2009 Saturn Astra
1-3 of 3 reviews
Test drive review

A thoughtful car...

by from Southwestern Michigan on August 16, 2008

I bought an Astra four weeks ago. I am really pleased, and you would be too if you like European-styled cars. I bought the base three-door XR. It looks a lot better than the four-door and you get the ...
I bought an Astra four weeks ago. I am really pleased, and you would be too if you like European-styled cars. I bought the base three-door XR. It looks a lot better than the four-door and you get the Stabilitrak for "free." It has a lot of other higher-end features, like alloy wheels and sport suspension. I also choose the manual transmission: it saved me about $1000, gets better mileage, and it's a fun drive. The automatic is a little anemic. Its mileage has been terrific. The manual is listed at 24 city/32 highway. For the first two weeks I drove it exclusively in town and got 28.5 miles to the gallon. However, you have to keep in mind that this is a European car, and it has some quirkiness that we don't expect as Americans. I got back from a visit inGermany, where they have been seling Astras for 15 years. The only thing that has changed between my "Saturn" Astra and the Opels they sell is a cupholder in the back. Otherwise this is European car through and through: the engine was made in Hungary, the transmission in Austria, 35% of the other parts in Germany, assembled in Belgium, and sent here re-badged as a Saturn to create a high-mileage car for GM... which does not have many here. As a result, the handling is stiff and sports-car like, which I prefer but some might find to be not comfortable enough. The clock is set for 24-hour time -- and you can't change that. The radio system is not intuitive. I have driven it for a month, and I still don't know all the functions. There are five drink-holders but they are placed in less-than-useful places. But to me those are small issues. I got a high-gas mileage, fun-to-drive, good-priced, tight-suspension car that gets me and my kids around town and to work. It's interesting... not like most econo-boxes that they sell in the States. And I get the benefit of a hatchback, so I can pick up stuff at Home Depot that would never fit in normal sedan. So I am really happy. My only suggestion: if you re thinking about this car, take both the manual and automatic for a few test drives. The quirkiness for me is endearing and interesting. But that same quirkiness could get on your nerves too, depending on your preferences. So take your time making a decision.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Really nice car

by from Gatineau, QC on July 15, 2009

The interior is much nicer than the civic even though the audio system is over engineered. The lack of an AUX jack is a shame but no car is perfect. Great gas mileage, great handling. A lot of extras ...
The interior is much nicer than the civic even though the audio system is over engineered. The lack of an AUX jack is a shame but no car is perfect. Great gas mileage, great handling. A lot of extras for an entry level car (telescopic steering, heated mirrors, adjustable seat height etc). a nice little car.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Safety and style, what more could you want?

by from Chicago, IL on September 16, 2008

I have the four door automatic, so according to the "car critics" I should be unhappy with my Astra. Quite the opposite, I'm ecstatic! The Astra comes full of airbags (6 sets to be exact) and with ABS...
I have the four door automatic, so according to the "car critics" I should be unhappy with my Astra. Quite the opposite, I'm ecstatic! The Astra comes full of airbags (6 sets to be exact) and with ABS brakes. The handling, even without the optional Stabilitrak, is great. For my purposes, the ride is smooth. The 15" Goodyear Eagles are great. It parks easy, turns on a dime and takes corners like it's glued to the road. I considered a Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix as well as the Astra, but couldn't handle the blind spots. The Astra gives better visibility and I don't feel like I'm backing up a Mac truck. The Astra has lots of fun toys - like rain sensing wipers and light sensing headlights. The 2 panel sunroof is an absolute must!! It also has an onboard computer that tracks your gas tank and your MPG (my current average is 29 mpg, mostly city). The automatic shifts into neutral when it's at a complete stop, and shifts back when you lift off the brake. This accounts for the "problem" some reviewers have with the auto transmission. When you understand how to drive it, it's fine and it saves gas. As for the styling, the interior is no doubt European. Contrary to popular belief, there are in fact 3 cupholders. If it's a deal-breaker for you, consider buying a cupholder at an auto store that clips into the door pocket. I've had several people stop me in parking lots to comment on the car - it is an eye catcher, and they're not all over the road. You'll be driving a European-tested car that's still exclusive here in the States, and you'll have fun doing it.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Does recommend this car!!

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