2008 Saturn Astra

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24 CITY / 31 HWY
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What Changed for 2008:
  • All-new compact model; replaces Ion as the entry-level Saturn

  • Derived from the European-market Opel Astra

  • Available exclusively as a 3- or 5-door hatchback

  • New 140-hp 1.8-liter engine with variable valve timing

  • Front-wheel drive

  • Anti-lock brakes (ABS) and six air bags standard

  • Stability control standard or optional on all models

  • Three-door models feature stiffer suspension, quicker steering
Saturn has been considering the idea of bringing models from Opel, General Motors' European division, to the U.S. for quite some time. The Saturn Aura bears many similarities to the Opel Vectra, the Saturn Sky is a dead ringer for the Opel GT, and the 2008 Saturn Vue was developed in conjunction with (but is not quite identical to) the Opel Antara. With the new Astra, Saturn is making no pretenses: The car is essentially a re-branded Opel Astra, the compact hatchback that's been a cornerstone of Opel's lineup for years. The Astra replaces the Ion sedan and coupe in Saturn's model lineup, and true to Euro-form will be available exclusively as a 3- or 5-door hatchback.

Model Lineup
Like other Saturn models, the 2008 Astra is offered in XE and XR trim levels. The XE, available only as a 5-door hatchback, comes with power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; cruise control; rain-sensing wipers; ABS; and a CD/MP3 player. Options include air conditioning; dual-pane sunroof; alloy wheels; heated front seats; and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. The XR, available as a 3-door or 5-door, adds air conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels and is available with leather seats and a dual-pane sunroof (the latter only on the 5-door). A sport-handling package, which includes 17-inch alloy wheels, tighter suspension, and StabiliTrak, is optional on the XR 5-door and standard on the 3-door, which also offers 18-inch wheels.

The 2008 Saturn Astra is powered by an Ecotec 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. Output is 140 hp at 6300 rpm and 126 lb.-ft. of torque at 3800 rpm. The front-wheel-drive Astra offers a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, the latter designed by Japanese supplier Aisin. EPA fuel economy estimates had not been announced at the time of writing.

All 2008 Saturn Astras come standard with six air bags-dual front air bags; front-seat-mounted side air bags; and two-row side curtain air bags-as well as ABS. Other standard safety features include active head restraints, which move forward in a rear-end collision to better protect against whiplash, and a pedal release system, which allows the pedals to detach in a collision, reducing the likelihood of foot and ankle injury, Saturn claims. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on the 3-door Astra XR and optional on all other models.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had not tested the Saturn Astra at the time of writing. However, the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP) crash tested the current-generation Opel Astra, on which the 2008 Saturn Astra is based, and awarded it a best possible score of 5 stars.

The 2008 Saturn Astra's optional Aisin 4-speed automatic transmission includes an innovative \"neutral idle\" system which shifts the transmission into neutral when the car is stopped with the transmission in drive. This eliminates the drag of the torque converter on the engine. When the driver releases the brake, the transmission shifts back into gear.

