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Is buying a Saturn Astra a risk?

My Mom recently purchased a (very) slightly used fully loaded 2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 door with 8,000 miles. I’m wondering if this wasn’t a terrible mistake. Given that they only made these cars for 1 (2?) years and imported them to the US, AND Saturn is gone, how hard will it be to get parts and to find a good mechanic to work on it? I’ve those kinds of issues with my VW and there are tons of those! I’m interested to see what experts say- is it a bad purchase?

For a second I wondered if you were posting a double entendre…of a literary license sort. “…buying a Saturn *”

I would still think that the GM parts network would supply parts for them. OEM assembly line parts are rarely the same after 2 years anyway. It’s part of the whole automotive industry jobs program. You patent OEM parts and contract for assembly line manufacturing. You then sell the OEM aftermarket rights to produce the parts, which may be part of the assembly line contract to get them cheaper to reduce the cost of the unit rolling off the assembly line.

Parts will be available into the foreseeable future, and any decent independent mechanic should be able to work on it. I have not eliminated the Astra from my list of acceptable used hatchbacks, and I would still consider buying one.

Resale value may not hold up, but that’s another issue. The Astra is supposed to be a pretty nice car. I wouldn’t worry about it.

You have a hard time with parts and service for a VW? Really? I thought every town had a VW specialist. Or two.

While I wouldn’t advise someone go buy an Astra, now that your mom has one, it’s not that big a problem. If she wants to keep it more than 10 years, maybe, but that’s nothing to worry about now.

While Saturn is gone, Opel and Vauxhall are continuing to produce the Astra in Europe. Parts shouldn’t be a problem.

We lived in some small towns in the deep south for a bit and had issues there for sure. I shouldn’t say the parts for the VW are hard to come buy, you can always order those, but service has been a bit of a challenge. Even the dealership has had problems diagnosing problems that have cropped up with the car. We recently found a great independent mechanic who is taking great care of the VW. I hope Mom can do the same for the Astra.

She tends to baby her cars and then gets rid of them at 8-10 years. So maybe it will be okay. I’m worried that there will be issues diagnosing problems with the car down the road. There are so few on the road. I had never even heard of it until she told me she bought one.

Parts should be readily available for the foreseeable future, and any shop should be able to maintain and repair. There’s no complicated technology involved. If your mom likes the vehicle you should be supportive rather than trying to tell her she made a bad decision…which in this case she didn’t (assuming the price was reasoable).

The Astras for North America were built in Antwerp, Belgium. That plant will be closed and all European Astra production will go to Russelheim in Germany, I believe.

As part of the bailout from Uncle Sam, GM had to promise to honor the warranties of all cars brands phased out, such as Pontiac, Saturn, Saab. So parts will be available for some time. But they may be expensive.

The car’s value will drop sharply, since any body parts 6-7 years from now will be hard to come by. And mechanics willbe puzzled by this funny European car.

The car can have warranty service at any GM dealer. Since it is produced in Europe and will continue to be, I don’t see any problems worth worrying about. If there are any fascia parts that are specifically Saturn and the car is in an accident, the repair shop can order Opel or Vauxhall parts.

I attempted to soft pedal my thoughts in my first post but apparently was unsuccessful, so you’ll I hope pardon me for my directness this time. I mean no disrespect.

Your mom has selected and purchased a used car for herself, I assume with her own money. Even if she had made a mistake, which she did not, you should be supportive of her decision at this point, not critical of it. Frankly, if you had gone to her for advice before purchasing your VW her experience might have caused your own decisiion to be a better one.

It’s easy to criticise. Accepting is more work…it forces us to realize our own weaknesses.