Who makes the Opel Astra? Daewoo, that's who!
"Lazy" sensor replaced under warranty.
Replacing the radio is difficult, as the housing is unique to this model, and there are no after market parts.
I leased this car to replace two Buicks, actually.
This car is built by GM-DAT (the fancy name for what GM bought from Daewoo), based on an Opel Astra frame and engine. I didn't know it at the time, but I got myself a rally car.
My priorities were interior space for baby stuff, and either a manual transmission or rear-wheel drive - both would have been nirvana. However, a station wagon with a manual transmission that's not the price of a BMW... ah, close enough.
I really didn't care about handling (O_O), but I was pleasantly surprised. The Kumho tires that were OEM were actually quite grippy. I've taken corners faster than modded Hondas do... and that was with the OEM tires. I've upgraded since then.
This car is easy to speed in. During my test drive, I found myself doing 145 km/h in a 90 km/h zone. *Once you get used to it*, the transmission shifter is quick to shift. Most reviewers who get in, drive for three minutes, get out, and start writing say that the shifter is the worst part of it... It really works well, but you do have to get used to it.
Negatives... try finding any after-market parts for this car. The radio control buttons are in the way. A tank of gasoline lasts only about 500 km, given a 55L tank (but I drive like Danica Patrick on steroids). People ask, "Why didn't you get a real car?" People ask, "Who makes it? Didn't they go belly up a few years ago?"
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 22nd April, 2006