1986 Vauxhall Astra Reviews

1986 Vauxhall Astra L Estate 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired122000 miles
Most recent distance167000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Nova

Summary:

Like a modern Japanese cars - unremarkable and very reliable

Faults:

Starter motor failed around 140000 miles.

Dip switch failed, leaving me with only sidelights or main beam one night in 2000.

Replaced both CV boots when they split.

Needed welding repairs on both rear sills, the last year I owned it.

General Comments:

As a practical low cost car, it would be hard to find a better car at the price.

My sister had owned the car since it was two years old as a repaired write off; I paid her £200 for it.

There was nothing remarkable about its performance, road manners or comfort levels, but nothing to complain about either.

It was very undemanding to drive, stop start traffic, driving long distances at motorway speeds or cruising down country roads, it took it all in its stride.

The controls and dashboard were well thought out, everything seemed to be where it should be.

The back seat was a lot more comfortable than most other estate cars I travelled in. I liked the split folding back seat, and the load space was commendably unobstructed.

It was pretty good at towing a trailer as well.

I gave it to my other sister when I replaced it; she had another 3 years trouble free years use of it until rust finally killed it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th November, 2011

1986 Vauxhall Astra L 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership1997
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired112000 miles
Most recent distance122000 miles

Summary:

Ridiculously good car for next to no money

Faults:

Thermostat jammed open preventing the engine from warming up properly.

Camshaft slightly noisy on cold starts.

General Comments:

A good, solid, no frills hatch with a sweet engine and surprising turn of speed, despite being handicapped by a 4 speed 'box. Quick off the line and great response to the throttle at all speeds.

Brilliantly built - rust and rattle free. Only a slightly ticking camshaft gave the mileage away, but even that was only noticeable for a minute or so after a cold start. The car never let me down in the year I had it.

Might still have it now if some low-life dirtbag hadn't stolen it! We found it 25 miles away with every panel kicked in, all the glass smashed, and the interior destroyed. Proof that tiny things and tiny minds are certainly linked!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2001

1986 Vauxhall Astra GTE 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance0 miles

Summary:

A must buy car for the boy racers

Faults:

Paid £150 for it without the starter motor. Leaking radiator, knackered distributor, apart from that the car is amazing.

General Comments:

The car is great to handle.

Has been lowered to about 10cm from the ground, and feels great too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2001

1986 Vauxhall Astra GTE 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.8i petrol
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10

Faults:

Clutch, clutch cable, battery, alternator, starter motor, brake calipers, brake cylinders, LCD dash started to flick on and off, cambelt, fuel pipe blocked, engine on the way out at 126,000 miles.

General Comments:

Nice car to drive but very, very unreliable. Kept up with an MR2 (old shape) at 127mph.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 1999

1986 Vauxhall Astra L Estate 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10

Faults:

Had to replace rear shocks recently, but that's just wear & tear. They were cheap and easy to do. CV joints are due.

General Comments:

This car has done over 1/4m miles and the engine still sounds as sweet as a nut! The bodywork is tatty and it won't get through another MoT without serious welding, but I can't complain with the service it's given me and it's previous owners.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 1999

1986 Vauxhall Astra L 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10

Faults:

Cylinder head cracked, exhaust rusted through, apart from that just general things needed replacing, brake pads etc.

General Comments:

Good car, it's done 129,000 miles and is still going strong, extremely cheap to run and cheap insurance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 1998

1986 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10

Faults:

Bought one year ago, although the car had a relatively good service history, so only the obvious things needed replacing - including a new cam and lifters. The things I keep having to replace the most are the plastic covers on the side of the seats and the hinge covers on the back seat, but these are very cheap from the dealers anyway.

General Comments:

I love this car, and after taking off the stickers which had peeled off and debadging, it looks really good. Insurance is cheap for a 19 year old, and it's really easy to modify and work on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 1998

1986 Vauxhall Astra L 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10

Faults:

Brought at 150,000 with no history, only the starter solenoid has failed so far.

General Comments:

Superb car, still extremely comfortable especially for long motorway driving with plenty of room for a car of it's cost. The engine is great despite signs of oil leakage, I've tested it with every tool I can get my hands on and it still rates as good as new.

Conversion to unleaded has however seriously killed the engine especially under load, but still plenty of power cause wheel spins if you forget to be careful, even on dry roads.

The dealers are OK, use a Haynes manual which is excellent so you know what you want when you take your car in, and the people behind the parts desk don't know half as much as the mechanics, although you may need to go somewhere other than Vauxhall if you want a mechanic's advice.

Like I said it's a great car, it'll still do 500m on a tank (60 litres) and as long as I'm the only one in it, it can move fast when it has to. I now have the money to change cars if I want to but I can't find anything better to buy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 1998

1986 Vauxhall Astra L 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10

Faults:

Because of the age of the car. Hardly anything but the carb has been replaced.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th October, 1997

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 9 reviews