In typical General Motors fashion, by the time Saturn started offering some very competitive products, a 2009 bankruptcy forced reorganization that saw the demise of what was once billed as “A Different Kind of Car Company.” In 2008, GM brought the Opel Astra to the US market, virtually unchanged from its European counterpart. GM predicted much larger sales for the Astra than it realized, with just under 12,000 sold in 2008 and a little over 6,000 sold in 2009 before the plug was pulled on importation of the C-segment hatchback. I drove a 2008 Astra XR 5-speed similar to the car featured here for sale in Tennessee. With 1.8 liters and 138 horsepower, it’s not fast but has adequate power to keep up in traffic and has decent handling dynamics. It drives similar to a Golf, but you can certainly sense you’re in something just a bit different.
2008 Saturn Astra XR hatchback coupe with approximately 66,000 miles. I am the original owner. I ordered this car from the factory before it was released, and in fact this was the first Astra sold in Arkansas. Never wrecked or smoked in. It’s in excellent condition with normal wear. Very minor blemishes – some scratches that I filled with a clearcoat pen, the rims have some curb rash, and the roof rails have been refinished and repaired due to a flaw in the factory finish.
All service has been done by a Saturn dealer or an authorized Saturn GM service dealer, with the exception of minor services I did myself (replaced an emissions valve, spark plugs, and air filters) and tires installed by an independent tire shop. All other work including all oil changes have been done by Saturn. I have all maintenance records. I have taken great car of this car; I drive conservatively and have not abused the car. All the service recommended by Saturn has been done on time except for changing the brake/clutch fluid. I don’t think it’s necessary yet.
The reason I’m selling is that I have two small children now and it’s rather difficult to put car seats in the back. I really would like to keep the car, but kids and finances say I must sell. I ordered this car with all available options except automatic transmission. It’s a manual/stick shift. It gets great gas mileage; I usually average a little over 30mpg. It was designed and built by GM in Europe, so it drives and handles like a European car should (it’s identical to the Opel Astra). The build quality is fantastic, like a much more expensive car. It has power everything, advanced audio package with 6-disc CD changer with upgraded dash display and seven speakers, premium trim package with heated leather seats, and factory 18″ sport wheels with performance tires. The tires are the same Pirelli style that came with the car (but they aren’t the original ones), and they have probably 50%+ life left. The car has rain-sensing wipers, power windows, remote power locks with alarm (I have both remotes/keys), automatic headlights, OnStar, stability control, and six airbags. I had the windows tinted when I bought the car; I don’t remember how dark (I think 35%) but I do know it’s legal in Arkansas and Tennessee. It still has the GM powertrain warranty until March 2013 or 100k miles.
The title is clean with no liens. This car must be seen and driven to appreciate. Feel free to ask any questions or come for a test drive.
The seller’s asking price is set just above what trade in values are constituting; rather reasonable considering the condition of the vehicle and that it is a well equipped two door version with the manual transmission, arguably the most desirable of the Astra lot offered in the US. I’ve always appreciated the swooping roofline of the two-door model and with so few imported, these Astras offer used car buyers an alternative to the Golf and myriad of other Japanese subcompacts. It reminded me a lot of my MkIII GTI 2.0. Not a screamer of an engine, but a great cruiser with solid build quality and entertaining handling.