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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
    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
    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
    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
    Frankfurt 2009: Opel Astra makes its debut under the lights
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    By now, you've likely already seen official shots of the 2010 Opel Astra, both inside and out. Of course, catching a glimpse of a new shape under the harsh lighting of an auto show often brings a different point of view than the automaker's own glitzy press shots. In the case of the latest Astra, though, the new car looks nearly as fetching caught with ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Opel pulls the wraps off the 2010 Astra's interior
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    Although we're still a few months away from seeing the 2010 Opel Astra in the flesh at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker has released a bevy of interior images of its new compact hatch following the reveal of the fully redesigned exterior.The new interior takes a huge stride beyond the current model's drab yet functional environment, with upgraded ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Officially Official: 2010 Opel Astra revealed ahead of Frankfurt debut
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    After yesterday's impromptu internet unveiling of the 2010 Opel Astra, General Motors has finally let the details out on its next-generation compact before its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.The 2010 Astra's design is inspired by the Opel Insignia, sporting all-new sheet metal that takes cues from its mid-size sibling and ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Leaked: 2010 Opel Astra gets early web reveal
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    Opel's Astra hasn't exactly gone down a storm here in the U.S. while wearing a Saturn badge, but the four-cylinder econocar lineup is pivotal stuff in Europe, and the next-generation model could still find its way to America – even if it doesn't wear a planetary badge.Regardless of whether or not a stateside version is in the cards, the 2010 Astra ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Spy Shots: Is this the next Opel Astra?
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    Saturn's Astra has been something of a commercial non-starter stateside, but it remains a perennial favorite in Opel and Vauxhall guises in Europe. Thus, even with General Motors' touchy-feely brand on the rocks here at home, it's still a pivotal model overseas that warrants attention, even if we probably won't end up seeing it in America. Thankfully, ...

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    Saturn Astra
    GM gives very early sneak peek at next-gen Astra
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    We just told you about Bob Lutz' comments that the Saturn Astra is too expensive and not making any money in the U.S., but that may change when the next iteration arrives. Of course, the next Astra will debut in Europe first as an Opel (and Vauxhall in the UK), but we suspect that GM will offer it in the U.S. again, especially if the automaker can build ...

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    Saturn Astra
    SEMA 2007: Saturn Astra Tuner Concept
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    Click image for photo gallery var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/design/Saturn_Astra_Tuner_Concept_Everything_but_the_engine_pics'; The Saturn Astra Tuner concept that GM is bringing to SEMA is cool, but it's also a bit of a tease. The bodywork and wheels are upgraded thanks to accessory parts from OPC, Opel's in-house go-fast shop, and they all look really ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Frankfurt Preview: Details on Opel E-Flex concept with diesel range extender
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    The Chevy Volt concept that debuted this past January in Detroit has generated more buzz than any concept in recent memory, mainly because of outrageous gas prices, coupled with the fact that GM is working its tail off to get one built by 2010. To generate the same level of buzz across the Atlantic, team GM is prepping an Opel version of the battery-powered ...

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    Saturn Astra
    C&D crowns Saturn Astra safest car under $25k
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    The Saturn Astra hasn't even hit production, but Car and Driver has already named the three-door version of the small hatch the safest car in the US under $25,000. This point becomes interesting when considering that NHTSA hasn't even crash tested Saturn's still unreleased model, but the European NCAP has. While the NCAP testing is worth precisely zero ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Van Up! Corsa, Astra spawn van concepts at Commercial Vehicle Show
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    Click image to enlargeThe annual Commercial Vehicle Show is set to kick off in Birmingham, UK, and GM's Vauxhall division has prepared two concepts that likely telegraph a pair of small-business-oriented cars coming sometime in the not-too-distant future. The Corsavan Sportive and Astravan Sportive SE are panelized versions of the new Corsa and Astra ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Chicago Auto Show: Live unveiling of the 2008 Saturn Astra
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    Click above image to view a high-resolution gallery of the new Saturn AstraSaturn just rolled out the new Astra to the crowd at the Chicago Auto Show, with the automaker claiming that the compact will help fulfill the brand's promise to bring "appropriate and affordable technology", "great design", and "quality without compromise" to customers. The Astra ...

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    Saturn Astra
    Detroit Auto Show: A conversation with Jill Lajdziak
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    Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak's enthusiasm for her brand is infectious. And really, who can blame her? The charismatic and ebullient Ms. Lajdziak is at the helm of a brand that's critical to GM's product-based turnaround plan and which has seen its entire lineup overhauled over a very short timeframe. It's paying off, too. The day before we ...

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