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Looking Into the Stars
2008 Saturn Astra XR
A three-quarter front view of a red 2008 Saturn Astra XR in motion

In short: A Euro-designed American hatch.

Is the General’s Saturn division finally achieving syzygy? If you’ve roamed European cities for the last few years, you might have caught glimpses of some very sleek automobiles, such as the Opel, Astra, Vectra and Corsa. Saturn is now bringing to the Yankees the Aura (Opel’s Vectra) and the Astra. Out goes the odd-looking Ion, and the plastic body panels which won’t scratch or dent. What you get with this nifty Astra is a smart German-engineered hatch, which should up your MPG without robbing you of driving excitement. Sure, it could use more than 138 horses, but then your MPG would head south. You can choose from a 3-door or 5-door (advisable) configuration, and take care of your city business without any trouble. The car has a dynamic look to it with a spacious front. The interior is crafted from high-quality plastic materials, giving it a tight feel. Go ahead, test drive one and see for yourself. If you are in the market for a great small car, we’ll bet you’ll want one of these.

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty; 5-year/100,000-mile roadside assistance.

Base Price: $16,495

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 3-door coupe

Engine: 1.8-liter DOHC I-4 with VVT
Horsepower: 138 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 125 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm
Transmission: five-speed manual

Curb weight: 2,778 lbs
Wheelbase: 102.9 in
Length/Width/Height: 102.9/69.0/57.4 in
Turning circle: 34.4 ft

Brakes: front and rear disc with ABS
MacPherson strut in front, torsion beam in rear
traction control

0-60 mph: 8.6 seconds
Top Speed: n/a
60-0 mph: 128 ft

EPA City: 24 mpg
EPA Highway: 32 mpg

Safety: dual-stage front air bags, seat-mounted front seat side-impact air bags, OnStar® Emergency Services,

CO2 Emissions: .72 lb/mile

Likes: n/a
Dislikes: n/a

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Photography: General Motors Media

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