The car was bought as new back in 1993 by my father and was passed to me a year ago. The particular car was ordered with all the extra goodies money could buy at that time (electrical windows, side mirrors and LCD trip computer).
My father has seriously abused this car for many years and in many cases neglected maintenance (once changed regular oil after 18000km). He knows nothing about cars and doesn't care much too. We still don't fix anything until it's broken...
This car was driven in all kinds of roads and situations and never betrayed us. It has a very pleasant ride and wears very well both inside and outside. Today 16 years after initial purchase and with 334000km on the odometer is still a great value, 100% reliable car and am not afraid to use it in both long trips and everyday "in town" use. Unfortunately it gets a little rusty here and there, but all OPELs of a certain age do. I have recently installed an LPG kit to save from rising petrol prices and plan to drive this car exhaustively until something major has to be repaired or engine drops dead. It runs very smoothly with the LPG, and I feel sorry didn't go for it earlier.
I see a lot of this model still on the road, which is a certain mark of longevity and reliability. Nobody (Germans and Japanese included) makes this kind of reliable cars anymore. Cars as everything else in our era have to be cheap and consumable... easy to buy and expensive to service so you have to throw it away and buy a new one. My wife has a 2000 Astra, which is not bad car, but comparatively with my 1993 Astra had numerous serious problems and definitely doesn't seem made to last.
I believe it's a very good second hand choice, strongly recommend it and surely can be still found good ones with relatively low mileage at rock bottom prices.
It took me some time, but I read a lot of the posts in carsurvey website and not only... most of the "satisfied" car owners keep writing that their beloved cars will serve them for a life "if meticulously maintained"... YES, that's true, that's easy to understand... but the really reliable cars are these that show their capacity in conditions of little or no maintenance and when driven by no tomorrow drivers and not 80 years old grandmothers. I have driven about 6-7 different cars in Eastern Europe (bumpy roads full of potholes) where money was short for regular service of the cars and 99% of the owners are DIY. It's a very good place to see and understand which cars and models are really reliable. It's easy to say good words for a car when you have the money to pay dealership service and after that complaining that they don't smile to you enough... (Oh those British :-)!!)
I'll be posting again about my 1993 Opel Astra as time pass and miles add up.
Thank you for reading!