Roadtest: The Astra Goes the Distance

2009 Saturn Astra Brochure

Daniel Barron from Autonet: Nickelback, Transformers and McDonald's are proof that just because something isn't critically acclaimed, it can still do well financially. On the other hand, Arrested Development, The Shawshank Redemption, and Sony's Playstation 3 are examples of things that have received plenty of great press but were canceled, bombed at the box office, and can't turn a profit, respectively. The Saturn Astra is another example of a good product that got canceled because it didn't sell. After only two short years, The Great North American Astra Experiment is no more. The vehicle will continue on across the pond as a product of General Motors' European subsidiary, Opel, but you won't see it being sold in Canada or the U.S. And that's a shame, because although the Astra isn't head-and-shoulders above anything in its segment, it's absolutely a competitive entry in the small car class that is just beginning to take off on this continent.

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Editor's Notebook: 2008 Saturn Astra 3-Door

Read Automobile magazine's David Yochum's comments on driving the 2008 Saturn Astra 3-Door: I've heard all the warnings about the Astra's European interior labels, the weird center door-unlock button, and the extremely weak engine. But you know what? It also comes with its own cachet.