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FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/18/10 3:35 p.m.

Can anyone learn me about the Saturn Astra? I know they are the Opal Astra imported and not the standard Snap Tite plastic models.

Other than that I am clueless. I think the look good but how do they compare to the Focus and others in the class?

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
12/18/10 5:05 p.m.

They are far nicer cars than the rest of the cars in that class. They are only available as a 3 door hatch and a 5 door hatch. The only motor availble here is the 1.8 Ecotec. The automatic is soul killing, but the 5 speed was available in all classes. Find an XR with sport suspension and a 5 speed.

I have 35000 miles on mine. The only major problem I've had were the rear shocks, replaced under warranty yesterday. I've had other electrical issues like the brake light warning light coming on a few time when there wasn't any issue, and the doors unlock on their own sometimes.

Lesley
Lesley SuperDork
12/18/10 5:41 p.m.

I had one for a week and loved it. Cupholders were frigging ridiculous though... one behind the driver... the other in the glovebox. Try turning with a coffee in that sucker, it goes flying across the car.

forzav12
forzav12 Reader
12/18/10 6:32 p.m.

Great cars. I purchased a new 3dr ZR. Short shift manual trans, heated leather sport seats, Pirelli P-Zeros on 18' alloys, upgraded stereo, a bunch of air bags, nice thick wheel, etc,etc,etc. It was probably as expensive an Astra available with a sticker around 22K. Thanks to Saturn's impending demise, I got mine for about 13K- a smoking deal for sure. I use it as my DD. Its got very light, accurate and feel laden steering, a quick short shifter, a great platform and really handles well. Brakes are also very good. Not great power, but the engine doesn't seem to mind being wound out. Zero problems to date, returns good fuel mileage and is a far more satisfying drive than the Fit, Versa, Rios and other crap boxes.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Reader
12/18/10 9:00 p.m.

It's not in the same class as the Fit, Versa, Rios so why compare it to them?

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
12/18/10 11:17 p.m.

It's closer in class to a BMW 1 Series, Mini Cooper, or Mazda3. Very high quality materials, it's bolted together very well, and it feels good. If it had more power, it would be as perfect of a daily driver as you could get, especially at the prices.

I payed a similar price to what ForzaV12 payed, but I clunkered a Camaro to get it. It wasn't for a few more months that they were having the Saturn Fire Sale. I still got $4500 off on top of the CFC money, which is something NO ONE else was doing at the time.

One thing to note is that any parts that come from GM have to be ordered from Europe. My shocks took 3 weeks to come in, and I think they ordered the ones for the regular suspension, because it still feels underdamped in the rear.

forzav12
forzav12 Reader
12/19/10 12:29 a.m.
DaveEstey wrote: It's not in the same class as the Fit, Versa, Rios so why compare it to them?

Because those were the cars selling for the price I actually paid for mine. Besides, the Fit(ugly little bugger with cheesy little wheels) was sticker priced pretty close to the less optioned Astras.

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
12/19/10 1:12 a.m.

Side Q, how well does a 6' tall person fit in the back behind another 6' person?

And will the hatch swallow an adult bike with the seat folded with out removing the bike's front wheel?

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Reader
12/19/10 9:22 a.m.
forzav12 wrote:
DaveEstey wrote: It's not in the same class as the Fit, Versa, Rios so why compare it to them?

Because those were the cars selling for the price I actually paid for mine. Besides, the Fit(ugly little bugger with cheesy little wheels) was sticker priced pretty close to the less optioned Astras.

You got that deal because the company was going out of business not because that's what they were supposed to be sold for. You got a MSRP $22k car and then compare it to a $15k car. Well no E36 M3 it's going to be better.

I really like the looks of them but shied away because I was afraid of what Saturn had done to Americanize them. Turns out they didn't do much of anything.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
12/19/10 10:56 a.m.

In reply to neon4891:

A 6 foot tall person can fit in the back fine behind another 6 foot tall person. It's not the best arrangement in the world, but it does work.

I probably could get a bike in the back without pulling the front wheel, but I pull mine for easier loading. You have to take out the rear parcel shelf to keep the bike intact. Stowing the parcel shelf is more of a hassle to me than pulling my front wheel.