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  • Name XE (5dr HB) Transmission Automatic MSRP 15875.00 Engine 1.8L/110 City/Hwy MPG 24/30
  • Name XR (5dr HB) Transmission Automatic MSRP 17425.00 Engine 1.8L/110 City/Hwy MPG 24/30
  • Name XR (3dr HB) Transmission Automatic MSRP 18375.00 Engine 1.8L/110 City/Hwy MPG 24/30
  • Seats, front cloth bucket, reclining, with active, adjustable and removable head restraints
  • Seat adjuster, driver 4-way manual, fore/aft, up/down
  • Seat adjuster, passenger 2-way manual, fore/aft
  • Seat, rear 60/40 split-folding with 3 adjustable and removable headrests and retractable dual cup holders in seat cushion
  • Console, front with cup holder, 12-volt power outlet and manual parking brake lever
  • Floor mats, carpeted front and rear, includes retention feature on front mats
  • Steering column, rake and telescopic
  • Steering wheel, polyurethane
  • Information display, Driver Information Center, including trip computer, vehicle warning messages, audio information, date, time and external temperature
  • Driver Information Center
  • Tire Pressure Monitor System
  • Windows, power front with Express-Down
  • Windows, power rear with Express-Down
  • Key, foldable with Remote Keyless Entry for central locking
  • OnStar, 1-year of Safe and Sound plan. Includes Automatic Notification of Air Bag Deployment, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance, Remote Door Unlock (if equipped), OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, Hands-Free Calling, AccidentAssist and Remote Horn and Lights (OnStar services require vehicle electrical system (including battery), wireless service and GPS satellite signals to be available and operating for features to function properly. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers. OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics available on most 2004 MY and newer GM vehicles. Diagnostic capability varies by model. Visit onstar.com for system limitations and details. Includes front center-mounted roof antenna.)
  • Cruise control
  • Theft-deterrent system, engine immobilizer
  • Heater, outside air with fan
  • Heat ducts, rear floor
  • Glovebox, lighted with dampened door, removable glovebox divider, coinholder and pen clip
  • Trim, Charcoal Metallic on the instrument panel, center stack and steering wheel
  • Mirror, inside rearview manual day/night with Passenger Sensing System message indicator and OnStar
  • Sunglass storage, overhead, passenger-side (Replaced with assist grip when (C3U) power sunroof is ordered.)
  • Sunglass storage, overhead, driver-side (Replaced with assist grips when (C3U) power sunroof is ordered.)
  • Visors, driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Assist handles, dampened (Rear passenger seating positions on 5-door XE and XR, front passenger seating position on 3-door XR)
  • Lighting, interior, includes courtesy lighting and dual reading lamps in front and rear seating
  • Air conditioning, single-zone manual with particle filter
  • Sill plates, front door, bright
  • Steering wheel controls, mounted audio controls with radio seek and volume functions and Driver Information Center controls for vehicle system information
  • Trim, Silver Metallic on the instrument panel, center stack, steering wheel and doors
  • Sunglass storage, overhead, driver-side
  • Seats, front high sport bucket, reclining, with seatback pockets, active adjustable and removable head restraints with enhanced bolsters, driver lumbar and seat height adjuster
  • Seat adjuster, driver manual lumbar control
  • Steering, power, electro-hydraulic quick-ratio, reduced rack travel, variable effort
  • Seats, Easy Entry front sliding
  • Sunglass storage, overhead, passenger-side
  • Wheels, 16" (40.6 cm) steel with full cover
  • Tires, P205/55R16 all-season, touring
  • Wheel and tire, spare, compact
  • Fuel filler door, locking
  • Moldings, body-color bodyside
  • Headlamps, halogen with automatic exterior lamp control
  • Daytime Running Lamps
  • Lamps, turn signal indicator
  • Mirrors, outside heated power-adjustable, body-color, manual folding
  • Wipers, front intermittent, Rainsense
  • Wiper, rear
  • Door handles, body-color
  • Wheels, 16" (40.6 cm) alloy, twin-spoke
  • Moldings, stainless steel, beltline
  • Fog lamps, front projector beam
  • Wheels, 17" (43.2 cm) alloy, 10-spoke
  • Tires, P225/45R17 all-season, performance
  • Engine, 1.8L Variable Valve Timing DOHC 4-cylinder (138 hp [102.9 kW] @ 6300 rpm, 125 lb-ft of torque [168.8 N-m] @ 3800 rpm)
  • Transmission, 5-speed manual
  • Drivetrain, front-wheel drive
  • Steering, power, non-variable ratio, electro-hydraulic
  • Steering, power electro-hydraulic, non-variable ratio with variable effort
  • Suspension, sport, lowered
  • Exhaust, dual wall, bright
    • Brakes, 4-wheel antilock, 4-wheel disc
    • Air bags, dual-stage frontal, thorax and pelvic side-impact for driver and front passenger and head curtain side-impact for front and rear outboard seating positions (Head curtain side air bags are designed to help reduce the risk of head and neck injuries to front and rear seat occupants on the near side of certain side-impact collisions. Always use safety belts and the correct child restraints for your child's age and size, even in vehicles equipped with air bags and the Passenger Sensing System. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat. See the vehicle's Owner's Manual and child safety seat instructions for more safety information.
    • Safety belts, 3-point, driver and right-front passenger, height-adjustable with pretensioners
    • Safety belts, 3-point, rear, all seating positions
    • LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for child safety seats in all 3 rear seating positions
    • Pedal Release System
    • StabiliTrak, Stability Control
    • Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD player and speed-compensated volume
    • Audio system feature, 6-speaker system
    • Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback and speed-compensated volume
    • Audio system feature, 7-speaker system

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