Affordable Saturn Subcompact Deserves a Better Fate

Brian Harper from the Canwest News Service: Saturn is on borrowed time as a General Motors brand, jettisoned along with Pontiac, Hummer and Saab by the automotive giant. This is a crying shame because Saturn's lineup, after a couple of decades of corporate indifference, comprises an eclectic mix of interesting and entertaining vehicles. The Astra might be the brand's least expensive product, but it's also one of the most impressive. This European-derived subcompact (thank GM's Opel division) made its debut for the 2008 model year, making enough of an impact to not only take the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's Best New Small Car category last year but also to be a finalist for overall Car of the Year honors. So, why should anyone care about the fate of one little car belonging to a secondary GM brand? How about for no other reason than the enjoyment of driving the XR is far beyond the hatchback's position as a sporty, entry-level product. In other words, take advantage of whatever deal a Saturn store will offer because the Astra's engineering and features make it a real steal.

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Saturn Vue Preview Sketch

Prior to unveiling the 2002 Vue sport-utility at the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami on October 6 2001, Saturn released the preview sketch shown above. Even though the SUV charted new territory for Saturn, the vehicle still embodied many Saturn characteristics that were popular at the time, including: a horizontal front lightbar, domed hood, arched roofline, and side "swoosh."