• Jan 28, 2009
If you've been looking to spec a new Astra like Autoblog reader ramirez8167, you may have noticed that you can't build or locate a 2009 model on Saturn's website. That's because there isn't one.

With plenty of dealer stock on-hand for the slow-moving Opel-based hatch, General Motors has simply decided to sell through their existing inventory of 2008s instead of creating a parking lot with additional 2009 model year stock. We spoke with Steve Janisse, group manager for Saturn communications this morning, and he confirmed that while there will be no 2009 model, a 2010 is scheduled and on track for a spring roll-out. Given this unfortunate economic environment and GM's rude poor health, of course, we'll wait to "call the ball" until 2010s are on dealer forecourts. In any case, no major changes are planned for the 2010 model, although minor items like the availability of new paint colors are expected.

Until then, Astra prospectives can still kit out a 2008 model of the tidy-handling hatchback on Saturn's website and probably get a solid deal on what they are looking for through dealer transfers.


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  • 54 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well in Europe,Opel Astra is not really major player in its respective class. However it is cheaper than Golf which is reference(French might not agree :-) . Opel plans to introduce new Astra somewhere 2010 or even end of this year and it will have similar design as Insignia (Europe car of the year !). Insignia IS big step forward for Opel from old Vectra.So there is hope that new Astra will be actually whole new model based on Insignia technology. I also tested Astra here in Europe(Switzerland) (Opel gives sometimes a car for weekend to test it) and while general filling about driving was good (1.7 CDTI diesel 120hp), interior was fade and not inspiring with all its grey color. On the other side last year Opel came on the top of German cars regarding reability.So at least mechanics are top. USA drivers definitly needs this class of cars and fuel efficient engines. I do not know why diesels are not so popular over there(USA) cause they do better than normal comparable gas engine.And I see no reason for everybody to have 200+hp engines, AWD and 7 seats while all they do is driving them to job and back and do some shopping and they are usually less than 4 in family.
      OK,my 2 cents
        falcon5768
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not a major player? The Astra was the second best selling car in Europe for years! What the hell are you smoking?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I rented this car on a trip recently and really wanted to like it. Just couldn't. Interior fit and finish was fine (though there seemed to be a leak/noise from the driver's side window - a problem with a lot of GM cars I've driven) but the control ergonomics were downright poor. The placement of interior buttons and their markings didn't make sense, the car drank gas faster than I expected, handling didn't stand out . . . it just didn't strike me as a well-thought-out car. I'm not surprised that it's doing poorly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but the biggest problem the Astra has is that is costs GM money every time they sell one. I wonder if it makes the dealers any money, as well.

      From this issue arises some of the points addressed by my fellow Autobloggers: Lack of marketing, the lack of on the lot options for buyers, outright disinterest for potential buyers by dealers, the push by dealers to sell Auras instead, and the lack of different engine options.

      Why would GM and its dealers want to sell (or update) a car that seemingly was never intended to make money for its respective businesses? It seems like a bad business decision made by enthusiasts who wanted to say "See, Saturn has a good small car."
      • 5 Years Ago
      I rung one out early on & if Opel had paid any attention at all to NVH, it might not have been so slow moving. 3 dr was exciting to look at, but crude, crude, crude.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think this is a great car. But theres two sides to it - the 4 door models look very base and boring and the handling/power is second to the Mazda3. But on the flip side, the 2-door "coupe" is HOT. It's stunning but without the marketing and name recognition, people will still keeping going to those Honda and Mazda dealerships.

