I absolutely love this car - after buying it I like it even better than I thought that I would. I purchased a 3-door, with the 5-speed manual transmission, optional upgraded stereo (Optra CD-40, I think it is called) with the 6-disc CD changer and the optional 5 spoke 18-inch tires and wheels. The performance, ride, handling, ergonomics, controls, exterior styling, etc. are excellent. I especially like the automatic rain sensing wipers, the electronic turn signal and wiper controls and all of the data and settings available via the display screen and computer controls (which come with the upgraded stereo). Now that it has turned cold the heated mirrors are a nice touch as well. The car has a lot of features for its price range. Even though it is geared low for performance, I have averaged 32 mpg over the 3,000 miles that I have had the car. Plus the car drives like a go-cart around the corners, has the smoothest shifting manual transmission that I have driven (I've been driving manual transmission cars for over 34 years now) and has excellent room inside.
Love my Saturn, awsome car for the price I paid for it, runs great and ride real god, not to mention shart looking!!!
It's too bad GM would not keep it's Saturn line alive, because the Astra is a winner. This three door hatchback is a dream to drive for the money invested. It's 140 HP Ecotech engine gives it the power that it needs without going over the fuel consumption issues that other high horsepower V-6 tend to use. The comfort level in the cockpit makes you feel like your driving in a much more expensive sports car. Mind you that there isnt much room in the rear seat area, but for short trips it suits my passengers well. The rear hatchback area holds plenty of cargo, and with the rear seats down, it holds tweo sets of golf clubs,which is all I really need. All of the controls are easy to reach. Stereo is very good sounding with a six disc changer. The on board computer system gives me all the information that i need for fuel economy, etc. Driving the car feels like your on rails, the rack and pinion holds the road nicely and stopping the car with four disc brakes is not an issue. The five speed makes it fun to drive. the two things that I dont like about the car is the fact that you cannot plug an I-pod or MP-3 player into the stero without adding a integration device. the other is there is no electronic compass in the car. Both of these items can be retrofited with aftermarket units if i really want them. Ovwerall, I feel that I got the best bang for my buck. the car is fun to drive and whats nice about it i get a lot of questions from other drivers as to what kind of car is that? There are not many three door Saturn Astra's out there.