Overall, it's been a dependable car and for a simple way to get to and from work, it does the job well. However, it's just missing a truly fun and entertaining essence that all cars should have.
I purchased a 2008 Saturn Astra XR. I liked the way it looked, has a sun roof, steel alloy wheels, low-profile Michelin tires, and some nice features on a computerized system. The exterior is sleek and looks sporty. It was a sun roof that covers most of the passenger area and is very nice. The only part that opens is the area over the front seats. It is quiet when open at all speeds. The interior looks nice and is functional. It has the fan control knob on the right (verses left side as in most american made cars) side. The air is cold and heater is hot. Most air will come through the center ports. It has a 6 CD changer that works great. The stereo system has an awesome sound with the 7 speaker concert system. The dash and doors have a two-tone look that is attractive. The computer system allows you to tweek the sound sytem and keep track of the vehicle's fuel consuption. It has a trip meter in the dash to help keep track of mileage between trips or fill-ups. The speedometer has 160 MPH, but I haven't tried to reach the maximum speed. The seats are very sturdy. There is no quick release for the reclining seats. A round handle has to be turned to get the most comfortable position. The driver seat has a pump handle to raise and lower the seat. This is not exactly convenient and takes some getting used to. I really like the layout of the interior. The hatchback area is small but will carry enough for two to get away for the weekend. The engine is a small and slow 4 cylinder. It does not get the estimated gas mileage of 36 MPH highway but does get the estimated 23-27 MPH in the city depending how long you sit at traffic lights or have to put your foot in it to get into traffic. The best I could get on the highway was 30-32 MPH, which is still good. The lighting system is good unless you have the tinted windows that I have. The backup lights are not as bright as they could be and do not provide enough light to see well while backing at night. The headlights need some attention and I changed them as soon as I bought the car. They do not provide the same lighting as most vehicles from 2008. I purchased a brighter light, but the headlight housing system limits the lights so that the hi-beam lights must be used on roadways without street lights. I could not find a repair manual for this vehicle except on-line under a subscription from different agencies. I tried asking mechanics, but none had experience with this vehicle. It seems that this vehicle has few repair issues. After some looking and experimenting, I learned how to access the headlight systems. Changing the headlights takes some time. The right and left system is blocked by the air filter and battery box. They must be removed before the headlights can be changed. The signal lights can be changed by accessing a removable door in the wheelwell. The tires must be either removed or turned for access to this port. The rear lights are easier to access through door panels. The vehicle has a sturdy suspension that makes you feel each bump. It is a great car for city distances, but is not extremely comfortable on trips. Since I bought this vehilce for travelling to work, it suits my needs very well. The sterring is very responsive and the short wheel-base allows for parking in any city parking area (including parallel parking). All-in-all, I like this little car because it is fun to drive!
I recently purchased a 1 owner 2008 Astra 2 door XR.. This car is so worth the buy! Its steering and suspension makes it fun and easy to drive. My car came with all the bells and whistles! Bluetooth capability and OnStar. (including heated leather seats) I'm getting great gas mileage which is a plus since the price for gas keeps going up. This car is great for a single or a couple with no children. It has great hatchback space and seats that lay down. Nice rims and tires..1 Happy Customer!