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Review: 2008 Saturn Astra XR

Enthusiasts here in the States have long wondered why they couldn't buy Ford and GM small cars from Europe, and at least part of the answer has been that Americans don't want to pay big bucks for premium small cars. Spiking gasoline prices have quelled that argument, and fuel economy is now towards the top of shoppers' lists when looking for a new car or truck. While Ford is still more than a year away from bringing over the Euro Focus and Fiesta, GM has made the cross-Atlantic jump by importing the Opel Astra to our shores. The Astra is a hot-selling hatch in Europe with high-end... Read More

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    Saturn Astra
    Official: Vauxhall Astra sets 12 World and 6 National Speed Endurance Records [w/video]
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    You may know it as an Opel, a Vauxhall, a Holden, a Chevy, a Buick or even a Saturn, depending on where you live. But whatever emblem it's wearing, the Astra is straightforward car. Nothing particularly remarkable about it. Which is why this series of records is pretty darn impressive. Earlier this month, the Vauxhall team took a pair of Astras to the ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Report: Opel plans return to motorsport
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    With a financial crisis ravaging the European automotive industry, many automakers have tightened budgets, and motorsports programs have, in many cases, been among the first things to go. That's the case at Ford and Mini, but it's the opposite at Opel, which announced its return to motorsports in the form of spec series for two very fun-looking ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Report: GM recalling 426,000 sedans over faulty transmission shift cable
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    General Motors is recalling some 426,240 sedans that may have a faulty transmission shift cable, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report this morning. The recall concerns a fault within four-speed automatic transmissions equipped on 2007-2010 Saturn Aura models, and 2008-2010 Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6 models. The report ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Report: Opel cutting work hours in two plants to avoid layoffs
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    Trying to make the best of a nasty situation for everyone involved, Opel has reportedly worked out an agreement with its Works Council and the IG Metall union to reduce working hours at two of its plants. From the end of September until the end of the year, there will be 20 days of short shifts and short working days for two Opel facilities: the ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Official: Vauxhall launches new 195-HP turbodiesel Astra GTC together with refresh
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    European automakers offer some tempting hot hatches, but the stark reality of gas prices that are even higher across the pond than they are here in the United States dictates that most buyers are opting for diesels. Vauxhall is here to say, however, that it doesn't have to be one or the other. Slotting in below its VXR performance range is a new ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Official: Buick Verano goes to Europe, changes name to Opel Astra
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    The Opel Astra notchback sedan has completed its round-the-world trip. General Motors has based its latest compact on the Delta II platform. Designed by its studios in the U.S. and Asia, it was first sold as the Chinese-market Buick Excelle GT and then in the U.S. as the Buick Verano. Now it joins the Astra five-door hatch, Astra wagon and three-door ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Official: 2012 Opel Astra OPC gets 280 horsepower, 155 mph top speed
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    We ogled the curvaceous Opel Astra GTC at Frankfurt, but this is the one we've really been waiting for: The OPC version. Standing for Opel Performance Center, "OPC" is similar to the Honda "Type R" or BMW "M" nomenclature, although not nearly as well known. The 2012 Astra OPC could change that in a hurry. GM's European division has really done a number ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Frankfurt: 2012 Opel Astra GTC gives us Buick-tinted hope for the future [w/video]
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    A more engaging driving experience should always be considered a wonderful thing, and it's clear from the Astra GTC that Opel agrees. The compact hatchback has its sights set squarely on the Volkswagen Scirocco, and it's clear the two cars share a common design ideology. Low and sleek, the Astra GTC has been styled to provide enthusiasts with a sneak peek ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Spy Shots: Opel/Vauxhall preparing soft-top Astra cabrio
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    The Astra is a car of many hats. It's sold as an Opel in Europe, a Vauxhall in the UK, a Buick in China and a Chevrolet in South America. The previous model was even sold as a Saturn in North America and as a Holden in Australia. Now that's versatility for you, and its body-styles are just as pervasive. The five-door hatch launched in 2009 has since ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Official: Vauxhall unveils new Astra GTC ahead of Goodwood debut
