GM Car Czar Kisses Astra's Ass

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm car czar kisses astras ass

GM's flailing Rethink brand is holding a contest that just BEGS to be punked, on every possible level. You can almost hear the titters at GM as the brand managers read the irony-free press release. "Contestants can kiss their own Astra, a friend’s Astra or drop by any Saturn retailer and kiss their Astra, and then upload a photo of the kiss at [strapline: UR2]. The contestant with the funniest, most creative photo – as selected by the online Saturn community – will win a 2008 Saturn XR 5-door." And if that isn't enough of an open invitation to chaos, yes, that is GM Car Czar Bob Lutz putting flesh to metal on the Belgian-built vehicle that racked-up all of 888 sales in June, 4365 year-to-date. There's plenty more hilarity where that comes from ( click here). And MAN what I wouldn't do to see the photos that didn't make the site. But I won't do that. No I won't do that.

Join the conversation
4 of 31 comments
  • Nino Nino on Jul 19, 2008

    I recently drove an Astra XR three door that was fully loaded (including an auto trans) and came away with mixed feelings. While I thought the car handled very well and felt very solid, I also think that the car was underpowered and sluggish with the auto trans. Also at a sticker price just under $22,000, I didn't feel the car represented as good a value as a Honda Civic Coupe which has the same HP rating and feels better (with an automatic) than did the Astra. And while the level of amenities in the Civic didn't reach the level of the Astra (no leather, smaller wheels and tires, no "performance" suspension), the sticker price of the Civic was much lower. Overall, I personally feel that despite being a pretty good car, the Astra will have a difficult time selling just based on these observations.

  • Design89 Design89 on Jul 19, 2008

    Nino,I got the 5 door Astra and the manual that makes all the difference for power. Yes it needs a 6th gear for highway driving but not a deal breaker. I looked at the base Civic and could not get a real seat split 60/40 unless I got the fully loaded version. That was the deal breaker for me, with one child and occasionally needing the split seat it just wouldn't work and the dash was also a no-no. So a similar equipped Civic like the Astra was way up in price and a boring ride to boot.

  • Macarose Macarose on Jul 19, 2008

    Hmmm... it would be an interesting comparo to have the Rabbit vs. Astra vs. 3. VW & Mazda may cooperate. But I'm not sure if the General would play ball.

  • Johnny ro Johnny ro on Jul 19, 2008

    Yes call it Opel. ALthough most US public never heard the name, its "European" and or "German" and starting off with new US brand image would be better than flaying Saturn brand. They are advertised at $13,995 around Boston. In line with stripper Mazda3 and likely similarly equipped. Mazdas rust pretty fast, this makes me hold off for now. Our 2001 Protege is an aged shipwreck underneath, no apparent corrosion protection at factory except for the unibody. Need a torch to cut off any item needing service. Discounts have disappeared on MAzda 3s, used to be 2500 off, just a few months ago.