2002 Holden Astra TS CD 1.8 petrol


Poor car, somewhat disappointed


Many faults, and apparently it's common with the 2002 Astra.

Squeaking noise while reversing.

A/C compressor clutch faulty.

Emission system warning light pop's-up.

Blaupunkt stereo will start with max volume.

Gear lever is too close to the forearm, so inconvenient for male drivers to shift gears.

Slightly hard steering and brakes.

Poor ride comfort in terms of the suspension.

I don't find the traction control very effective.

General Comments:

Good things about the car:

Gives me about 11.3ks per ltr mixed road conditions.

Decent interior quality of upholstery and plastic.

Reasonable power for a 1.8 ltr engine.

Excellent cruise control.

The hatchback with the seats folded has heaps of boot space.

I had a Nissan Skyline before, and never ever had any problem with it, even after doing 100,000ks myself. Most of my mates have Japanese cars, and they go just fine with not much problem. Japanese cars are fine quality, fast, reliable, smooth, fuel efficient and value for money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st October, 2010

4th Dec 2010, 20:01

This review was written by me.

I sold the car this week (not due to maintenance problem, but wanted a auto trans). It's a great car for its price, but far too complicated with lots of electronic systems. The basic mechanism is not very reliable. The timing belt needs to be replaced after every 60,000 ks (considering most cars in its class are at 90 to 100 thousand ks). Because the car is overloaded with computer managed functions, it's usual for warning lights to turn-on.

I believe in Japanese cars that are simple and reliable. They are value for money, light on ownership cost and good resale value.

Entry level cars are best built simple and reliable, rather than complicate them. Unfortunately, Ausi manufacturers like Holden and Ford don't believe in that, and offer a list of features in their new cars so they compete better with rivals (watch the TV ads). These features are great at the beginning, but soon start to fail and cause serious headache. That’s where the depreciation is maximum on these cars compared to Japanese cars. By the time these cars go from 2nd hand to 3rd hand, owners have spent $$$ on servicing.

I will be interested in a simple and basic car offered by Ausi manufacturers (a car with no - ABS, EBD, ESC, cruise control, power assisted sytems ets). A car that’s light weight, reliable, cheap to buy, cheap to own, no computerised systems to fail, and hence you don’t have to repair anything when you want to sell it, and hence a good resale value.

16th Jun 2011, 19:13

I've been doing 320kms per 25 litres with a mix of city, highway and aircon.

2002 Holden Astra City 1.8 16v


Powerful, comfortable, practical, dependable, economical and stylish - why bother with Japanese cars


Nothing as gone wrong with the car. I have owned it for about a month.

Things that needed replacing when I bought it were:

- 3 new wiper blades

- Steering wheel badge (bought replacement from wreckers)

-Front tow hook cover missing (extremely expensive to replace with a brand new part!)

General Comments:

This is an excellent car!

It's European so you can count on it being dependable, powerful, comfortable, practical and stylish. It sure meets every one of those requirements!

The quality of the car is as if it was assembled yesterday; it's 8 years old and has done a few kms, but was ex-council car, so always treated well.

The boot space is excellent! Far better than the Asian alternatives (if you could call them that).

The cabin is far quieter and more refined than the Ford Laser I used to have.

This car is SO economical you wouldn't believe! It's more economical than the 1.3 Laser it replaced!

You can be sure of safety in this car. It features 2 airbags in the front, and all 5 occupants are protected by 5 normal seatbelts, no lap belts here (I noticed my friend's standard GL Corolla still had middle seat lapbelt in 2004!)

Assembled in Germany, you know it will be a beautiful piece of engineering. The powerful 1.8 engine is mind blowing.

This car is a real credit to Holden and General Motors.

Why bother with Japanese cars, when this will do everything better. I really do recommend this car. I will post updates every six months in the comments.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2010

7th Jul 2010, 22:14

I cannot believe this review. The Astra is an absolute dog compared to almost any other Japanese car, which you will soon find out. What Japanese car needs its timing belt changed every 60,000 km's?

A friend of mine has a 2004 model that has only around 65k on the clock, and has leaked oil since new (Holden can't fix) and has had brake problems amongst other things.

Just read some of the reviews here about replacement costs for things like plastic rear window winder mechanisms, wiper blades, brakes, timing belt changes, it's no wonder Holden don't import them anymore.

And it's no credit to Holden, it's an Opel made in Belgium with Holden badges stuck on. You'll be wishing you bought a Corolla instead soon enough.