2009 Saturn Astra Test Drive: Small Car, Big Chops

2009 Saturn Astra

Jim McCraw from Popular Mechanics: It didn't start out this way, but the low-price, no-haggle Saturn division of General Motors has effectively become the American sales arm of GM's German Opel division. Saturn already sells a version of Opel's GT roadster as the Saturn Sky, and a version of the Opel Antera crossover as the Saturn Vue. The latest fruit of this collaboration is the Saturn Astra family of three-door and five-door hatchbacks. Saturn's hugely popular Astra, which sells more than 500,000 units a year markets outside the United States, is almost a direct lift of the German product: a new grille, steering wheel hub, wheel centers, tailgate graphics — that's about it. And while there's good news and bad news in that formula, the good wins out by a considerable margin.

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GM Confirms Supercharged Sky

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AutoWeek reports that GM has confirmed a supercharged version of the 2007 Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice, and Vauxhall Lightning is in the works. According to the magazine, "Jon Lauckner, General Motors' global product planning boss, says the Vauxhall two-seater will come to market with a 2.0-liter supercharged four-cylinder." The engine will also be offered in the Sky and Solstice.