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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Hybrid Vue Delayed

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General Motors recently revised its production plans for its much-touted series of hybrid electric vehicles. As a result, the Saturn Vue - which was to be the first hybrid SUV - will play a much smaller role in the company's plans. GM will instead add a so-called "strong hybrid" powertrain to its next-generation full-size sport-utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.