2005 Holden Astra TS 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand
Nice looking, good sound, but very poor and cheaply made
I have a Holden Astra TS Classic 2005 with the Holden special body kit.
My god, have I had so many problems.
Well the first one was the fuses, which would always blow for no reason.
Then the clutch went, which cost me $1400.
Then the rear suspension started to make noises all the time.
The stupid ignition barrel has gone, and it's only done 90000 kms grrrrr. That's going to cost me $220 from a locksmith, plus the towing home was $240.
I'm done with this car. The next thing that goes wrong with it, I'm going to strip the car and get my money back in parts.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 30th November, 2009
When the current Astra was released around 2005, Holden flogged the obsolete model (this one) as a cheaper option and badged it the Classic. The Classic was built in Poland instead of Belgium (which was where it was built previously before Belgium started building the newer model that replaced it). I knew someone who had a Classic and they had problems with dash rattles and intermittent engine power loss very early on. I'm guessing the build quality of Poland-built cars isn't as good as the Belgium built ones, but I hear that most Astra's are dogs in general.
I bought my Astra new in August 2005, the last of the old TS series. The dealers were practically giving them away optioned up (free A/C, electric mirrors, traction control, ABS etc) as the new AH series was already selling side by side.
From new I've had no problems; the 'ignition lock problem' was well known by 2005 and the mechanic told me to put a puff of graphite powder in the lock each Christmas. Now it is 2013, and it is still working fine.
The passenger rear wheel bearing is making a hum now, the clutch needs looking at soon (shudders a few times when taking off when cold), no sign of any rust, the cam belt and tensioner - a little pricey but no problems, gets replaced on time.
The suspension seems a little softer now compared to new, might be time for new shockies to tighten up the handling.
The fuel economy varies between 13 and 15km/litre (good) when keeping revs under 3200 RPM. The gear change boot (fake leather?) is looking 'flakey', otherwise interior still looks new. The top of the black rear seats have faded a bit (no seat covers, my fault).
If you are buying second-hand, make sure you check the log book for cam belt changes. If no log book... replace the cam belt pronto!
A broken cam belt will bend the engines' valves instantly (no safe piston/valve clearance) and may be very expensive to repair ($2200-$3500!). Check the VIN/engine number to see if made in Germany or Poland. See Astra VIN Code-breaker on the internet.
I've not heard of any bad things about Polish made Astras vs the German made.
Overall, very pleased with the TS Astra!
As a side note, Opel is importing new Astras into Australia from 2012.