' XR3 brand new in Jan 2008 and didn't realize what upgraded-type standard features I bought until about a month later. The stying put me into the sales office. The road handling is impeciable, my life has been saved a couple of times by the extremely responsive steering on the freeway (getting out of the way of the brain-dead drivers). The car could have a little more power, but it gets such good gas mileage, the car is forgiven. The premium sound system is great, and it comes with two features I use all the time; a digital representation of a manual radio tuner and an equalizer that works fine. My only two complaints are: 1. The "Check Water level" displays every time I start the car and sometimes as I'm driving. 2. The little hesitation when you start from a standstill; however, when driving along, the acceleration is good when you need it. I now have 55K miles on it and it is going strong. The seat height adjustment and lumbar adjustment are great. The telescopic and tilting steering wheel makes the ride comfortable. In the summertime, I am completely spoiled with the auto window-down feature when it's hot outside and my windows are down and the car is cooling off before I get to my car.
3dr, XR, auto, prem sound-The manual is the way to go (4 sp auto is dated) and the prem soyund is no worth the extra $$ what so ever. Handles great!!, 33mpg hwy (at 70+mph), great brakes, nice styling, lots of std. equipment. rides well considering the XR sport suspension is lowered and stiffer, engine and power is OK (could use about 20 hp more), be aware it has cam belts (not chains) and solid liters (not hydraulic), so ther is more maintence $$ in the engine ($700/every 75,000 miles for this). I got it new for $12,000 (MSRB $20,500) after all the rebates, etc, etc. For that price it was worth it, maybe $17,000 worth it, but not more. I would think when these give-away cars hit the used market, they may go pretty reasonable. A very fun handling car is it best features.
A "rare" car
I've had my Astra since July 2008, and have put about 27,000 miles on it since then. It is as rare as a Ferrari where I live, I've only seen 3 others on the road. Like all the reviewers have said, it handles well, looks great, is comfortable, has a sharp interior and gets good gas mileage. I actually like the military time on the drivers information center (DIC) and it's great on long trips. The car came loaded with features that are hard to find in other cars in this class, but, after a year and a half of ownership there are a few issues to point out. First, Saturn is going away and my car has depreciated faster than any car I've owned before, my dealer already closed which puts the nearest dealer a 3 hour drive away. I am not hard on my cars but, this car is full of interior rattles, the dash rattles, door trim rattles and the moon roof rattles. The cloth on the drivers seat is already wearing out. The driver's seat also moves like it's not firmly attached to the frame, although it is. I wish GM had not given up on this car, aside from what I've mentioned it has proven to be a reliable, comfortable car.
Great tradeup from a Toyota Corolla S 2005 model
I traded up to my Astra from a 2005 Corolla S which has been the best car decision that I've ever done. The 2005 Corolla was cheaply made, bounced all over the road, and had a poor ride and safety overall. In contrast, my Astra holds the road excellent, has a smooth ride for a small car, and the doors have a solid thud every time you shut them. It's very quite as well. This car is built my the German car company Opel. You get German quality and engineering in this car. I owned my first one in Australia where they are very popular models. I will never own another low quality Toyota again after this car.
Great Car For Almost Any Purpose
I own a 2008 Astra 4 door that is silver with a black leather interior. I purchased it used with 17,000 miles on it. At the time of purchase, their was almost no wear or tear on the car, and everything worked beautifully. The real selling point for me however, was the price difference between new and used. I saved about 7,000 dollars by purchasing an 08 instead of a new 09. Let me start by saying how much I love this car. It is immensely practical for a family on a budget, such as mine. We all find it comfortable for road trips, and it's a rewarding car to drive as well. It has a peppy four cylinder engine that is smooth and responsive, with a nice automatic transmission. Another plus is the great steering wheel with control buttons on it. This car is small, so it is easy to park and maneuver in and out of traffic, but I was shocked with the interior space. It is incredible how much stuff you can fit inside of it, and the oversize sunroof makes the cabin feel open and airy. It has great seats too. Fuel economy is great. This car requires regular gas, and gets 27 mpg city, 34 highway. Im sure an Astra with a stick shift would do better, but for city driving, I prefer the automatic. I am up to 27,000 miles, and the car has been as reliable as clockwork. The bottom line is this: The Astra is absolutely the best car in its class. It looks good, drives good, and is good to your wallet.