1987 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland
Excellent modest family car/workhorse
Had three new water pumps (they last about 80,000 miles). Failures weren't sudden so didn't result in a breakdown.
Also had one distributor (after about 120,000 miles). Again the failure wasn't sudden.
Also had a new petrol tank and the petrol gauge tends not to work.
Other than these things (come on, it's done 260,000!) there have only been routine things (thermostat, oil warning sender, one fan belt and one hose etc) plus repairs to the sills.
Currently the bulb in the clock isn't working...
After 19 years the driver's seat has moulded itself to my body and is very comfortable. Since I'm an odd shape I find the high headroom very important. Couldn't care less about performance, since even its modest performance is sufficient to get one caught speeding.
The engine is a doddle to maintain and it hasn't had an official service for over 15 years, since it's easy to do everything oneself.
Emissions remain well within the legal requirements, and the engine seems to carry on working, even when something is obviously not right.
Lots of room on the inside, which makes it useful for filling up with planks and other junk that needs carting around.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th January, 2009