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Old 03-17-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
Suns_PSD
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2008 Astra XR
Default Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Honestly, it will be 6 months before I replace my Astra as I love the car and money isn't great right now anyways. But I'd like to start shopping now so I can keep an eye out for deals and I'd like some opinions from like minded car individuals as well. Would anybody care to give me some opinions as I'd genuinely appreciate them.

Here are my absolute minimum specifications:

1) Barely used 2008- 2010 or brand new 2010-2011 car.
2) Engine MUST use Direct Injection. MUST.
3) Engine MUST have a minimum of approximately 200 hp. More is better.
4) Engine MUST have a 6 speed manual tranny available.
5) Car must be small to medium sized, no larger.
6) Must be a 2 or 3 door. No 4 doors.
7) New cost not to be over (about) $35K, used cost not to be over $27K.
8) Prefer not to buy a GM product but I'm not firm on this.
9) Car must be available in a loaded configuration w/ leather, etc.
10) Rated mpg w/ DI should be minimum high 20's.
11) Must have some sort of back seat no matter how small.

Cars that have caught my eye are slightly used 335i series BMW (if they had already installed a DI motor this would 100% be the car), Hyundai Genesis coupe 'Track', Infiniti G37S, and the Volvo C30.

Opinions and suggestions please.

Last edited by Suns_PSD; 03-17-2010 at 02:14 PM..

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Old 03-17-2010, 02:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
Honestly, it will be 6 months before I replace my Astra as I love the car and money isn't great right now anyways. But I'd like to start shopping now so I can keep an eye out for deals and I'd like some opinions from like minded car individuals as well. Would anybody care to give me some opinions as I'd genuinely appreciate them.

Here are my absolute minimum specifications:

1) Barely used 2008- 2010 or brand new 2010-2011 car.
2) Engine MUST use Direct Injection. MUST.
3) Engine MUST have a minimum of approximately 200 hp. More is better.
4) Engine MUST have a 6 speed manual tranny available.
5) Car must be small to medium sized, no larger.
6) Must be a 2 or 3 door. No 4 doors.
7) New cost not to be over (about) $35K, used cost not to be over $27K.
8) Prefer not to buy a GM product but I'm not firm on this.
9) Car must be available in a loaded configuration w/ leather, etc.
10) Rated mpg w/ DI should be minimum high 20's.

Cars that have caught my eye are slightly used 335i series BMW (if they had already installed a DI motor this would 100% be the car), Hyundai Genesis coupe 'Track', Volvo C30, and even a barely used Porsche Cayenne can be had in my price range.

Opinions and suggestions please.
I'd have trouble calling a Cayenne a small to medium size. Do you mean a Cayman?

...
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:13 PM   #3
Suns_PSD
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Thank you, yes a Cayman is what I meant. Let me go ahead and remove that vehicle due to the lack of back seats.

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Old 03-17-2010, 03:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

IDK if these would meet your criteria, but the cars that i've been looking at to buy early next year have been the Subaru Impreza hatchback, that small VW hatch (can't think of the model name), or some Audi. I've been leaning away from the Audi and similar cars because of the cost of maintenance.

But yeah, a lot of what's on your list is on mine too.

...
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Congrats on being able to jump up in price range. Lots of worthy contenders in the price range you mentioned.
Why a must on Direct Injection?
The GTI would fit most your specs (I think)
You're asking a bit much to get mid/high 20s mpg out of a 335 or G37, maybe on a flat highway at 60mph, regular driving you'll get 18-20

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

ion redline or cobalt SS.

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Old 03-17-2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

The next Focus is pretty nice and fits most of what you're asking for. But honestly, you're asking for a Mazdaspeed3 without calling it out by name. DI, nice materials, pretty good fuel economy, a lot more than 200hp, leather, 6speed manual transmission, plenty of room... But it's a 5 door hatch.

The question is if you want to try to tame a car,or if you want to drive it. If you want to drive it, I'd suggest a GTI. If you want to tame it, the Speed3 is a HECK of a bargain.

Out of the cars you listed, none of those use a DI engine, except possibly the Cayman. But the Cayman comes with that extra Porsche privilege, you get to pay out the ass for everything. The GTI is available as a 3 door with DI and a back seat. I think it's just about the only car that is (in the US at least). Maybe the new Cooper S have it too, not too sure. But really, the GTI is the closest thing to what you're asking for, it has 200hp only though. Fun, sure. But not absurdly powerful. The good news is you can mod them like crazy and get all the torque steering power you want. But any of these cars will be a HUGE change from the Astra's power levels.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the Cobalt SS Turbo is a DI engine too. But it's still a Cobalt, and it's a GM.

