1997 Opel Astra F Station Wagon 1.6


Good, spacious and cheap family car


Head gasket at 170.000 km. Cylinder head was replaced with a used one.

Central locking system had to be fixed once.

Driver's seat was complete junk at 200.000, kept it.

Engine, wheel bearings and suspension were mostly done at 216.000 km.

After 14 years of service, some of the electrical equipment had stopped working, and the air conditioning had stopped working.

Some mirrors, bulbs, tires, brake pads, all due to normal wear.

General Comments:

A very reliable car that never let us down in more than 8 years. Cheap to maintain and reasonably comfortable.

It provides lots of space, and fuel economy is not that bad. From 6.5 to 9.5l/100km. Though the engine is pretty sluggish, and 75 HP with a long gear ratio do not make it a race car at all.

It is pretty fast, though you need to find a long, flat and spacious road to try it out. It was built for European motorways, it seems. What it definitely was not built for are the German roads of today, which are not in good shape, and destroy the suspension of older cars.

I really liked this car, but after 216.000 kilometers and 14 years, the engine, the suspension, air conditioning, driver's seat and some of the electrics were worn out beyond repair.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2011

29th Oct 2012, 06:37

Good and reliable car that you can bond with. It is stronger than most station wagons. Fast and reasonably comfortable.

The driver's seat, mirror, suspension and injectors have needed attention, though in Zimbabwe spares are hard to come by.

1996 Opel Astra Champion II 1.6 16v


A very nice wagon with reasonable power



General Comments:

After years of driving old bombs, I gradually moved on to newer cars and this was the first brand new car I ever bought.

It was a Champion II special edition, with all heaps of goodies. It came with leather steering wheel, leather gear stick, dual air bags, ABS brakes, fog lights, mags, electric sun roof, metallic paint, engine immobiliser, roof railings and whatnot.

I also opted for a wagon rather than the hatch back (I wouldn't even consider the pott-ugly sedan), simply because I like wagons.

The performance of the car was not bad, considering the size of the engine, but for a wagon, the 1.8 litre variant would have been a better choice. The very easy going and precise 5-speed gear-box made good use of the 100 horse powers the engine produced though. The top speed of nominal 180km/h was adequate, but could have been a bit higher.

The seats were very comfortable and even in fast corners, kept you in place.

Apart from sheduled services and a major repair after I kissed the back end of a car in front of me, the car had never seen the inside of a workshop.

The fuel consumption was excellent and even though I used to flog the poor thing, it hardly ever used more than 8.5 litres of petrol.

The only downsides of the car were the fairly high purchase price of then DEM 35,000 and the pretty poor price I got when I eventually sold it. Unfortunately, in late 1997, the new "B"-model Astra had hit the market and the prices for the "A"-model, went down quite a bit. So after a tad over two years and 75,000km, I got a lousy DEM 16,000 for it. That's less than half of the new price and was pretty disappointing.

All in all, a very good car for people who don't require a humongous amount of power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2006