2003 Holden Astra TS 1.8 litre from Australia and New Zealand


Very good and reliable


Corrosion on the positive terminal, but apart from that, nothing really wrong with it.

General Comments:

Very quick pick up, which I really like, and it has good acceleration; I do not have to put my foot down too much to get up to 50km/h or even 100km/h.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2015

2003 Holden Astra CD 1.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Very reliable and fuel efficient, great handling car


Air con stopped working 10 days after the warranty expired. Holden would not do anything for me "Sorry, it's out of warranty". I even offered to go halves in the replacement cost; nope, no deal.

Apart from the air con, this has been an amazingly reliable car. It's never let me down.

General Comments:

It handles really well and is great on a long trip. It still gets the same fuel economy (7l/100km) as it did when new.

I still like driving it. It has lots of power for overtaking.

It's a hatch and can carry amazing loads with the back seats folded down.

Apart from the air con, this has been an amazing car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th June, 2015

30th Sep 2015, 03:09

A/C problem, same as mine. Found an auto electrician, had pump valve replaced, no problem since, cost $250.

2003 Holden Astra CD 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


It's cheap on petrol, comfortable enough for us, & it's been reliable


It's been a great car for my hubby & I. We bought it with the cable already gone, & no code for the CD player. Other than that, it's been a good, cheap car to run around in petrol wise, & reliability wise & rego.

But then driving out of the driveway and up the road, I only got to 3rd gear, then no acceleration at all. The car was still running, pulled over, turned it off, left it for few minutes. The car starts, but still no acceleration. Pushed it back home, left it over night with the battery leads off. The next day we checked the fuses, pulled 'em out & in, put the leads back on, started the car & we had acceleration, & away we went.

It's been 2 weeks now & we have lost all acceleration whilst driving in traffic 3 times now. We know it needs to go on a diagnostic machine, but we're trying to save some dollars if it's only a fuse or sensor of some kind. Hoping someone might have some advice? Thank you.

General Comments:

We would like to find the problem & fix it, rather than buy another, as it's been good to us.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2015

26th Mar 2015, 18:57

You really must take it to a good independent garage or electrician. Modern cars now have a multitude of sensors and modules that can fail, and they need to be plugged into a diagnostic computer.

27th Mar 2015, 01:30

It sounds like your ECU computer has probably blown up; these are notorious for it as well as snapping cambelts (hope you had yours checked when you bought it). Be prepared for a bill of over $2000 if it is the ECU. I'm a bit puzzled why you gave it good comments for reliability though, when you've only driven it 4000km in 2 years.

22nd Jul 2015, 00:00

I bought one 2 days ago. It's doing exactly the same thing. I hope that I haven't been robbed. :-(

22nd Jul 2015, 20:16

ECUs are in the NZ$2-2.5K range. A friend's 2001 Celica had an ECU problem, which fortunately was repairable down in the South Island for $800, else it was a new computer costing $2K.

Another friend's 1998 Audi A4 2.4 had an ECU problem maybe three years ago, not repairable, cost her $2K, had to bring it in from Singapore new.

Computers in cars - like desktops or laptops - can be working for life, or could fail irreparably tomorrow through no fault of the owner; it's just the way it is.

2003 Holden Astra CD ST 1.8L from Australia and New Zealand


Crap - don't buy one


Air mass meter, water pump, paint on roof peeling, water leaks though all doors, fuel problems, back window cable snapped.

General Comments:

I got it car as my first car, and I've had nothing but problems since I got it. Not sure if it was the owner before me looking after it poorly, or just a lemon car.

The first problem was the air mass meter failed as I was driving along the highway to work, and it cost me $700 for towing, parts, and labour to fix.

The water pump started leaking, and I noticed it before it was too late, and saved the block from overheating.

The back window cable snapped when I was winding up the window.

The door drains filled up with dust, clogging them, and filling the doors up with water, wrecking the door speakers.

The emission, ABS and traction control trip out for no reason while driving. Then I turn the car off and back on, and it's OK again.

I have never missed a service change oil every 5000 kilometers, and only put premium fuel in, and the engine runs OK, apart from the emission sensor tripping out occasionally.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th March, 2012

30th Jun 2012, 15:07

I bought a 2003 CDX sedan (manual) as my first car - all I can say is this:

"People govern the value of purchases by the feelings it generates."

My Astra has been awesome. I've had plenty of issues - but that is only because the computer constantly tells you about EVERYTHING.

On mine the fuel gauge was faulty when I bought it (under extended warranty).

The air con compressor coil packed it in (under extended warranty).

The front fog lamps have gotten a wiring issue (bulbs blew, then maybe a fuse too, but now I need a auto electrician to assess it).

And due to little accidents:

After following the GPS onto a dirt track, I hit a rock and gutted the sump with the impact hard enough to snap the rear engine bracket clean off. Shopped around for parts from wreckers, and ended up getting BOTH for 110. If I hadn't shopped around, new was well over $1000, and most dodgy wreckers wanted at least $500.

But my little Astra also hauled a 8x5 foot "furniture van" over 1000kms when I moved interstate. I had to keep the engine at about 3500-5000 RPM the whole time, but she purred the whole way. Doubled my fuel consumption (because the trailer and load of furniture etc doubled the weight it had to pull).

It also has massive bang for your bucks (mine cost me $8000 via a wholesale dealer in Rockdale, Sydney for the top of the line CDX, mint condition with 105,000km on the clock and full log books etc).

I bought it May 2010 - have put 60,000km on it so far, including driving a 4000+km long trip from Brisbane to MELBOURNE... and BACK... all with a service overdue (financial hardship). Engine was a bit sluggish, but still got me and my (soon to be) fiance to meet each others families and back safely.

Reading all these reviews, it comes to my attention I found a good one... but I've had just as many issues with mine.

Because of the amount of joy, freedom and safety etc my little Astra has given me - and having learned how to fix cars after being stranded out in the middle of bum**** after hitting that rock - the overall feeling for my car is pretty much glowing.

I haven't had the bitter taste of high service costs, because I did the smart thing and developed genuine friendships with a lot of people over the years, and one happened to be a 3rd year apprentice for the local Holden dealer, and he saved me literally... probably 2000 in labour costs in the last 18 months.

I also got a 5 year 100,000km limited extended warranty with the car for about an extra $800. Plus my first year's comprehensive insurance for about 40% less than I could achieve on my own.

That is the power of having a good, honest, genuine dealer with good relationships with their finance folks :)

I imagine if either:

1) I didn't have a mechanic mate.

2) I got ripped off when buying.

3) I didn't have the safeguards of warranty and roadside assist from the start.

4) I had gotten a model without the cool gizmos like heated front seats and/or...

5) I had just focused on all the issues.

... then I would probably be waging war against an imaginary foe right now (be it Holden, the guy who sold it to me, God or whatever).

I had to wait until I was 20 to get my first car - but it was worth it. And I always had a goal with my car, so any possibly perceived "sacrifices" were not perceived as such.

Hope that helps someone somewhere with their car related decisions :)


3rd Jul 2012, 04:01

I agree. My 2002 has cost me $ thousands. I bought it new, and have had it serviced according to schedule.

Problems include: replacing the ignition switch, leaking transmission, leak in the cooling system, temperature gauge non-functioning, replacement wheel bearings (hundreds of dollars each), replacement discs, and now the auto choke is kaput.

The Astra is a solid car on the road, but I'll be buying Japanese next time.