by Eric from Southwestern Michigan on Sat Aug 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 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.
Purchased a New car
Does recommend this car!!
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