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Old 03-20-2008, 10:37 PM   #1
VA_Astra
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Default Just picked up my new Astra today :D


Well, I have been car shopping for 3 months now. Really researching all of the cars out there in the ~20k price range with 4 doors and preferably a rear hatch.

I have drove all of these units, all of these were new, I also drove the used model of some of these. I drove both auto and manuals of these.

Toyota Matrix nice car, but I dont think it had enough features for the price tested at 21k.

Scion XB Great vehicle, a good family size, but 2.4 eats the fuel. I dont believe that it will really get 29mpg.

Scion XD Love the rear reclining seat! The best of all the auto's I tested. Had tons of road noise.

Mazda 2.3 Great styling for this car.

Kia Sephia 5 Still not sold on the Kia. This car is close to the Saturn, but I dont think it is anywhere close to the same quality. Engine does well though.

VW Rabbit The new 1.5l is a killer motor! But the cost for cost, i would have had to spend another 3-5k to get what the saturn has.

VW Jetta Same boat as the rabbit.

Dodge Caliber TONS of road noise! Car seems very cheap made and plasticy.... Cooler in the glove box is nice

Chevy HHR Didnt like this at all. The worst of all the vehicles that I drove. Styling is horrible!

At the end of the day, the choice was down to three options. The VW, the xB and the Saturn.


Car shopping for me was for a couple of needs for my family. One, I was replacing a quickly aging Suzuki Esteem as a commuter car. Two, I drive 500-1000 miles a week for work and need something with good mpg and something comfortable. Three, I wanted something 5 door so I can take my family around with ease. And the last, I dont want to drive something like the Yaris, I am a guy and have "guy" needs...lol


The Saturn drives awesome, nice power (not a powerhouse though), great styling and tons of features. I got the Sport package 5dr XR 5spd with the Premium Trim package and the Moon Roof. I was hoping to find one with the upgraded stereo but none could be found with the other options with in a 300 mile radius of the dealership. I got the Silver one, and of course the int is black leather.

The car is quiet, smooth, and handles great! The upgraded int package in my opinion is well worth the extra money! The sport seats are way more comfortable than the standard clothe ones. I have owned many many cars in the past, and other than power, I think this one drives similar to my old 944 turbo I had. Very smooth, controlled and really sticks to the windy roads

As you can tell I am very happy with my purchase. If anyone has any questions about the car, I am more than happy to answer.

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Old 03-30-2008, 01:01 AM   #2
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Next to the Sky I would want that car =D. GMs answer to honda.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Great choice, that would be the way I'd go too although my contenders would include the Ford Focus - another European-origin design. Did you try it?

The Mazda 3 looks similar but I'm sure it's roots generate a totally different driving appeal.

btw... You photo looks a bit stretched - did you resize it from a wide-screen format to 640x480?
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davey View Post
Great choice, that would be the way I'd go too although my contenders would include the Ford Focus - another European-origin design. Did you try it?

The Mazda 3 looks similar but I'm sure it's roots generate a totally different driving appeal.

btw... You photo looks a bit stretched - did you resize it from a wide-screen format to 640x480?
The photo was taken by my cell phone, not the best of quality...lol

I did look at the Focus, Kia, VW, Scion, Matirix, Caliber, HHR.....The list goes on and on. The Focus to me was just a cheap rattle box car. Very plasticy, cheaply put together. Lots of road noise and I dont think it was a comfortable car.

The VW was the closest to how the Astra felt and drove. I really dont think any of these cars can really compare to the quality and features of the Astra.

An with over 2k on the odometer, the car is getting more fun to drive, and better fuel economy too! The car really handles well, rides nice, and is comfortable for sometimes my 5 hours of commuting in DC traffic each day.

My fuel mileage is up at my last tank combo city/hwy/heavy traffic to 33.1mpg Its a no brainer decision.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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It's good to hear the 5dr XR with sport package handles well, I was worried that such comments had come from tests of the 2-door with the lowered suspension.
Yours looks like the exact model I'd choose. I've yet to try the sunroof to make sure I have enough headroom but I know the kids would love it. The panorama windshield in the European 2-door is quite appealing but isn't very practical on these shores - I'd never had top replace a windshield or struts living in England but it seems to be a common occurrence here due to the bad conditions of the road surface. It's not just the stone chips, potholes ruin struts and crack windshields.

Came across this photo again today, which I thought I'd share. The Vauxhall Astra Nurburgring
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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Both of those cars look sweet! 33MPG sounds awesome. When I got rid of my wagon on 19's I was getting like 16-18 mpg, My Rodeo on 22's gets a whopping 11-15 MPG. I'd Love to get an Astra if they were all wheel drive and 5 or 6 speed...I refuse to buy an automatic
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:47 PM   #7
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SPAM reported to Admin.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:12 AM   #8
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Hormel may be the only action this site gets, evan the thumbnails are unemployed.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:48 PM   #9
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SPAM Reported. again. whats going on here?
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #10
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This site might be better to change it's name to


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