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Old 07-22-2009, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

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Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

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Karl Perkons from the Canadian Auto Press: I think I have to declare the Astra 3-door the best-looking car General Motors is responsible for. Sure the Cadillac CTS looks good, but it's a premium car, and looking good is part of the deal, not the main attraction. The Astra 3-door can sell itself on looks alone.

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Old 07-23-2009, 11:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

I have the 5 door Astra and I love it's looks, I do love the 3 door as well but not for my lifestyle. Myself and other Astra owners KNOW it is a GREAT looking car.....I guess we are the only people with taste....ha ha. Maybe Magna will be smart enough to bring Opel to Canada, I would support them.

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

Astra looks are ok, 3dr much nicer than 5 dr. As far as selling itself on looks....that ain't working.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

Ditto... I also liked the looks of the 3-door Astra, but America avoided the Astra like the plague... Americans historically have never bought Opel's in significant numbers. It's always been a niche product.

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Old 07-23-2009, 02:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

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Ditto... I also liked the looks of the 3-door Astra, but America avoided the Astra like the plague... Americans historically have never bought Opel's in significant numbers. It's always been a niche product.
What exactly do Americans want???....a cookie cutter car??? The reason "I" bought my Astra is because it is different from the millions of Cobalt's, Sunfire's, Civic's, Corolla's...etc etc. I think of Buick's as a niche product...WELL...until I turn 60..."Oh...GOD HELP ME"

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Old 07-23-2009, 10:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

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What exactly do Americans want???....a cookie cutter car??? The reason "I" bought my Astra is because it is different from the millions of Cobalt's, Sunfire's, Civic's, Corolla's...etc etc. I think of Buick's as a niche product...WELL...until I turn 60..."Oh...GOD HELP ME"
Look at the Top 10 best selling cars for the past ten years or so and you'll see exactly what Americans prefer.

June 2009 this is what Americans bought.

1. Ford F-series 35,915
2. Toyota Camry/Solara 26,394
3. Chevrolet Silverado 24,766
4. Honda Accord 23,955
5. Honda Civic 20,954
6. Toyota Corolla/Matrix 19,935
7. Ford Fusion 18,561
8. Nissan Altima 16,350
9. Ford Escape 15,385
10 Chevrolet Impala 14,931

I really don't desire any of them... The passage of time hasn't influenced my choice of cars. I've always owned somewhat unique automobiles.

Being a hatchback model did hurt sales, and Saturn knew this before hand, but decided on them anyway. Look at the Mazda 3's sales the non-hatchback models dominate 70% of it's sales. In Europe 70% of the Mazda 3's sales are for the hatchback model. The buyers in this car class already have prejudices on what they want. They want Civics and Corollas...

The unfortunate fact is the American automobile manufacturers drove their customers away to the Japanese manufacturers. The current economic problems will continue to drive customers away because they want to make certain that their car companies will be around in the future.

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Last edited by BobbyP; 07-23-2009 at 10:18 PM..

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Old 07-25-2009, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

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What exactly do Americans want???....a cookie cutter car??? The reason "I" bought my Astra is because it is different from the millions of Cobalt's, Sunfire's, Civic's, Corolla's...etc etc. I think of Buick's as a niche product...WELL...until I turn 60..."Oh...GOD HELP ME"
I don't see many Astras on the road. One day on my way to work, I noticed a new "Astra" in the driveway of a house I often pass. I did admire the lines on the car at the angle I saw it from the road.

One day, I saw the owner had pulled out of the driveway ahead of me. As I was driving behind the "Astra", I sped up a little to take a closer look. What I saw was actually a Nissan Versa hatchback ... nice car ... so much for the Astra being "different"!

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Old 07-23-2009, 06:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Astra XR 3-Door: A Saturn Worth Looking At

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Astra looks are ok, 3dr much nicer than 5 dr. As far as selling itself on looks....that ain't working.
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Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
Ditto... I also liked the looks of the 3-door Astra, but America avoided the Astra like the plague... Americans historically have never bought Opel's in significant numbers. It's always been a niche product.
I think the truth to the two above statements is that GM barely advertised the Astra -- or any other Saturn for that matter. Nobody's gonna buy something that nobody knows about. I also don't think that Americans specifically avoided the Astra because it's an Opel, simply because your average car buyer has no idea where such-and-such a model is actually made anyway. I have heard that hatches aren't as popular in the States as in other parts of the world, so maybe that has something to do with it.

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