Do keep in mind that this is a Delta chassis car. A great deal of the Cobalt, HHR, Ion, and G5 parts should fit. A motor swap would be a PITA, but the Cobalt SS motor will fit in theory.

FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/20/10 5:56 a.m.

Well that killed it, Given the Cobalt and the G5 I have driven I would be COMPLETELY dissatisfied with an Astra.

Thanks for the info all.

Zomby woof
Zomby woof Dork
12/20/10 6:45 a.m.

You people make me laugh.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
12/20/10 10:30 a.m.

In reply to FlightService:

On what basis?

FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/20/10 11:24 a.m.

Extremely uncomfortable seats, (I am 6'4") buzzy interior (really sensitive to this) marginal build quality (too many years doing it for a living, not a killer on it's own but stil,) and zero acceleration (I am an american, if it can't out run a Miata then ...)

Now for the fun part my former company used to do the interiors for the G5.

FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/20/10 11:24 a.m.
Zomby woof wrote: You people make me laugh.

Happy to be of service

rotard
rotard New Reader
12/20/10 11:47 a.m.

You did make a pretty stupid comment; admit it so you'll feel better.

patgizz
patgizz SuperDork
12/20/10 11:50 a.m.

GRM board member 1: "i just drove a saturn astra. it was badass, totally blew away my expectations and would take it any day over a focus, etc... the interior was nice, build quality was there, and it was fun to drive, i think i am going to go buy one."

GRM board member 2: "you did? that's based off the same platform as a cobalt"

GRM board member 1: "it is? oh. ummm. i hated it then, felt cheap inside, build quality was poor, and it was slow, i would never buy one"

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
12/20/10 11:52 a.m.

^I think you guys are getting members mixed up. I didn't see any flip-flops in here, and if you go back and read, you probably won't, either.

rotard
rotard New Reader
12/20/10 12:18 p.m.

I'm not really mixing it up. He's saying that it's crap because it's a delta chassis car. That obviously has a great deal to do with the quality of the interior and other such things. Let's ignore the good comments that were made by owners of the vehicle. Maybe if this car caught his eye in the first place, it deserves at least a test drive. I mean, he could buy a Miata.

FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/20/10 12:30 p.m.

No, no, my opinion based on those things. People love them and that is great. Buzzy is a chassis thing, slow is an engine thing (sorry guys I am not swapping out on a car that new.) Interior quality directly correlates to rattles later from flex in the chassis.

I have not driven one as they are uncommon where I am, which is why I asked on this board. You guys are great points of information.

If you have one and like it, GREAT! I know my triggers and what irks me in cars. If those aren't yours so be it. If everyone liked the same thing then they would only make one car.

I do think they look cool and heard they handled well, which everyone here seems to agree with. I never said the car was garbage, just not what I am looking for based on those points. I have learned the things that get you in to a car only overshadow the things that make you sell the car for about a month.

Thanks for all the info and continue enjoying your cars.

P.S. Rotard: I had a Miata for about 6 months.

rotard
rotard New Reader
12/20/10 12:41 p.m.

Don't worry, I made the mistake of buying an Rx8 to replace my Rx7.

That idiot who can't spell
That idiot who can't spell SuperDork
12/20/10 12:44 p.m.

All I know is it is related to this.

The Vauxhall Astra VXR

ShadowSix
ShadowSix New Reader
12/20/10 12:55 p.m.

While we're on the subject, is there a concise source of info covering the differences between the Opel and Saturn? The Opel Astras I rented were both great handling, high quality little cars.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
12/20/10 2:24 p.m.

Badges, only available with the 1.8 engine. That's about the only real differences. GM basically pulled 25,000 or so Opel Astras off of the assembly line in Belgium, stuck Saturn badges on them, added On Star and called them good. Mine has ONLY a 24 hour clock, no 12 hour clock. There's a software update available if you find an Astra trained tech that knows his/her way around in Tech 2.

FlightService
FlightService Reader
12/21/10 1:46 p.m.
That idiot who can't spell wrote: All I know is it is related to this. The Vauxhall Astra VXR

You see, that is what makes me ask questions about cars. They look that good and yet push buttons that will make me want to get rid of it faster than Charlie Sheen with an unconscious hooker.

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