SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn Astra > Astra General
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-06-2018, 01:52 PM   #1
BlueAstraXR
New Member
BlueAstraXR is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 8

2008 Astra XR
Default Just got an Astra

Just picked up an Astra XR 5 speed. I like the ride and the seats and such, but yes, the reputation they have for being slow is well earned. Now, I've had my share of quick cars, and I know this will never compare, but it's just slow to the point of stressing me out so I'm gonna have to do something about that. I hope to glean some useful info here and possibly share some as well. Initially I plan on simple airbox and exhaust modifications, while also keeping it on the quiet side. I have a feeling it won't be long until I start getting into ripping it apart for a turbo install though. That will have to wait until I sell my Buick T Type though. Got too much money tied up in that car.....

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BlueAstraXR's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BlueAstraXR reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BlueAstraXR is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 04-06-2018, 04:54 PM   #2
AstraFasta
Member
AstraFasta will become famous soon enoughAstraFasta will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 336
 
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Not much you can do unfortunately.

Using premium fuel allows engine to map more aggressively; given the engine has such low horsepower, this makes a very noticable difference.

A few guys used sportier air filters and air boxes; I think a lot changed back to stock. The computer is very sensitive to minor tweaks, unfortunately. And, it is extremely sensitive to contaminaion on the MAF and throttle body (so you will need to clean them a lot more than usual).

Not sure there are many options to upgrade the exhaust for a significant boost in power.

The manual transmission and clutch are not especially robust so would not be so happy with a large boost in horsepower.

Spend some time searching here. You can also check the two big UK Astra boards if you are interested in importing some bits and ideas...

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to AstraFasta's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help AstraFasta reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
AstraFasta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2018, 05:15 PM   #3
AstraFasta
Member
AstraFasta will become famous soon enoughAstraFasta will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 336
 
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Oh we got the XR model. But the Europeans got a VXR model with 240 hp

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to AstraFasta's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help AstraFasta reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
AstraFasta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2018, 05:27 PM   #4
kikastra
Member
kikastra has a spectacular aura aboutkikastra has a spectacular aura aboutkikastra has a spectacular aura about
 
kikastra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: YOW
Posts: 201

2009 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstraFasta View Post
Oh we got the XR model. But the Europeans got a VXR model with 240 hp
I remember back in the day before GM went bankrupt, and Saturn went the way of dust, there was talk of an Astra Redline version. I assume it would have basically been an VXR/OPC. Of course come to think of it, even if Saturn stayed around it never would have happened considering the Astra was gone after 1 year in the US, due to low sales. But that would have been pretty awesome. Instead we were stuck with a pretty decent car that is SLOW SLOW SLOW.

...
2009 Saturn Astra XR3 5-Speed - 72,000KM

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to kikastra's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help kikastra reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
kikastra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2018, 08:29 PM   #5
YULAstra
Junior Member
YULAstra is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 22

2009 Astra XE
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Meh I wouldn't say it's slow but certainly not fast. Gets up to highway fine. It's. An econobox at the end of the day.

You haven't driven a 1.3 or 1.7 diesel...

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to YULAstra's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help YULAstra reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
YULAstra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2018, 09:52 PM   #6
kikastra
Member
kikastra has a spectacular aura aboutkikastra has a spectacular aura aboutkikastra has a spectacular aura about
 
kikastra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: YOW
Posts: 201

2009 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by YULAstra View Post
Meh I wouldn't say it's slow but certainly not fast. Gets up to highway fine. It's. An econobox at the end of the day.

You haven't driven a 1.3 or 1.7 diesel...
The 5 door is just an Econobox. No problem. The 3 door, is too, but had the hot hatch potential. The speed is adequate, but its slow either way.

...
2009 Saturn Astra XR3 5-Speed - 72,000KM

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to kikastra's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help kikastra reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
kikastra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2018, 07:19 PM   #7
FreedomSoftware
Member
FreedomSoftware is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Indiana
Posts: 77

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Being slow is my biggest issue with my astra (that and aftermarket parts), I love the head turns and double takes I get from people because they arent common. As far as power goes, there isnt much that can be done.

My plan is to keep it as my economy car and potentially buy an ST or something turbo charged here in the next couple years.

...
'08 Saturn Astra
-Debadge
-Vauxhall Grille
-Thule Roof Rack (and wind fairing)
-1.25" Lowered
-Windows Tint all around
-JVC Head unit
-Dual 12" Subs

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to FreedomSoftware's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help FreedomSoftware reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
FreedomSoftware is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2018, 10:31 PM   #8
YULAstra
Junior Member
YULAstra is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 22

2009 Astra XE
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreedomSoftware View Post
Being slow is my biggest issue with my astra (that and aftermarket parts), I love the head turns and double takes I get from people because they arent common. As far as power goes, there isnt much that can be done.

