Entry-level Astra expected to pull “younger buyer”



Following some minor modifications, Saturn is bringing the Saturn Astra — praised widely for its great design and technology — to North America as a replacement for the Ion.


The Saturn brand really exemplifies the change going on within General Motors these days.


It was less than a year ago that the Saturn Sky hit the streets and initiated this brand’s major revitalization.

It quickly followed up with the Aura midsize sedan, recently named North American Car of the Year by a panel of automotive journalists.

A few weeks ago, the Outlook crossover arrived in showrooms and in just a few more weeks the all-new Saturn Vue will be joining them.

But Saturn isn’t stopping there. Later this year come the Vue Red Line and Vue Green line — two exciting variants of this sporty crossover.

Along with its distinctive appearance, the Red Line is equipped with a 250 horsepower V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Green Line offers the same affordable hybrid system as its predecessor … only in a sleeker, sportier package.

Put it all together and you have a great mix of new products. And now the trend continues with a car that not only caps off Saturn’s product renewal, but is another important step in GM getting back into the North American car game.

We’re talking about the Saturn Astra — a car that has been widely praised for its great design and technology. It’s been a smash hit in Europe, with more than half-a-million units sold last year.

Following some minor modifications, Saturn is bringing this terrific small car to North America as a replacement for the Ion, which goes out of production next month (March).

It’s a car that is loaded with interior refinements and advanced safety features ... and just as important, is a lot of fun to drive.

The new face of Saturn is clearly evident in the Astra’s expressive style. Three-door and 5-door models are tailor-made for urban convenience and highway cruising, with plenty of built in functionality and flexibility.

A 1.8-litre Ecotec engine delivers good power and great fuel economy.

The newcomer also inherits all the outstanding, Autobahn-tuned driving dynamics of its European sibling, the Opel Astra.

Electronic Stability Control with traction control and standard 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, work together to help steer clear of crashes.

Six standard airbags, a rigid body structure, active head restraints and collapsible pedals, all to help protect occupants from harm.

The Astra is due to arrive in Saturn showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2007.

When it does, Saturn will have the freshest portfolio in the industry, with our oldest offering being the striking Sky roadster. And it has all happened in 20 months ... from Sky to Astra.