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Old 03-17-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

The Mazdaspeed 3 is a great value and covers much of what you're looking for. Great reliability, great resale, and huge aftermarket.

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Old 03-18-2010, 07:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Audi A3. Pretty rare around here but they always catch my eye. Has the 200 hp FSi direct injection engine and 6-speed manual, or the new TDi diesel. Great looks and still has hatchback utility. I wouldn't want to pay for repairs once the car ages (this can be killer on an Audi), but it doesn't seem like you own your cars for long enough for this to be an issue.

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Old 03-18-2010, 08:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

V6 Camaro

/end thread

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Old 03-18-2010, 12:50 PM   #11
Suns_PSD
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Well I had a pretty long response to everyone's position typed out but I lost it.

Either way I appreciate the responses.

I'm about 90% settled on a car. It will likely be a 2011 VW Golf GLI w/ the autobahn package. The 2010 got the new body style but here in America we have the old 200hp engine that gets around 20 mpg realworld where-as in Europe they got the new 210 hp DI engine w/ a much wider powerband and approximately 30 mpg combined driving. America 'should' get the DI engine for 2011 and I don't like buying the first year of anything anyways.

But I will be ready in a few months to order one assuming it does come w/ the new DI engine.

The Hyundai honestly offers more bang for the buck and is likely to recieve the new 30 mpg 200 hp Sonata DI engine but I just prefer hot hatches and VWs.

I appreciate the responses and by all means keep the thread going as it's always fun to hear what car enthusiasts have to say.

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Old 03-18-2010, 12:53 PM   #12
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
2011 VW Golf GLI
they combined the Golf with the Jetta for 2011?

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Old 03-19-2010, 04:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Volvo C30.

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Old 03-19-2010, 04:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

how can there be a 50 percent mileage difference because of direct injection?

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

When I suddenly came into the car buying market 2 years ago, I would have jumped on the Golf or an Impreza WRX hatchback. It was by fate that Saturn decided to launch the Astra.

I've always wanted a sporty hatchback, and VW and Subaru had already done it. I love Saturns to death, but if it wasn't for the Astra coming into the lineup, I wouldn't be in one right now.

The Golf would be a great option to take the Astra's place.

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Keep an eye out for the new Buick Regal. I believe a turbo 6 speed manual is available, and the gas mileage will be good. Pretty sharp car from the pics I have seen. Just give it a look.

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

What makes DI so great that it is a must?

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Old 03-19-2010, 09:56 PM   #18
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

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Originally Posted by 05SaturnRL View Post
What makes DI so great that it is a must?
Two words: Power & Efficiency.

Direct Injection puts the fuel directly into the combustion chamber, rather than the intake port, or at the throttle body. This allows extremely precise metering which benefits power and fuel efficiency. When the fuel is injected into the compressed air and ignited it burns more completely.

Much of the combustion chamber technology over the past 30 years was designed to maintain turbulence in the airstream. This kept the fuel droplets suspended rather than collecting on the runners or being unevenly distributed in the chamber causing lean pockets and hotspots.

With direct injection the air flow through the chamber can be less turbulent and have a higher velocity both during the intake and exhaust portions of the cycle. This provides the power portion of the equation because pumping losses are reduced.

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:06 PM   #19
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Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnRaycer View Post
Two words: Power & Efficiency.

Direct Injection puts the fuel directly into the combustion chamber, rather than the intake port, or at the throttle body. This allows extremely precise metering which benefits power and fuel efficiency. When the fuel is injected into the compressed air and ignited it burns more completely.

Much of the combustion chamber technology over the past 30 years was designed to maintain turbulence in the airstream. This kept the fuel droplets suspended rather than collecting on the runners or being unevenly distributed in the chamber causing lean pockets and hotspots.

With direct injection the air flow through the chamber can be less turbulent and have a higher velocity both during the intake and exhaust portions of the cycle. This provides the power portion of the equation because pumping losses are reduced.
I know how DI works, but from what I have seen there is not a huge power or MPG increase compared to a similar standard FI setup. Just trying to figure out why the OP thinks that it is so great that it is a must have

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:10 PM   #20
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2009 Astra XR
Default Re: Help me choose a worthy Astra replacement?

Subaru WRX 265....0-60 4.8 sec...hatch back all wheel drive. under 35000$

done.

...
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