      What they need to do is take a page from Mazda. Even base Mazda3s have a certain...look. But the Cruze is that car so I guess GM is covered.

      zamafir - Fiesta is smaller than this car I think. And we're gonna have to wait and see if the public actually does react as favorbaly to a Ford mini-car. 99% of the population has no clue about Top gear and what other Brit mags say.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Saturn needs to skip a model year, that's OK. It's a great car, but it's been totally hindered by a complete lack in advertising (especially compared to the "more conventional" Aura, Vue, and Outlook); this explains why I've only seen 2 or 3 so far (I believe one was an XE 5-door, another an XR 5-door, and the other an XR 3-door).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting that dealer showrooms are adorned with 2009 Astra brochures right now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Another Opel experiment for GM in the States that has gone bust. Saturn did little to promote this car, but I hope somehow the next iteration of the Astra ends up being made here Stateside. My wife drivers one, and it's great. I would say it's the best GM car I have ever owned. It's nice looking, very solid and quiet on the road, tracks well, has great leather seats and a great fit and finish inside and out, with impressive interior finishesr. Gas mileage is pretty good - 27-30 MPG in combined driving with judicious driving habits. It would be better with another 1 or 2 gears in the auto tranny, it runs at too high revs on the freeway. It is not particularily fast, but thats not why we bought it, and it can get out of its own way. It would be nice to get the wagon/estate version they sell elsewhere, as well as some of the other kit and engines (like the 2.0 liter turbo) avalable. There are some quirkly European controls and buttons that take some getting used to, but I'd rate this car more appealing (and better) than the Focus, Sentra,Hyundias and Kias and the bland Corolla, and on par with the Golf.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its back for 2010? Damn it, that ruins the whole "kiss MY Astra" joke. Oh well, i'm patient.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know compared to the Focus or Cobalt etc this one is hands down better. But they do need to stop the marketing they currently have with the "yeah its a Saturn" it's out dated and that's the wrong direction you wanna take people. Those ads can be interpreted as if This is what Saturn is now but b4 it used to be garbage. They need to move in different direction with their marketing. They certainly have a good looking portfolio of cars..
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol Focus has more marketing $$$$$$ then the Astra to begin with even the cobalt under the same parent company has more marketing $$$$$$ then the Astra. as for being more expensive I wasn't comparing which is cheaper to buy was it??? but being a nine-year-old platform certainly helps the bottom line as price goes compared to a new engineered car. Hence why the current Focus is too expensive compared to the nine year old car you are speaking off. Its the same difference. as for Reliable its debatable, Fusion's are reliable but still don't get same recognition for it like the Camry.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Less efficient, less comfortable, less reliable, more expensive. If those are things you prefer, then yes, the Astra is better than the Focus. It's sad that the nine-year-old, twice-facelifted Focus still beats the Astra in the important areas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The funny thing is that everyone always complains about American manufacturers making small cars, but the demand for GM's small, high mileage cars like the G5, Cobalt, and Astra is so low that they are nearly axing production for a few months.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe if they offered it with the 150hp TDi engine or the 240hp VXR engine, it might be better. I remember looking at it when it first came out an being disappointed that it had so little power and was so slow.

      And it's on the expensive side compared to a Mini or Golf. The 3-door Astra starts at $19k, the Mini is $500 cheaper (and will retain it's value better) and the Golf is almost $3000 less with 40 more hp...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @falcon

        I can't argue with your points. The last time I drove an Astra was in Europe vs the previous Golf, and I preferred the Golf.

        My point was that the Golf is traditionally seen as overpriced and they nickel and dime you on every option (e.g. lots of the wheels are $1300 without tires...) and it's still cheaper. The Astra may be better in some areas, but it's hard to argue with that pricing, esp. since the Golf is more likely to retain it's value.

        If GM wants to make headway in this market, a car that is more expensive from a brand that is less respected, with no advertising and not even competitive in bench racing, is just not the way to do it. Esp. when the class benchmark is $500 cheaper....

        I think that the real winner in all this could be a Golf with the GTI phone dial wheels and a suspension kit....
        falcon5768
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your right the Golf is 3 grand less, but other than a few bells and whistles with the radio, and the more horsepower, the Astras fit finish mpg and handling was light years ahead based on my test driving.

        AND shocking enough, the 5 door Astra is ACTUALLY cheaper than the 5 door golf once everything was priced out at the dealer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Never mind those premium options, they'd do quite a bit better with the 2.2 Ecotec as found in $12,000 rental grade Cobalts.

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