Video: MPG-o-Matic Reviews the Saturn Astra

2008 Saturn Astra XR5

Last month, MPG-o-Matic spent a week road testing the 2008 Saturn Astra. Significantly, during their test the Astra exceeded the EPA estimated fuel economy figures. In addition, they applauded how the Astra "shines on twisty back roads, where it is a sheer joy to drive," they wrote. "The optional sport suspension package and low profile Michelin tires provide an abundance of grip as the Astra moves effortlessly through the twisties. The handling is clearly a notch above much of the competition."

Available in both three-door and five-door models, the Saturn Astra competes with the Mini Cooper, Volkswagen Rabbit, Toyota Yaris, Mazda3, and Volvo C30 among others in the red hot hatchback market. Under the hood, the 2008 Astra is fitted with an Ecotec 1.8 liter four cylinder engine producing 138 horsepower and 125 foot pounds of torque. While European design details abound in the Astra, the power plant is decidedly domestic. Among its distinctive design features, the simple yet elegant dashboard, enormous sunroof, and switchblade-like ignition key set the Astra apart from the crowd. The EPA gas mileage estimates for the 2008 Saturn Astra are 24 city / 32 highway miles per gallon (MPG) when equipped with an automatic transmission. Over a week of driving, we were able to exceed the estimates, achieving 33.6 MPG on the highway and 28.1 MPG combined.

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Flashback Friday: 1993 Saturn SC1

Flashback Friday: 1993 Saturn SC1

Saturn introduced this entry-level sports coupe, called the SC1, for the 1993 model year. The SC1 featured Saturn's 85-horsepower single overhead cam (SOHC) version of the brand's 1.9L 4-cylinder powerplant. To further differentiate the SC1 from the more uplevel SC2, Saturn grafted the front-end of an SL sedan onto the front of the SC coupe.