2008 Saturn Astra Consumer Review: Unknown gem

2008 Saturn Astra - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

134 Total Reviews

XR 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Unknown gem
By astracan on


2008 Saturn Astra XR 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 5M)


I was looking for an affordable well designed, well made, sophisticated, fun-to-drive SMALL car that got over 30mpg and didn't feel like a Fisher Price toy inside. Amazing how rare that was a couple of years ago. It has mostly fulfilled that expectation. (too bad Saturn went out of business 2 months after I bought it). Every drive feels like an event. This is as much about the overall quality of the interior (design, precise assembly & materials: I have leather), well weighted controls, beautifully damped ride and refinement of response than outright power. Actually the car has plenty of power, it just lacks torque below 1500 rpm, so it feels a bit dead until you learn to drive around that.

Best Features

Fun to drive, ride and road-holding, economy (ca. 31mpg), 6 CD stereo, gearshift (5spd), sculpted exterior, quality of assembly, thorough design (e.g. large glove compartment, good headlights/wipers, ESC, heated seats, tidy under-hood), overall character, rarity, cost thousands less than "competitors"

Worst Features

Really needs 6th gr/higher final drive ratio (ca 73 mph indic. = 3,500 rpm); can be hard to find comfortable driving position, as seat doesn't go back far enough/is too low (seats themselves are v. comfortable); steering, tho direct & precise, lacks feedback below 45 mph; delicate paintwork
Recommend (11) (0)
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