2002 Holden Astra SRi 2.2 petrol


Seriously good fun!


Engine mount weakened.

Strut bearing collapsed.

Paint clear coat beginning to peel on bonnet and roof.

General Comments:

I went into the car yard looking for cars for my mother... Next minute I bought the Astra. She's a black SRi 2.2 TS series Astra built in Belgium and she goes like stink. Well built, solid body with smooth performance from the chain driven Z22 series 2.2 engine and 4 speed Borgy transmission. A few general maintenance issues, but parts are pricey for an Opel in Oz.

Seats aren't wearing very well, and the fuel consumption is not that great for a 4 cylinder, but YOU JUST HAVE TO DRIVE ONE! It handles way better than my mate's BMW 3 series, and it cost half as much.

They do not suffer the same timing belt pretensioner troubles as the 1.8 either, which is a BIG PLUS!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2013

10th Apr 2014, 21:20

I am the writer of the review above. Just thought I would provide an update since I wrote it.

The Astra is still going great (a horrible grating noise comes from the left front end when you turn right however…) but has had its fair share of issues since October.

Firstly, the power steering pump has given up… it's a slow dying issue, which presents itself firstly with a pulsation issue despite there being plenty of fluid in it. Electric power steering is by no means cheap, especially on an Astra $$$. Despite this, she still has the best road manners of any moderately priced hot hatch of the period. I love my SRi… but I also loath her repair costs at the same time.

The engine in these things are magnificent. All alloy, 16 valves and 2.2 litres of good fun with a smooth as butter 4 speed auto. Drove her to Karratha from Perth a couple months back (that's around 1650km) and she handled it brilliantly. If you are considering a VW Golf GTi of the same era… consider one of these as well… especially the 2.0 litre turbo… those things are fantastic!

2002 Holden Astra Equip 1.8L


A shame


Rear discs scored at 25K.

Front scored at 35K.

Thermostat failed at 30K.

Did timing belt early. Found sensor with no insulation, avoided near catastrophic motor failure at 50K.

Ignition switch failed at 55K and again at 90K...

Air conditioning clutch solenoid failed at 60K, and again at 100K.

Seat belt tensioner (rear) failed at 80K.

Clutch at 70K.

Spark pack failed at 90K.

Throttle body sticky at 100K.

General Comments:

Drives and handles beautifully. Good compact size.

A little hesitant to accelerate hard from start, but OK.

Interior has hung together well, comfortable.

Body solid. Paint good. Good boot space.

Air conditioning not adequately cold, underpowered for Aus.

We have manual window winders, which make cup holders near useless, but perhaps we are fortunate (hearing of electric window issues).

Very awkward to do a simple oil filter change.

Reliability, and especially the brake issues, are an absolute disgrace for Opel and Holden engineers. I resolved this early with after market components at my cost within warranty. This could have been a good car with a bit more attention to engineering detail and quality parts.

My 97 Camry has had less failures in its 15 years, than the Astra did in the first 6 months. There is a lesson here somewhere.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th February, 2013

2002 Holden Astra Coupe


Good, but apparently easier to service a Toyota


The car was maintained and faultless for 9 years. Eventual problem was, it was difficult for mechanics to find an electrical fault. The car would start, then unexpectedly, would shudder violently, lose power steering, had no power, seemed to affect the brakes, could not get up any speed at all. Extremely dangerous.

Called NRMA and had it taken to nearest approved mechanic. He diagnosed (on a diagnostic machine) 'clearly the alternator'. I told him I had been told by a Holden service centre that it was the computer going, but he was definite it was the alternator. After a repair of $680.00, I drove the car home. Next day, just on the freeway, the exact same thing happened. Rang him and he said, "Oh it was definitely the alternator" & didn't want to know me. Couldn't drive the car, didn't want to take it back to someone who couldn't fix it to last even for one day, so after approaching the mechanic who said he could fix it, but it would be another problem in addition to the original, I had no choice and sold it for next to nothing. I have been told the electrics are hard to diagnose. Why?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th January, 2013

16th Jan 2013, 12:32

Try replacing something smaller - an engine control relay. I had that happen to an older car of mine, a 13-year old Audi, and it would start running as if it was gasping for fuel. The car electrician found a relay that had a hairpin crack in the solder. Electrical problems are notoriously difficult to track down in most cars - even Japanese cars can have tricky problems. Take your car to a car electrician - stop taking the car to a Holden dealer. Most people stop taking their cars to dealerships after warranty, which means when cars start giving problems with age, it's the independents who encounter them more than the franchised dealer.

16th Jan 2013, 15:30

So all you did in this review was complain about one fault, which happened after 9 years and 140000km of trouble free motoring, and blamed the car for not being able to find the fault due to poor mechanics. Try and include details about the actual car itself, and how it drove, features, comfort, room etc.

16th Jan 2013, 15:34

Are you sure it wasn't an issue with the accessory (fan) belt, such as slippage? By the sounds of things like losing power steering, that could have been playing up