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Wonderful European car by GK Baltimore, MD on 03/03/2010. Trim: 2008 Saturn Astra XE 5-Door, Owned 2 years.
Pros: 20K Review. The car is made in Belgium and is the 2nd best selling car in Europe. True Euro goodness. Its so much fun to drive especially in the city. The car comes equipped with traction control and ABS and the handling is the best in the class and was excellent driving through Baltimore during snowmagedden. I love the styling of the car and think its beautiful. I like the military time clock, just because it drives people crazy, can people actually not tell time in military its not that hard people. The car has been relaible too. The only problem I've had in 20K miles was that one of the speakers went out..
Cons: My only real gripe is that there is no MP3 hookup and you lose your onboard computer if you buy a stereo which is unforgivable if you are marketing a car to young people. All the extra options in the car make it heavy for a compact (its considered a mid-size in Europe) so acceleration is poor (doesn't bother me though its not we have an Autobon in the US). Cup holder is hard to reach, however YOU CAN BUY A NICE CENTER CONSOLE ONLINE FOR ABOUT $189 so it shouldn't be a problem. Oil filters are rare nobody carries them and you have to buy them online from the dealership ($10/each) or online (RockAuto $6). Parts might be hard to come by b/c they didn't sell too many in the states
Overall review: Its a great little car and one of the reasons why GM collpased last year. This car was originally designed and hit Europe in 04. GM could have brought it over and well PROMOTED IT and it could have beaten the Fit, Versa and Scions to the market way back in 05. Still for the price it was a better overall value than those cars. Also compared to the Golf, the Astra is a much superior car it looks better and is more reliable. My sticker was 17,900 however I got it for $14,900 after rebates. One last note: At least finally GM and Ford are bringing their European cars to the American market. For years the Opel (GM) and Ford have been producing great cars over there and we finally we are starting to get some of them.
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