After years of driving old bombs, I gradually moved on to newer cars and this was the first brand new car I ever bought.
It was a Champion II special edition, with all heaps of goodies. It came with leather steering wheel, leather gear stick, dual air bags, ABS brakes, fog lights, mags, electric sun roof, metallic paint, engine immobiliser, roof railings and whatnot.
I also opted for a wagon rather than the hatch back (I wouldn't even consider the pott-ugly sedan), simply because I like wagons.
The performance of the car was not bad, considering the size of the engine, but for a wagon, the 1.8 litre variant would have been a better choice. The very easy going and precise 5-speed gear-box made good use of the 100 horse powers the engine produced though. The top speed of nominal 180km/h was adequate, but could have been a bit higher.
The seats were very comfortable and even in fast corners, kept you in place.
Apart from sheduled services and a major repair after I kissed the back end of a car in front of me, the car had never seen the inside of a workshop.
The fuel consumption was excellent and even though I used to flog the poor thing, it hardly ever used more than 8.5 litres of petrol.
The only downsides of the car were the fairly high purchase price of then DEM 35,000 and the pretty poor price I got when I eventually sold it. Unfortunately, in late 1997, the new "B"-model Astra had hit the market and the prices for the "A"-model, went down quite a bit. So after a tad over two years and 75,000km, I got a lousy DEM 16,000 for it. That's less than half of the new price and was pretty disappointing.
All in all, a very good car for people who don't require a humongous amount of power.