It’s not a new car per say. The 2009 Saturn Astra has been on sale in other parts of the world as an Opel Astra for a couple of years now. In fact, it’s the same body style too. While it’s carried on the sales responsibility of that segment for Opel, here in the states the Saturn brand has had a hard time establishing itself against the competition.
So now we get the Saturn Astra. It’s basically the same car with slightly different bumpers and Saturn badges inside and out. Equipped with a DOHC 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual gearbox, the 2008 Astra 5-Door XE will carry a suggested sticker of $15,995. The more uplevel Astra 5-Door XR will start at $17,545 while the sporty 3-Door XR will be priced from $18,495. An optional four-speed automatic transmission will add $1,325 to the bottom line and all prices include shipping charges. A Premium Trim package bundles leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats with manual lumbar and premium door panels for $795. A steal for all the comforts that you get. On the 3-door, the same option runs $745.
Oddly enough, the Sport Handling package is available only on the 5-Door XR at a cost of $695. The package adds 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels, stability control, lowered sport suspension and quick-ratio electrohydraulic power steering.
Look for the new Astra to be in Satun dealers this fall as a replacement for the slow-selling Ion coupe and sedan. Also expect a "Red Line" high performance version to debut shortly after, as it already exists overseas in the form of the Astra VXR.
Already sold worldwide, the Astra should prove to be a good seller for Saturn.