The Inside Story on the Saturn Astra XR Four-Door

Saturn Astra XR 5-Door

Michael Clark from Canadian Driver put together a thorough review of the Saturn Astra. The took a lot of great pictures to go along with his virtual walk around. He liked "the cavernous opening of the dual panel sunroof," as well at the Astra's attention to detail. "The fit and finish of the Astra is exactly the shot in the arm needed to pique the interest of those ready to leave the General's leaky lifeboat."

The Astra's interior is definitely not like those of other North American GM cars, which is immediately evident as you embrace the Astra's tilt/telescoping three-spoke wheel. Steering wheel controls include audio access, as well as a trackwheel for the centre stack driver information display. Headlamps receive an Auto setting, with a pop-out dimmer dial for instrument illumination. The driver's door pod uses a unique no-guess toggle for the direction correction of the exterior power heated mirrors, while all window panes incorporate power express-down. Many five-door configurations fall short in the cargo hold sizing. Not so with the Astra, with should easily swallow console television sets with the seatbacks flipped. The removable cargo cover uses anti-rattle/squeak tabs, which meet with soft rubber tabs on the inside of the hatchback door. Cargo hooks are easily located.

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Next-Gen Ion Styling is... a 'Home Run'

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GM Vice Chairman of global product development, Bob Lutz, recently talked with Motor Trend magazine about the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Part of the discussion touched on GM's use of consumer clinics to judge upcoming future car designs. "We're dialing back on clinics when styling is a home run," Mr. Lutz told Motor Trend in their October 2005 issue.