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Old 09-13-2019, 10:18 AM   #1
marcmag
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2008 Astra XR
Default With sadness

At 135,000 miles and facing a round of work from the third (or 4th?) time spending hours sanding and defogging the headlights to the much more expensive clutch, brakes and summer tires, I've traded my Opel-badged black two-door Astra XR to a dealer here in Chicagoland. They weren't sure they were going to reinstall the Saturn grille, Saturn wheel centers and XR badge, but they have them. The LED conversion for the fogs are also still with the car.

There appears to be no North American market for new premium two-door hatches, with Volvo C30's as long in the tooth as my Astra and two-door GTI's last imported in 2015. So, I've thrown in the towel and have gone with a four-door hatch. With GM and Ford doing away with most cars and nothing that really interested be from the other makes (Veloster, briefly) I figured I need to act now to get something with no or low mileage.

The Astra was traded for a 2018 Chevy Cruze Premier with the RS package, also black. It has more equipment than the 2019 version (but for the LED tail lights) and was 10k down from the original MSRP with 8900 miles. People less knowledgeable say it looks a lot like the Astra and the similarity in the hatch area was also noted in Car and Driver's review of the Cruze when it was released.

Like the Astra, it looks faster than it really is, but handles pretty well and has all the newer safety and infotainment features baked in.

This forum has helped me to customize the Astra and improve its performance (VXR snorkel and airbox mod). It has been a fun 10 years for a car bought as new that I will certainly miss even more than my '72 Vega GT, my '88 Isuzu Impluse or both of my Mitsubishi Eclipses. The Opel badging was a source of endless amusement.

The 16" alloy wheels for the Astra's winter tires won't fit the lug pattern on the Cruze, so please message me if there is intertest in those rims. There are plenty of 16" Cruze wheels in salvage and I'll pick up a set and move the tires.

Thanks to all.

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Old 09-13-2019, 10:11 PM   #2
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: With sadness

Thank you for your contributions and best of luck with your new ride. It seems to share some Opel DNA, along with some of the Buicks.

It will be interesting to see if in a month someone excitedly signs in as a new user and wants to know why his Saturn has some Opel badging on it, so you can keep track of her.

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Old 09-14-2019, 11:28 AM   #3
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: With sadness

Congrats on the Cruze and hope you enjoy it - you're right, with every passing year the selection of hatchbacks dwindles. The Cruze hatch is certainly one you don't see every day. Find one with a diesel and manual and you have a true unicorn.

Bad timing on my part. Just returned with a set of used Saab wheels to be used with my winter tires, otherwise I would have made an offer.

...
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: With sadness

Sorry to see you leave Marc.

With pending clutch, brake, tyre work, the bill approaches market value of the Astra. At 135k miles, you are probably looking at 4 new struts and some other later life maintenance.

I could use some 16" astra alloys but I think the shipping to my town makes this non-economical. You can post them to eBay or just put a post in the classifieds here. Good luck!

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Old 09-17-2019, 08:47 AM   #5
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: With sadness

The Astra alloys stayed with the car, it will be the 16X7.5 5-110 ET42 ANDROS alloys for the winter tires that I'll be surplusing. I could drive them an hour or two from Chicagoland or if someone pays for shipping that's all good. PM me an offer, if you'd like. They are in okay shape, but are certainly not new.

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Old 09-18-2019, 10:12 AM   #6
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: With sadness

The 16" alloys are now spoken for.

For those who give a hoot, here's what I did to the Astra's hatch and attached is rear view of my Cruze hatch. Some see some some Opel-ness in the Cruze and the touring stickers are a homage to the Astra's, too
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20190917_1659492.jpg (152.6 KB, 21 views)

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Old 10-01-2019, 02:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: With sadness

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcmag View Post
At 135,000 miles and facing a round of work from the third (or 4th?) time spending hours sanding and defogging the headlights to the much more expensive clutch, brakes and summer tires, I've traded my Opel-badged black two-door Astra XR to a dealer here in Chicagoland. They weren't sure they were going to reinstall the Saturn grille, Saturn wheel centers and XR badge, but they have them. The LED conversion for the fogs are also still with the car.

There appears to be no North American market for new premium two-door hatches, with Volvo C30's as long in the tooth as my Astra and two-door GTI's last imported in 2015. So, I've thrown in the towel and have gone with a four-door hatch. With GM and Ford doing away with most cars and nothing that really interested be from the other makes (Veloster, briefly) I figured I need to act now to get something with no or low mileage.

The Astra was traded for a 2018 Chevy Cruze Premier with the RS package, also black. It has more equipment than the 2019 version (but for the LED tail lights) and was 10k down from the original MSRP with 8900 miles. People less knowledgeable say it looks a lot like the Astra and the similarity in the hatch area was also noted in Car and Driver's review of the Cruze when it was released.

Like the Astra, it looks faster than it really is, but handles pretty well and has all the newer safety and infotainment features baked in.

This forum has helped me to customize the Astra and improve its performance (VXR snorkel and airbox mod). It has been a fun 10 years for a car bought as new that I will certainly miss even more than my '72 Vega GT, my '88 Isuzu Impluse or both of my Mitsubishi Eclipses. The Opel badging was a source of endless amusement.

The 16" alloy wheels for the Astra's winter tires won't fit the lug pattern on the Cruze, so please message me if there is intertest in those rims. There are plenty of 16" Cruze wheels in salvage and I'll pick up a set and move the tires.

Thanks to all.
Ha. I saw the car on the Chicago Craigslist this past week. It was for sale for $4,201 at a used car dealer in Barrington. It could not be mistaken for any other car because of all of the Opel badging that it wears. Nice attention to detail in replacing the steering wheel badge also.

...
PaulR

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Old 10-16-2019, 05:36 PM   #8
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2009 Astra XR
Default Re: With sadness

I assume that's the Cruze hatch? That's an awesome looking car. Good luck with her.

...
2009 Saturn Astra XR3 5-Speed - 77,000KM

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