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Old 04-26-2008, 05:10 AM   #1
tommygun
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Default Is the Astra all steel panels?


Just looked at an Astra. Looked like everything was steel instead of SMC?
Just wondering if Saturn got away from SMC dent resistant panels?

I have an SC2 and was considering an Astra, I sure wish the Astra had the 3rd door also, it's a really cool feature. I'm guessing they got rid of it because of a safety issue, or they could just make more $ if they got rid of the 3rd door.

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Old 04-26-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Board.

Saturns are all steel panels now. Last one with polymer side panels were the 07 VUE and ION's.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:51 AM   #3
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That was a huge plus to saturns, I can't imagine why they got rid of it. Probably $ or safety. Makes my decision of what to buy even easier though.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:41 PM   #4
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Saturn gradually ceased being "a different kind of company". Beginning with the L series, its cars began to share platforms and powertrains with other GM products. If you didn't know, the L series has steel rear quarter panels as part of the unibody. I heard that as a separate company Saturn never made money. GM melded it into the rest of the company, even going so far as to ditch the Saturn UAW agreement and include Saturn in the main GM agreement. Thus Saturn is merely another division, a nameplate, no different from Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac. The Ion shared its platform with the Cobalt/Pursuit, and other overseas GMs, since it like other platforms is global. So just like those other divisions, it has models that are twin to models from the other divisions. Plastic body panels are out of the question, and let's face it, obvious benefits aside, it was really a hinderance for them. Probably contributed to the need for Saturn to join the establishment to avoid collapse.
Then there's a more recent decision for Saturn: to market Opals, do absolutely no changes to them besides the badge, in North America. Hence the Astra. They didn't even bother to change the model name! So it will be in a way a little different from the other NA divisions, but it's not too much of a stretch, since all the platforms are already shared with the NA brands.
Anyway you can forget about plastic.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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Wow Madbrad, I'm getting to think you are a Saturn Hater. I hope not.

Polymer is what the dent-resistant panels were made of. Polymer, a type of resin/plastic is a petrol by-product and was getting expensive to manufacture. A MAJOR reason that Saturn decided to get rid of it was magazines like Consumer Report hated the fact that polymer and other plastics made up the fit and finish of older Saturns therefore making perfect fit and finish impossible. Polymer panels expand and contract with heat and cold temperatures. Once Saturn went with steel panels the reports on quality and the perception of quality because of the panels went up.

I have always been a big fan of import cars, especially German cars. Knowing that when the L-series which was a US redesigned Opel Vectra built in Wilmington Delaware I had anticipated Saturn eventually sharing designs and vehicles with Opel who is a 125 year old GM owned company.

Although Saturn vehicles now share much with it's Opel cousin, there are many differences between the two. Only the Astra is built in Belguim. The VUE is built in the same plant where the Chevy Avalanche is built in Mexico but designed by GM here in the US and Opel GmBH. (guess where most VWs have been built for decades?) The Aura is built here in the US as well as the SKY and Outlook, which is the only vehicle that is not shared with Opel.

Theres some great info here :

Saturn Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:08 PM   #6
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Nah not a hater of Saturns. A realist on corporate matters. Now it appears that GM just might kill off Saturn altogether.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:58 AM   #7
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Well, we all had a good scare there I do admit but rest assured that GM has Saturn in it's plans again. GM has officially said that they have allocated money to keep Saturn in new development throughout 2013.

While there are many naysayers on "that other forum" the truth be told that GM has been rather stupid in not saying anything at all about Saturn until a few weeks ago when the above GOOD news came out.

As far as the Astra, GM brought over too many, disn't advertise the US models at all then over priced them. Now that many US dealers are over-stocked with Astras and the economy in general is in recession, Saturn has finally gotten smarter and lowered the Astras price.

The 2009 Astras are suposedly available in Canada where the Astra is selling very well, but here GM has decided to decline a 2009 model and go straight for the 2010 model year instead.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:03 AM   #8
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I think Saturn/GM need to get a clue. They aren't in touch with what customers want. If I could buy a more modern version of the 2001 Saturn SC2 like I have.....Polymer panels....3rd door....decent looking car, I would buy that. If they did that they would probably end up with a car that looks similar to the 2006+ Honda Civic which sells like hot cakes!!

But no, they just keep going downhill...first the ION, then the Astra...there taking steps backwards not forwards.

but that's just my opinion
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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Plans until 2013? That's just putting off the axe for a couple of years. Doesn't sound like much of a commitment to keep Saturn.
I do like the Astra but it needs more power. I don't need plastic panels and I don't consider it backward to have steel bodies like everyone else.
So what's up with that 2010 Astra? is it much different from the 09? Yeah we have the 09 here in Canadatown, don't know if the 2010 is out> Is there a gap in the US between the 08 and the 10 when you can't get one?
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:59 PM   #10
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He's not a hater .......... just a dweeb
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