My plan is to keep it as my economy car and potentially buy an ST or something turbo charged here in the next couple years.
The after market is big. You just need to order stuff from Europe. You can buy camshafts but those are 400. It's not really worth it for engine stuff. Focus on handling and the nimbleness of the car. I got mine because it was an oddball and has character. I have my fast car, going out to dinner car already..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to YULAstra's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help YULAstra reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
YULAstra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2018, 10:33 PM   #9
YULAstra
Junior Member
YULAstra is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 22

2009 Astra XE
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by kikastra View Post
The 5 door is just an Econobox. No problem. The 3 door, is too, but had the hot hatch potential. The speed is adequate, but its slow either way.
1.6T is pretty much bolt in , VXR swap is as well you just need more things like the suspension spindles. A VXR front clip can be had for 1500-2000

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to YULAstra's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help YULAstra reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
YULAstra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2018, 10:38 PM   #10
JFS
Member
JFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura about
 
JFS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 129

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

While composing this, Yulastra beat me to the punch. Here it goes anyway.

A while back, there was this thread, Aftermarket Anything:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=231503

There is not much to do to these cars to make them faster on this side of the pond when it comes to anything about the engine, exhaust, or drive-train. For sure that is my predicament in California with the emissions laws we have here. Our boutique fuel changes by the season and you would never want to use regular if at altitude or climbing. Changing the header, thinking of a cat-back system, and ECU re-mapping is out. NOS is mostly illegal with a gray area that is so byzantine with rules, it is a goner unless you are the Force family and can hire mechanics that are also attorneys.

One has to think and consider what allows a car to brake late, corner without plowing, and then get on the gas again as quickly as possible. The Engineering Explained dude notes that tires are the first best modification to make a car faster:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2S6MJt0998

After this, I think we part ways in order, but I believe them to be:

1.) Performance brake rotors and pads
2.) Performance springs/struts or coilover devices
3.) Replacing all rubber joining and spacing devices with polyethylene
4.) Going Stage 1,2, or three on wheels/tires

I know it is tempting to do #4 at the get-go, but cars I've driven that have not had the earlier phases done prior to driving with abbreviated sidewalls are often all over the place with handling. It's like having grease squirted under the outside corners in a turn, just as you reach 80-85%. Until then, run the old wheels and matching tires and later save them for winter.

Glad to see you in an Astra and here. But sorry, the strengths of this car are all in a German designed, small chassis and making the most of this. It is not an A3.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to JFS's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help JFS reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
JFS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2018, 11:13 PM   #11
JFS
Member
JFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura about
 
JFS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 129

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Geez, in my earlier post, I of course meant polyurethane, not polyethylene.

I sure picked a bad day to quit sniffing poly-something-or-other glue.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to JFS's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help JFS reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
JFS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 06:38 AM   #12
BlueAstraXR
New Member
BlueAstraXR is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 8

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Well, thankfully, I don't rely on a strong aftermarket to modify cars. The engine will remain 100% stock. My plans are simple. Get a good clutch kit to handle a bit more power, and then fabricate a turbo system for the car and go easy (5-8 psi) with a good tune should get me where I want to be. I'm fine with 200 hp. If I want to go faster, I'll hop in my truck, which will be getting a GT45 shortly.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BlueAstraXR's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BlueAstraXR reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BlueAstraXR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 09:39 AM   #13
AstraFasta
Member
AstraFasta will become famous soon enoughAstraFasta will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 336
 
Default Re: Just got an Astra

The Saturn Astra still is sporty.

For a front-wheel drive car with just c130 bhp, it handles and stops well. The engine and chassis seem to be tuned for higher speeds, say 70mph+.

Reminds me of my old VW GTIs in many ways, albeit somewhat heavier, more refined, awesome VVT, quieter interior. But my Astra is automatic.

I don't think the Saturn Astra gearbox & clutch are especially robust so turbo might not be in the cards. You can search the Saturn forums here.

Also, figure out the gearbox model and see what models Opel-Vauxhall used that on (perhaps with more powerful engines). For sure, there is at least one Astra H manual gearbox that frequently grenades in Europe but I don't know if that is the same gearbox in the Saturn (too lazy to look).

Not sure if a variety of Chevy & Opel Transmissions will simply bolt in to the z18xer. If there are options, I might look at Opel Astra RHD cars since the engine compartment is so crammed...little margin for error...

Last edited by AstraFasta; 04-09-2018 at 09:44 AM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to AstraFasta's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help AstraFasta reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
AstraFasta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 11:22 AM   #14
PaulR
Member
PaulR is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 203
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueAstraXR View Post
Just picked up an Astra XR 5 speed. I like the ride and the seats and such, but yes, the reputation they have for being slow is well earned. Now, I've had my share of quick cars, and I know this will never compare, but it's just slow to the point of stressing me out so I'm gonna have to do something about that. I hope to glean some useful info here and possibly share some as well. Initially I plan on simple airbox and exhaust modifications, while also keeping it on the quiet side. I have a feeling it won't be long until I start getting into ripping it apart for a turbo install though. That will have to wait until I sell my Buick T Type though. Got too much money tied up in that car.....
Congratulations on picking up an Astra. I hope you got a good deal. The car is slow, gets ho-hum fuel economy and is fairly fragile, at least from my experience. Be careful in making modifications because the car may begin to throw a bunch of codes and have drive ability problems. Yes all this, but it does look kind of cool. Good luck though.

