I would wait until the new model arrives next month or so. For the few extra dollars, the improvements will be worth it, and you can test drive them both.
I wrote the starter review in this thread, so here's a follow up since.
Just on 10,000 km's now, since it's mostly a 9 to 5 work car with general city weekend run about. So far no mechanical faults.
The car is, well at least it feels, "driven in". The "notchy gear box" I spoke of, is now, a thing of the past -- nice and smooth. The seats are now comfortable. I've also driven about the south coast and up the Clyde mountain range and no problems at all in terms of efficient climb, acceleration and handling. Not too bad given it's only a 1.8 and reasonable for all day driving. If you're a tall person, you might find something larger would suit you if interstate travel is your ball game.
Now, with winter having passed, I had ample opportunity to test the head-lamp adjustment on the Canberra fogs that are usually difficult to negotiate. Basically, to take the head light glare out of what's up in front of you, as you cut through it, makes for a safer ride. The European designing is apt to Canberra, including the snowflake icon on the read out display. If you're in QLD, you'll never see it. Count yourself lucky!
I've had one experience with the ABS so far, and it corrected the car's motion to keep it straight with no skidding. It was a wet day and a car in front slammed the brakes on. I didn't end up the back of them. So, I count that a positive. No complaints on the wipers either, they clear even a heavy head on driving rain.
One thing I didn't speak of in my ^above review was hatch (boot) space -- well so far it's met all my needs, from nursery plants to terracotta tubs and other stuff. Though I have read that sedan version, albeit less room in the boot, is actually quieter from the outside noise for the back seat passengers. So apparently there's a trade off, though the noise experienced in the hatch is minimal in my experience.
Jason, I hope my late follow up review is still in time on your new car purchase deliberation. Good going. Post a review, on whatever you decide on. And yes, I agree with the poster ^above -- definitely compare and test drive the re-badge CD to the new Astra (which has had favourable reviews).
Just a quick note to say "thank you" for being proactive and updating/ responding. My wife and I are currently comparing the Astra CD against Subaru Impreza GX and Mazda 3 (my vote for funkiest shape).
Any thoughts would be most welcomed.
Thanks for your comments on the Mazda3. We're thinking Subaru Impreza gets our vote this time around. It also took out 2004 best small car under $28K. 2nd year in a row.
LORDOTIC? To buy??? Mt dictionary defination is.
Lordotic:Having abnormal sagging of the spine (especially in horses)
Suggest she means Orthotic (spelling...can't get to my dictionary from here)? you put them in shoes if you have flat feet or other foot problems, it corrects your posture... an orthotic for the back perhaps?
I have a 2000 Astra CD and the Service book says change Timing belt at 60,000k If you have the same car with the older book it says 12000k I think. Holden say if the belt brakes before 120,000 and it is 120,000 in the book then they will warranty the $3000 damage that will occur, however if you have a Book that says 60,000 then you are forced into a very expensive service at 60,000k. ($900)
Bring back the timing CHAIN. Cheap and last forever.
To the person who had the emissions/traction control problem:
I also own an Astra that has just started doing that today. What was the overall problem and cost of your repair?
Emission and traction control... expensive yet another $600 dollar black box to replace. How on earth can this be justified with the price of computer bits and pieces coming down month on month. Yes, its OK I know the answer.
Whilst this car is lots of fun with its good road holding, I find that the price of these repairs is extraordinary and it is an expensive car to own as soon as anything goes wrong.
At the last service I have now been told that the pads (fair enough it has done 75000) need replacing 'soon' but that the rotors also need replacing. Is this shoddy or what.
Cost per axle of $350 so for the pads and rotors all around $700.
I wonder if the new Focus is as expensive...
Just a quick comment from a UK Vauxhall Astra owner.
Timing belt in the 1.8 engine is good for 80k miles, but is recommended to be replaced at the 60k service. Belt kit including tensioner rollers is £125, and it's worth doing the water pump at the same time. That adds £30 on to the bill. The new 1.8 engine that is starting to go into the new model Astra is timing chain driven.
Brakes - I've seen some people get 100k miles out of discs, yet mine had to be replaced at 32k due to excessive wear. I drive the heavy 2.0DTi turbo diesel model, and the car has done a fair bit of towing, so I'm not overly surprised. Replacement brake components are very cheap (£55 for two discs and 4 pads fitted). The rear discs are similarly priced despite being smaller and non-ventilated.
The traction control problem some of you guys are experiencing can often just be a bad connection on the cable running from the ABS sensor on the front wheel. It's just a case of disconnecting and reconnecting it and more often than not it fixes the issue. An ABS computer replacement is highly unlikely.
If you think the Mk4 Astra is expensive to fix, just wait until the new Mk5 starts breaking - it's has a fully CANBUS multiplexed electrical system, which means that without the dedicated diagnostic tools, a normal mechanic will be able to do nothing. Some of our guys here have to take their Mk5s to dealers to get bulbs replaced, as the onboard computers won't clear the fault automatically even though the bulb has been replaced without aid from the dealer.
I don't know if Holden is as popular in Oz as Vauxhall is here in the UK, but here every back street garage has at least one ex-Vauxhall mechanic that knows more than the dealers ever will. If your car is out of warranty, then take it to a local small garage, and save on the huge labour bills in the main dealer. I buy my parts from the dealer and get the mechanic down the road to fit them in the evening for the price of a few beers...
I found the light bulb on the Astra very hard to change. The H1 and H7 is hard, but manageable. I have changed to the ones I like. But the 3rd set of lights, the small head light, is so hard to change. I have tried many many times, and I have given up.
Can someone advise me on how to change it??