Astra is Solid Like a Bank Vault

Astra Instrument Panel

Michel Deslauriers from Canada's Auto123.com drove the Saturn Astra and walked away impressed. "After almost 20 years, Saturn is now offering a very interesting line of vehicles," he concluded at the end of his review. "Why did it take so long?" He thought that his Astra test car was "blessed with a terrific chassis," and that it's "steering is precise and direct, which makes the Astra fun to drive."

The 5-door Astra gets XE and XR versions, but the 3-door is only available in the more expensive clothes. Although both cars looks good, clean and svelte, the 3-door proposes a more aggressive demeanor, owing to its lower roofline and some other minor differences. In short, both cars offer versatility, but if you're planning to carry passengers or cargo frequently, the 5-door will definitely make more sense. And yet, climbing in back of the 3-door doesn't require a chiropractor afterwards, and once sitting down, you'll realize that there is actually a fair amount of room, even for 3 people. The interior environment is a little dull, but otherwise, the build quality and use of rich-looking materials are things that Cobalts and G5s could dream about. The switchgear feels solid and substantial and there are no apparent squeaks or rattles. Suspension noise doesn't filter though the cabin, and the engine's noise isn't intrusive while driving 100 km/h on the highway despite it spinning at 3,000 rpm.

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There has been a lot of discussion at SaturnFans.com lately about the 2005 Chevrolet Equinox � Chevy's polymer-clad version of the Saturn Vue. A few weeks ago, GM said that the Equinox would be built at its Ingersoll, Ontario manufacturing plant that it operates as a joint venture with Suzuki. Today the facility builds the Chevy Tracker and Suzuki Vitara compact sport-utility vehicles.