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.
Pros: Fuel economy, handling, braking, cornering, unique European look, overall quality, price, safety features (abs, 6 airbags, traction control, etc.), comfy front seats, roomy cargo area, overall value. Cons: Leisurely acceleration (0-60 mph in just over 10 seconds with a manual transmission), somewhat noisy cabin over 65mph, cramped backseats for adults taller than 5'11", confusing radio controls and board computer operation (need to be studied carefully before using them becomes second nature), no automaker standing behind the car (once 36K miles warranty is gone) since Saturn no longer exists. Great car for singles or couples (with only 1-2 kids). Great for commutes but only OK for long trips (once again, it's pretty noisy over 65mph). Great gas saver. Solid German quality all around. Perfect for practical, level-headed drivers looking for a fun drive, too. NOT for speed demons, thrill-seekers and insecure people. Not for big people who require a ton of space and who use their car as a restaurant. Get used to the fact that hotheads/losers (usually driving Mazda's, Mitsubishi's and pickups) will constantly be racing you at traffic lights (out of envy maybe?) and on freeways, and you WON'T be winning any contests (other than the higher IQ contest and the most gas saved...). Enjoy your Astra!
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!