1996 Opel Astra GL 1.4 petrol
Lovely car, lousy head gasket
Head gasket blew at 95000 miles.
Engine gave up the ghost at 110,000 miles.
Revs were quite stuttery after the head blew the first time.
Apart from the Astra's terrible head gasket problems, I loved this car. I owned a 3dr and it was very comfortable inside the car, very quiet road noise, excellent road holding on major roads and a great 5th gear too. It's neither quick or slow from 1st to 3rd gear, but 4th and 5th are geared nicely.
Handling was OK on the standard 13" tyres, but if you are willing to take a small hit on performance, this car handles amazingly well on 15" wheels.
Economy wasn't too bad, long distance journeys especially good. However on the flip side, the car uses a little bit too much petrol starting the car, so short journeys are a bit wasteful.
The bodywork is also quite strong, it's not easily dented. I think the car can look nice enough too if well maintained.
But, the car is brought down by their head gaskets. My mother used to own an Astra too, but the head blew around the 90k mile mark and now the engine has finally died at the 140k miles mark. Better than mine, but still disappointing.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 12th May, 2009