To make a long story short, I am looking for a slightly larger, more comfortable daily driver as opposed to my current 2007 Honda Fit Sport.
Through a family friend, I have the chance to buy a white 2008 Saturn Astra 5 Door XR Automatic with 3,800 Miles---yes, under four thousand original miles, for significantly less than market value.
The car has been driven and warmed up regularly to ensure seals stay good, etc.
I know this car isn't the most exciting thing, but it may suit what I need.
So, does anyone have knowledge of these? Any particular reason to NOT buy it (I would prefer a Manual Transmission, but oh well)?? Reliability? Parts availability? Auto Transmission issues?
Many thanks, you as always TCL
Car is similar to this:
Thanks for the reply ; I've also done some searching thru past threads (I know, shoulda done this before...).
It seems the 4 Speed takes some of the fun out, but again this will just be a daily driver for about 12-15k miles/yr.
I'm mostly intrigued by the fact that's it's still essentially brand-new, the right trim level, gets 30+ MPG (Less than the Fit but respectable) and under $10k to purchase.
Any other thoughts/experiences greatly appreciated
I almost bought one new several years ago, right before Saturn gave up the ghost. The dealer wouldn't haggle on the price though.
The one I test drove was manual in the XR trim. I liked it for what it was. Was a little disappointing in that it looked like a hot hatch but no guts to back it up.
Still, I thought it was comfortable and refined, and like I said, would've bought one if they had been willing to work with me on price. They wanted 22 for a car that was about to become extinct.
Manual ones are pretty fun. My mother in law has an XE auto that is a good car, but I hate the auto. It doesn't move much just off idle, the gas pedal has too much built in resistance, so it's unusually jerky to get the car moving.
Other than that quibble, and some distinctly German quirks to it, it's a great car.
I had a 2 door XR 5speed for about a year. I had always wanted one with plans of eventually swapping a LNF motor(2.0t) to replace the scary 1.8 that they come with. Cool/Rare car but I needed a 4 door and I traded it in and made an extra $3k more than I paid for it. Testdrive it and dont talk yourself into buying it.... like I did. I liked the look/handling/rareness of the car but the 1.8 is just bad and I was happy to move on to my next car.
A pic of my old one.... for no real reason.
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i checked out one of these cars when saturn was still a company and been a passenger in a fit several times and i really dont think this car is enough larger and more comfortable to warrant getting it, or if is even larger and more comfortable.
I test drove a base model with the manual before I bought my Jetta. It was nicely put together, quiet, comfortable... but DOG SLOW. And back in 08, this thing didn't even have an aux jack. As absurd as it sounds, the fact that my smart feels faster then it, I didn't go for it.
But for the price you seem to be getting it for... go for it.
Its loads more comfy then the fit, especially for highway driving
I drove one when they were new. Manual transmission, though.
Really liked it, just the overall lack of power was very noticeable - even with the manual. If you don't mind that, it could be a very good commuter car.
Gave ours back off lease 2 months ago.
- Liked the overall quality
- Interior looks great
- Looks sharp
- Comfortable around town and on the highway
- Despite some quirks, good at swallowing up loads of stuff
- Really a pretty good handling vehicle.
- Sluggish. Really sluggish.
- She's got a belt that needs to be changed...I'm guessing a 4 year old model would need it soon too.
- Lots of, how shall I put it, 'unique' Euro ergonomic quirks.
- Horrible headlights.
- More expensive parts than a similar Cobalt because of the different engine and panels.
- Hatch is smaller than it should be.
- Weaker than expected fuel economy.
We couldn't justify the lease buyout, which was ridiculously high for a discontinued car from a discontinued brand. We got it off Leasebusters for 200 bucks a month loaded, so it served our purpose for 30 months though. If you can get it for really cheap, might be a good find, but check on that timing belt change cost first.
Owner reviews tend to be very positive for the Saturn Astra.
But it's hard to say... most mainstream cars that sell in low volumes tend to have very positive owner reviews.
Rare = owner bias?
I don't get how the Astra is a significant upgrade from the Fit if you're looking for a larger car.
I understand it is a larger class size, but the Fit has a taller roof, good space utilization and a very versatile interior that make up for the difference in vehicle footprint.
I bought my wife a 2008 5-door XR two years ago for about $12,500 and it had about 30K miles on it. Since then then only thing we've had to do to it was replace the battery a year ago. Nothing else has gone wrong.
Sure it isn't going to win any drag races, but my last car was a Mk4 2.0, so it wasn't a big deal. The seats are awesome (we have the leather interior). I would dare say more comfortable than my SAAB.
My only peeve--I hate the BMWish style wiper controls. Here is ours after I slapped Opel badges on it:
Learn what the bible really says about the End Times:
If you get it I still have the K&N filter that can replace the airbox... no real power difference but really changes the engine noise to actually sound decent vs the tickty oem motor noise
like this... not my video btw.
Last edited by EvilGTI; 06-03-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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I say you check out the 2nd gen pontiac vibe before purchasing the Astra.
But it might not be in your price range?
Reliable toyota innerds without the boring looks. And it doesnt look like it was designed in 2004 like the astra, sorry! oh yeah, and super rare like the astra.
It will be really slow with the automatic. Over 10 seconds 0-60, and not much torque means you'll have to put your foot down. If you're ok with that, then I'd say it's a good car. But not better than a Fit...
Previous: 91 CRX Si / 93 S-10 / 99 Neon ACR / 87 325e / 90 Accord Coupe
Thanks everyone for all the replies!!
1) The reason it's an upgrade over the Fit is that the Honda has high mileage, uncomfortable seats, and just not what I would like in terms of comfort for a highway cruiser. The Astra is better in all of these categories. The Fit does have AWESOME utility and a cavernous hatch, but I seldom use it to capacity, so the other positives of the Saturn outweigh this.
2) Thanks for the recommendation of the Vibe; one of the reasons I am looking at the Astra is because of a specific good opportunity to buy a nearly-new one at (What I have found in researching) a very reasonable price.
3) I am not worried about the straight-line performance; the 109HP Fit is a dog as well, and I wouldn't expect the Astra to be THAT much slower, maybe I'm wrong.
4) As far as fuel economy goes, 32MPG on the Highway suits me fine; it's a bit less than I get with the Fit but not a big deal.
5) I can't find any City Golfs, but they are by far the BEST car ever created.
I can't say anything about that particular Saturn model, but I can taut mine. I had a 1994 SC2 that gave me 120K painless miles. A starter and an engine mount bolt, that was it. I currently own a 2007 VUE and I have had only a few minor problems. I have 180K miles on it. Granted, it has the Honda engine but the car has been solid overall.
Many seem to ridicule Saturn. Not from personal experience, but rather from misplaced perception. I had plenty of money to buy something else more $$, but I don't need Euro soul, I need a practical, reliable car.
So, I say it is all good.