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Old 09-09-2013, 10:18 PM   #8
tackepj
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Posts: 1,210
 

2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Astra buying advice wanted

I'm up to only about 42,000 miles, bought new in March 09. I've really enjoyed driving this car, and I have no desire to replace it. Hatchbacks are incredibly versatile, but few (at least in early 09) drive as nicely as this one. I especially like the solid feel of the car and how it handles, but like the others said, a 6th gear would be appreciated. I'm at 32.2 mpg since April this year, with a pretty short, stop-and-go commute and some highway. I'm satisfied with the mpg, but newer cars would probably do better. Oh, and I love the mega sunroof.

As far as other foibles, the lack of an aux input is unfortunate, and the rest of the stereo is pretty mediocre. I added a Boomerang armrest and use it when I want a cupholder, so that isn't an issue. I have a few rattle here and there, but nothing severe. Also, the A/C on this car seems to put a noticeable drag on the engine. Someone on this forum said that it felt like you were towing a bus when the A/C is on, and I'd say that's a pretty good analogy!

As far as problems go, I haven't had any to speak of. I do oil changes and spark plug changes myself, and it's pretty straightforward. I'm lucky to have access to an excellent former Saturn tech, who's willing to still work on Saturns (from a Kia dealership). Since we have this oddball car AND a Vue Hybrid, I need that peace of mind.

Overall, the car's a hoot to drive and has been good to own. As our two kids grow, it'll get a little tighter, but for now I have no desire to replace it.

...
Former: 2005 L300, 2007 VUE Green Line
Current: 2008 Astra XE

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