2008 Saturn Astra XR 3-Door Road Test

The Velocity Automotive Journal recently put the 2008 Saturn Astra through its paces. They liked the car's "superb seats with excellent support," sport-tuned handling, and fuel economy.

We were impressed with the Astra, which proved to be a nimble, practical hatchback for urban commuting. Despite its slightly underpowered engine, the Astra rewards drivers who don't mind rowing its slick 5-speed manual. However, this compact hatchback faces stiff competition from the more powerful Mazda3 and VW Rabbit, although the Saturn has the edge in fuel economy. Of course, it is significant that we actually compare the Astra to its Asian and German rivals, as the previous ION wasn't even in the same ballpark. If you can sacrifice some performance in exchange for superior fuel economy, the Astra is worth a look.

Random Article from the SaturnFans.com Archives

Video: Insight Into the Saturn Astra's Design

Astra Chief Designer Friedhelm Enlger

In this video clip, the Astra's chief designer, Friedhelm Enlger, talks about the all-new compact Saturn and shares some insight into what a few of the goals were for the car from a design and styling perspective. While the Astra was designed in Germany, Saturn reports that Enlger has moved from Europe to a General Motors Design Center in China where he is leading a team of folks working on next-generation vehicles.