Saturn's Astra Traveling on Dual Passports

2008 Saturn Astra Road Test Photos

Lawrence Ulrich from the New York Time drove the 2008 Saturn Astra 3-door XR earlier this spring and while he like the attention to detail in the interior – the "steering wheel controls, whose scroll wheels are dead ringers for Audi's, efficiently direct the radio, CD changer and trip computer" – he felt a more powerful engine should be available as an option. "Enthusiasts will need to scan the docks for a potential Saturn Red Line version based on the turbocharged Astras sold elsewhere in the world."

The Astra makes a strong opening argument with its oversize headlamps, steeply raked windshield and stylish flared hips. It comes as a two- or four-door hatchback; the cars are almost identical in size, with the four-door’s roof rising 1.5 inches higher. I drove both models over eight days of testing. Inside, the Astra presents an intelligent yet somewhat dour face; the coldly metallic center control panel reminded me of an old Marantz stereo. Yet the Astra does well by features, safety and craftsmanship. The seats are firm and well-shaped. The door panels and trim fit tightly.

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GM Shelves GMX002 Saturn Ion Replacement

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Sources say that General Motors has shelved the long-awaited Opel-based Saturn Ion replacement. The vehicle, rumored to be renamed 'Evoke' was believed to be scheduled for production at GM's Lordstown, Ohio manufacturing facility late next year.