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Old 10-14-2007, 07:40 PM   #1
polodude1017
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Devil Ride and drive the Astra!

I am a sales consultant for Saturn in San Diego. And the 25th and 26th We will be doing a Astra ride and drive. We are going to a place and course testing them as well as on the road. I am not sure what we will be comapring it too but i will let everyone here know how it went. by the way I still have a 1992 SL2. its my only car and i love it. Original owner and I now work for the dealership it was bought new from (my parents bought it)
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Our Astra ride and drive is November 8. Drive it like you stole it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2 View Post
Our Astra ride and drive is November 8. Drive it like you stole it.
I'll be there on the 8th. Hopefully we get some decent time with it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

they better have a manual Astra or I'm going to be upset I was pleasantly surprised at the GM ride-n-drive at the Palace that had a manual Sky and Sky Red Line
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

The ride and drive for the Inland Empire's this Wed. at the Fairplex in Pomona. Rather it's in the pit area/ midway of Pomona Raceway right behind the GA grandstands. Too bad we can't take the Astra on the strip and see how fast they take the 1/4 mile.
I go to all of the GM test driving things I can at the Fairplex, just so I can see what's going on at the dragstrip. Usually it's just the drag racing school (which I hope to go to one day), but I'd just as soon wish it was Nov 4th already. (The day the NHRA champs are going to be crowned).
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

I'm going to the Pomona driving event. I'll take all the images I can and post them online tomorrow some time.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

We had ours on yesterday and Monday already They had one manual xr 3 door there for us to drive on the road and street course. Gotta tell you, the astra xr is so easy to drive around the corners on the road course. They should make the road course alot longer because it was too short!
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
I'll be there on the 8th. Hopefully we get some decent time with it.
I'm sure it will be just laps in a parking lot. But if I get my test time before you do, try not to get the car that I've just wrung the daylights out of!
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:30 PM   #9
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Happy Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

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Originally Posted by gordonwd View Post
I'm sure it will be just laps in a parking lot. But if I get my test time before you do, try not to get the car that I've just wrung the daylights out of!
what you mean -just- laps in a parking lot? that's autocrossing! see how fast you can can get though the parking lot full of cones without hitting any.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Been there, drove that. It's really a great car. The shortcomings are few, but glaring to internet prognosticators who have already pointed them out (gutless, no XM or Aux-In, not flat-towable). If you are not a speed junkie, the dynamics of the vehicle are very good. It's firm and controlled without being cheap-feeling. The Euro touches are nice too like the 3-flash turn signal and central locking. The ECOtec 2.4 / 4t45E combo would be a welcome upgrade even if it loses some refinement and MPG.

BTW the car is not EPA cert yet so no MPG numbers yet.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

I posted a few component images of the Astra under my member gallery. I didn't waste my time with many external shots since a lot are already available. I focused my attention on the engine, exhaust manifold, accessory drive components, suspension and exhaust system.

A few things I noticed are:
- Injectors are older style connectors
- Lower Control Arms in front are shaped like the Ion's
- Axles look very thin in diameter
- Exhaust manifold is 400 series stainless and includes a primary catalytic with the secondary catalytic after a flex pipe under the vehicle.
- Exhaust system is ~2" diameter all the way to the muffler and the system includes a large resonator.
- Returnless fuel system that feeds from both ends and has a dampener
- MAF and electric throttle control.
- Rims are 5 lug, made in Poland and weigh over 30 lbs each.

The car handles well and turns very tight, but needs more power. I think it will perform on par with the Ion 2.2L and probably get better MPG with the new CAFE standards.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

the drive was nice. I drove the Astra 3-door XR manual... 3 times it had 17x7 inch wheels with all-season performance tires. they had the 18x7.5 inch wheels on a table inside. heavy!

those are the only pictures I took since I was more interested in driving and prying information from the GM folks there. they wouldn't confirm or deny the Astra Red Line (turbo) would be coming to America. oh yeah OnStar works... D'oh. don't push the red button with the cross on it.
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Enjoyed meeting you there, Eric. I just posted my impressions in a new thread. Please feel free to add your own.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

What time did you guys go? I was at the 7:00-7:30 "showing" and only got one lap in the red 5-door. There were way too many people there.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
What time did you guys go? I was at the 7:00-7:30 "showing" and only got one lap in the red 5-door. There were way too many people there.
I got there for the 6:00 slot. One problem was that there was no way to tell people apart or suggest that people from the earlier times leave. I left at 6:30, but could have just stuck around and tried to hog some more driving time. I can imagine by the later times there could have been a lot of people left over from the earlier timeslots.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonwd View Post
I got there for the 6:00 slot. One problem was that there was no way to tell people apart or suggest that people from the earlier times leave. I left at 6:30, but could have just stuck around and tried to hog some more driving time. I can imagine by the later times there could have been a lot of people left over from the earlier timeslots.
There must have been at least 30 people in the tent waiting for a test-drive. Having a free-for-all type of turn-taking certainly didn't help either.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
There must have been at least 30 people in the tent waiting for a test-drive. Having a free-for-all type of turn-taking certainly didn't help either.
http://www.saturn.com/saturn/vehicle...sale/index.jsp

There are other similar events going on. I just signed up for the one at the Texas Motor Speedway on Nov 20th. Can't wait! I was just out there doing autocross in the bus parking lot a couple weeks ago, and was out there for the Nascar races last weekend.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
What time did you guys go? I was at the 7:00-7:30 "showing" and only got one lap in the red 5-door. There were way too many people there.
I was there from 5:53 p.m. [before it opened] until 8:09 p.m. [when they shut it down] yes it was a free for all. I learned from previous ride-n-drives that the "scheduled" times don't mean anything. Somehow they "lost" my reservation for 6:00-6:30 so I had to write my name on the list.
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Last edited by eRic 02sc2; 11-09-2007 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:43 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

I've been to a few of these, don't ever remember a free-for-all like this one. Very poorly organized.

Like Eric, I was there the whole time, but only jumped in a car when no one was making a move. Sometimes had to wait a while. At one point Eric and I must have just stood there chatting for 15 minutes, both waiting for the manual to open up. I don't think many people were there the whole time.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ride and drive the Astra!

I was at the Astra driving event yesterday evening at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. And no, it was not on the actual track; it was in a parking lot in the infield area.

Luckily, there weren't too many people there, so I got to drive the Astra twice, as well as drive the Honda Civic, VW Rabbit, and the Mazda 3 once each. Driving the Astra was a great experience and I absolutely loved the way it handled!

I still plan on keeping my ION, mainly so I can pay it off and go without a car payment for a while. However, should something happen to my ION, the Astra will definitely be one of my options.
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