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New Saturn ASTRA Review: Road test of new Saturn ASTRA

Saturn seems all geared up to grab eyeballs in the American auto market with its wide range of affordable sedans and SUVs, all emphasizing performance, safety, comfort and convenience. The 2008 Saturn ASTRA is the latest launch and seems set to gain praise everywhere. But does it exceed expectations? As per road tests and expert reviews and analysis, the car is definitely high on the comfort and convenience factor and also scores high on the style quotient, but needs to get a little better in the performance department in order to satisfy speed addicts on highways.

Stylish and recognizable anywhere by its classy design, this car is a good buy if you are considering your everyday travel to work and grocery shopping and in general, around-town travel. The interiors deserve mention because not too many cars focus on interior spaces. The European Opel has certainly got its basics right in the US. While many people thought that Saturn is n quite good enough, opinions have changed abruptly after looking at the brand new 2008 styled Saturn ASTRA. The car is doing considerably well to compete with the more popular cars already dominating the market. This particular hatchback is front wheel driven, front engine model presently available in 3 main trims, the 5 door XE trim and the 3 and 5 door XR trims.

This car has all the potential needed to dominate the small cars segment in the US, but it needs some careful marketing. Europe is famous for its performance oriented designs, and now the American market is getting a taste of easy handling, safe, well-performing, well-designed and economical family cars at affordable prices. The quiet and smooth cruise has got the thumbs up, while the high quality interiors have got critics raving about this model. The engineering in the 2008 Saturn ASTRA makes for a comfortable drive at the expense of lesser fuel than its counterparts. The steering is accurate and easy and the seating firm. Safety features are sophisticated and work well, while the exterior is a treat to the eyes. The instrument panel and cargo space are pleasing. The roomy interiors and stylish exteriors are turning heads and this time, Saturn emerges a winner.

Engine: 3 out of 5….. Good, but not too good.

Transmission: 3 out of 5…. Easy transmission with optional automatic.

: 3 out of 5… convenient handling

Safety: 4 out of 5 … very good safety features in all trims.

Value 3 out of 5… price ranges from $15,000 to $17,000. affordable trims.

Tech Specs

Body: 2 door or 5 door (as per trim) 5 passenger family vehicle.

: 1.8 liter 16 valve l4 engine common in trims.

: standard 5 speed manual transmission with overdrive, optional 4 sped automatic transmission.

Torque: 125 at 3800 (ft-lbs) in the XR

Power: 138 hp at for each trim.

Tires: radial passenger tires with independent and semi-independent suspension

Verdict: excellent car for average needs. Looks and safety excel.

: great styling, comfort, ease and safety.

Against: performance could improve.

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