2008 Saturn Astra XR 3-Door Hatchback

GM’s Saturn model spent the primary a part of the 2000s shifting over to automobiles on world company platforms, then spent the second half of the last decade more and more flailing for relevance as The Normal itself struggled to remain upright. By 2008, prospects for Saturn— and the American financial system on the whole— did not look so nice, however that was the primary mannequin yr for the Saturn-badged Opel Astra in North America. The announcement that the axe could be falling on Saturn got here the next yr, quickly after GM declared Chapter 11 chapter, and so 2009 grew to become the ultimate yr for the Saturn Astra. Some MY2010 Saturns had been bought (the Sky, Outlook, and Aura), however the Astra shares the doubtful honor of the shortest Saturn gross sales run with the long-forgotten Saturn Relay minivan. Because of this, I preserve my junkyard eye open for discarded Astras, and eventually discovered this very clear ’08 three-door in a Denver self-service yard final week.

The Astra could possibly be bought with three doorways or 5, in two very related trim ranges. This automobile is the three-door, which was obtainable solely in semi-high-zoot XR trim.

I am undecided if the Opel Astra received these GM “Mark of Excellence” fender badges, however all American-market 2005-2009 GM automobiles have them (not counting stuff bearing the crypto-GM Suzuki badge). I’ve received dozens of those badges glued to my storage wall, as a result of why not?

Only one engine was obtainable within the Saturn Astra: a 1.8-liter Ecotec 4 rated at 138 horsepower. The Ecotec has confirmed to be an unusually dependable engine, however I believe that this one died in some costly method (as a result of the remainder of the automobile appears to be like so good) and that is why the automobile is right here now.

The bottom transmission within the Astra was a five-on-the-floor handbook, and that is what this automobile has. The four-speed automated price an additional $1,325 on an $18,375 automobile (that is about $1,765 on a $24,475 automobile in 2022 {dollars}), so both the unique purchaser of this automobile most popular three-pedal driving or was only a cheapskate.

I have never seen sufficient junkyard Astras to know if the handbook transmission could be very uncommon in these automobiles; the five-door I discovered just a few years again had the automated. Presumably, an American automobile shopper searching for the European-style driving expertise of an Opel would possibly favor the handbook.

In-built Antwerp, Belgium!

As this was only a rebadged Opel, the Astra didn’t have the usual GM radio faceplate present in every part from the Chevrolet Equinox to the Saab 9-3. They’re a bit bizarre, as the middle stack buttons managed the tiny, yellow-tinged show above.

The Astra XR did include a reasonably good seven-speaker audio system with MP3 playback. Bear in mind taking part in information discs loaded with MP3 recordsdata in automobiles? Looks as if simply yesterday.

American automobile consumers by no means did care a lot for the rebadged Opel Omega B, and the rebadged Opel Astra did not fare loads higher a decade therefore.

Perhaps Saturn simply did not rethink American onerous sufficient.

Sure, there was a Vauxhall model.

And when there was a Vauxhall model of an Opel, a Holden model should exist.

In Brazil, this automobile received Chevrolet Vectra badges (and was obtainable as a sedan).

This advert for the left-hand-drive Opel Astra hatch options English-language music and road indicators, plus American landscapes. I am guessing it was meant for the Low Nations.

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