If you love driving, drive an Astra
The only complaint so far is a minor rattle coming from the behind the dash board area. This rattle only can be heard on bitumen roads with course gravel.
This car is a real pleasure to drive it has plenty of driving appeal.
The engine is a little coarse at idle and at the lower revs. It becomes very smooth at around 2000 rpm and sings sweetly above 3500 rpm rpm. The twin cam 16-valve engine loves to spin and produces good torque for hill climbing.
The car has a solid feel on the road, the electro-hydraulic power steering has no vagueness and can be driven quickly through bends with pinpoint accuracy.
The road handling and suspension dynamics are excellent, there is virtually no body roll and the gas pressure shock absorbers soak up bumps with incredible ease.
Cabin noise is very low except for the Dunlop tyres which tend to be a little noisy at lower speeds and when driven on rough bitumen gravel surfaces.
The hydraulic clutch is light and smooth to operate. The gearbox can be a little stiff when it is cold especially when trying to select first gear, once warm, the gearbox is a joy to use.
The cabin is well laid out. The cruise control is simple to use and works extremely well in the manual. The CD player and sound system is to quality and the air-conditioning works well.
The Asta is very economical to run. My driving normally includes more city than highway driving. I have been keeping records of fuel consumption since new and it has never exceeded 8 litres / 100 kms, as the engine is now starting to loosen up I am achieving around 7.3 litres / 100 kms.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th August, 2003