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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Astra Mules Used for Latest Chevy Volt Tests

Recent reports indicate that GM's highly-anticipated extended-range electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, has now entered its final phase of development. That means engineers are putting the finishing touches on the packaging of the vehicle. As a result, they're now testing a more production-ready vehicle. Enter the Astra.