Saturn Astra: General Motors Again Challenges Toyota

Automotive.com recently profiled the 2008 Saturn Astra and wrote it was a "breath of fresh air in the American market." They liked how the Astra offers "sporty, European driving characteristics, exemplary fit and finish, reasonable pricing, and style for miles."

Left to languish in mediocrity after a successful debut, Saturn is once again becoming the Japanese fighting brand that General Motors hoped it would be. It is an odd twist of fate then, that the homegrown rival to Japanese domination of the smaller car categories would base its whole product lineup around GM offerings from Europe. Having become the means to own a European GM here on our shores, its latest flavor for us to sample comes in the form of the Saturn Astra. The Astra, available only as a hatchback (albeit in 3 and 5-door guise), offers sporty, European driving characteristics, exemplary fit and finish, reasonable pricing, and style for miles. Our take? A brilliant move on the part of GM.

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Ion Replacement to be Imported

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Automotive News reported early this morning that General Motors plans to import the Opel Astra from Europe to replace the current Saturn Ion sedan and quad coupe late next year. While speculation about this plan has long been rumored, unnamed sources within both GM and Opel reportedly have recently confirmed it to Automotive News.