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    Different strokes for different folks. While Volkswagen chose to label its coupe-like Golf derivative as the Scirocco, rival automakers are keeping theirs in the family. Take, for example, the Renault Megane coupe, and this – the new Vauxhall Astra GTC. Compared to the already-sleek five-door Astra, the GTC retains only the door handles and ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Opel previews production Astra GTC ahead of Frankfurt debut
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    A staple product of General Motors' overseas subsidiaries, the Opel Astra has been a long time in the making. The five-door hatchback was revealed back in 2009 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which was then followed by the GTC show car that previewed the three-door version in concept form (along with the production Sport Tourer wagon variant) a year later ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Lotus reportedly brought in for chassis work on new Vauxhall Astra VXR
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    From the likes of the Dodge EV to the Ford Cortina, Lotus has had its fingers in all of the Big Three's pies. But its strongest relationship has historically been with General Motors. The British engineering firm helped develop the engine in the original Corvette ZR-1, engineered the Vauxhall VX220/Opel Speedster, re-engineered the Vauxhall Carlton into ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Paris 2010: Opel Astra Sports Tourer
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    Opel is keeping busy, and aside from moving into a handful of new markets and pulling the sheets off of a hot concept, the German manufacturer has been whittling away on its wagon interpretation of the company's Astra. The 2011 Astra Sports Tourer wears the brand's trademark nose and sculpted sheet metal, but throws in an arching roofline for good ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Vauxhall GTC concept completely revealed ahead of Paris Motor Show debut
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    Vauxhall has beaten the speculating voices of the Internet to the Paris Motor Show punch by pulling the covers off of its GTC Concept well ahead of the main event. According to the company, what you see above is likely to have more than a little influence on the next Astra Sport Hatch. In classic concept style, the GTC rolls on epic 21-inch wheels that ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Opel details Paris plans, including GTC Paris hatch concept, Astra Sports Tourer
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    Believe it or not, the Paris Motor Show is just a hop, skip and a jump away. Opel has already taken it upon itself to give the world a taste of what the company will show off at this year's show, including its new Astra Sports Tourer and a concept worked up just for La Ville-Lumière. Details are scarce on the showcar at the moment. So far, we know ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Officially Official: Opel loads up new Astra Sports Tourer [w/video]
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    Small wagons might not have much of a place in the United States, but overseas, they do very well, thank you. Take the Opel Astra, for example – its wagon variant accounts for around 25 percent of its overall sales. Thus, Opel hasn't wasted any time in creating the wagon (Sports Tourer) version of the new Astra, and while it will make its public ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Spy Shots: 2011 Opel Astra three-door 'coupe' caught in the lot
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    Car and Driver has prognosticated that we'll get other versions of the Buick Regal, but we still don't know if we'll get this one: the Opel Astra Sport 'Coupe.' Wearing much less cladding than when we've seen before, it's obvious this one has gone all sleek-and-creased compared to its predecessor, and it looks like the extended-windshield option will ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Vauxhall's Thoroughly Modern Motoring Manners aims to teach you how to drive
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    The new Vauxhall Astra – or something or someone claiming to be the new Vauxhall Astra – has co-written a book on driving manners. The other co-writer is Debrett's, an English version of Miss Manners except that Debrett's has been dispensing etiquette advice for more than 200 years, long before Miss Manners' was even a zygote. And that ...

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    Saturn Astra
    White Out: Vauxhall VXR Arctic Edition revealed
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    Vauxhall wants to shed inventory of its old Astra bodystyle and it's using the go-to tactic of a limited special edition to do it. There will be just 500 VXR Arctic Editions will get your polar needles spinning, and the extras above and beyond the VXR trim includes a black roof, mirror housings, window tints and fascia pieces, heated leather Recaros and ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Spy Shots: Opel Astra ST spotted braving the elements
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    The Opel/Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer – otherwise known as a wagon or estate – is testing its cold weather chops with minimal camouflage. Details on the little cargo carrier are slim, but snappers at CarPix tell us that the rear liftgate differs from that on the larger Insignia ST by being separated from the taillights. We are also told ...

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