Sporty New Saturn Astra XR

Clint Williams from the Cox News Service recently reviewed the 2008 Saturn Astra. While he thought the Astra could use more power, Williams was impressed with all of the uplevel features found in his test vehicle. "The Astra offers rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights, a couple of nice features you wouldn't expect at this price," he wrote.

The drawback with most economical compact cars is that they look, well, economical. Or worse, cute. The 2008 Saturn Astra, on the other hand, offers striking styling that will turn some heads. The sportiness isn't just skin deep. The Astra, built in Europe where it's sold wearing the Opel badge, is solid to drive thanks to taut steering and a tight suspension. The interior is well-built, but retains some of the European quirks of the Opel. There is a single front-seat cupholder, for example. And it's stuck on the center console behind the driver's seating position. But, on the plus side, there are two sunglass holders, one above the driver's side front window, one above the front passenger's window.

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Mysterious Ohio Based Investment Group Arises as a Potential Buyer

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Update on May 7th: Leading negotiations for this group is Gary Marvicsin. Detroit News reports that he is employed in the auto industry.

Detroit News reports that there is a mysterious Ohio based investment group interested in acquiring Saturn. Unlike the other interested buyers, this group has developed a concept to keep the company domestically based. According to the article, the group is interested in purchasing domestically abandoned manufacturing plants to produce Saturns. Chrysler plants that are targeted to close due to bankruptcy troubles were specifically mentioned. The group wants to continue to employee UAW workers at these plants. While recognizing the high costs associated with employing union workers, such as benefits and pensions, the group believes that it is the right move for two reasons.