...
PaulR

2008 XR3 5 speed, heated seats, leather, premium sound , 18" wheels, center armrest
2008 XE5 5 speed, heated seats, panoramic moonroof

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to PaulR's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help PaulR reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
PaulR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2018, 11:35 AM   #15
BlueAstraXR
New Member
BlueAstraXR is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 8

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Thanks for the heads up on the gearbox....I'll look into that further before boosting it. I had a Nitroused Z24 Cavalier that used to love chewing through transmissions, but that was more of less because I shifted it like I stole it when I took it drag racing. 291 ft lbs to the tire isn't great on a trans that was only built to take half of that.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BlueAstraXR's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BlueAstraXR reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BlueAstraXR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2018, 06:44 AM   #16
BlueAstraXR
New Member
BlueAstraXR is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 8

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

well, so far I've been getting my kicks by trying to hypermile with the car. Maybe it'll stay stock, since I do have other vehicles to play with when I want to go fast. I'm averaging about 30 mpg in my daily commute. I've never had a car that did that, lol. I'm used to getting in the teens. I had an older Corvette and was stoked when I could average 23 mpg with it. Maybe I'll have a bit more funds to modify the other vehicles with if I keep this one stock!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BlueAstraXR's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BlueAstraXR reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BlueAstraXR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2018, 01:49 PM   #17
AstraFasta
Member
AstraFasta will become famous soon enoughAstraFasta will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 336
 
Default Re: Just got an Astra

This is like some older Euro hot hatches; low horsepower, good handling and good brakes. Not quite the Peugeot or VW GTIs but not so far off the mark.

That can be a fun and relatively safe combination.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to AstraFasta's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help AstraFasta reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
AstraFasta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2018, 10:37 PM   #18
JFS
Member
JFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura about
 
JFS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 129

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueAstraXR View Post
Just picked up an Astra XR 5 speed. I like the ride and the seats and such, but yes, the reputation they have for being slow is well earned. Now, I've had my share of quick cars, and I know this will never compare, but it's just slow to the point of stressing me out so I'm gonna have to do something about that. I hope to glean some useful info here and possibly share some as well. Initially I plan on simple airbox and exhaust modifications, while also keeping it on the quiet side. I have a feeling it won't be long until I start getting into ripping it apart for a turbo install though. That will have to wait until I sell my Buick T Type though. Got too much money tied up in that car.....
Golf vs. Saturn

https://goo.gl/DVVAYg

OK, so it is a bit late to do comparisons of our vehicle vs. others, but this is one of a mark and model that was a world-car rival at the time of production. From one year to the next, European production of Golfs and Astras (and damn, there sure were a lot of models and drive-trains available) had one or the other as the largest selling car on that side of the pond. I believe I have chosen with this website comparison tool the versions of each car closest in performance to the other to consider performance and amenities.

In the US, I don't know what Saturn was thinking about. You make a commercial for a car and do not even show until 10 seconds in. And then you show it for just 14 seconds, a good amount of that time with the car not the focus of the message. Meh, meh, meh.

https://goo.gl/W4DY2W

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to JFS's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help JFS reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
JFS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2018, 11:06 AM   #19
BlueAstraXR
New Member
BlueAstraXR is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 8

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

So far I've managed to average 34.1 mpg over the course of about 550 miles, verified by my calculations during fill ups. Not very hard to do either. I'm really getting a kick out of this.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BlueAstraXR's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BlueAstraXR reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BlueAstraXR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2018, 03:31 PM   #20
JFS
Member
JFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura aboutJFS has a spectacular aura about
 
JFS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 129

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Just got an Astra

In all the threads I have reviewed, I don't recall seeing this video of Astra H manufacturing in Antwerp, Belgium (now closed).

Thought I'd place this on a thread where those just obtaining this car might see it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfTMKtTDIMk

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to JFS's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help JFS reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
JFS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Astra-nomical: Road Tripping in New Brunswick with a Saturn Astra Charlie Astra General 20 02-09-2018 05:21 PM
2008 Saturn Astra XR to Opel Astra center cap conversion! kwattro Astra General 2 07-19-2017 07:47 PM
Installing Opel Astra H grill on a 2008 Saturn Astra XR kwattro Astra General 7 05-28-2016 08:09 PM
New Astra making me sick (2009 Astra XE Automatic) burp Astra Tech 21 01-29-2010 01:44 AM
...Astra Turbo..Astra Convertable...& Wagon .. missan astra Astra General 1 05-10-2009 09:28 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:15 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.