The Saturn Astra may be the most exciting all-new small car to hit US shores in some time. The Opel version of the Astra is one of the most popular compacts in Europe, which is saying something when you consider all the great small cars available overseas. While Europeans are OK with paying a premium for smaller vehicles, we in the US tend to equate value with size or performance, so price point is key.

To see if the Astra is priced right for you, go no further than the Saturn website, where a mini-brochure awaits your perusal. While priced higher than entry vehicles from Honda, Toyota, and Ford, the Astra will focus on refinement and features instead of volume. The base XE five-door will sell for $15,995, the upscale XR five-door retails for $17,545, and the option-rich three-door stickers at $18,495. Options include 18' rims (three door only), stability control, and a dual panel sunroof. The entry price is still a little higher than the competition, but with gas prices affecting buyer's decisions, now is as good a time as any for the General to unleash the Astra on the buying public. From everything we've heard, the Astra should be far superior to any small car GM has ever produced for US consumption, and that's a good thing.

[Source: Saturn]


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