1988 Vauxhall Astra GTE 16v 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


Say good bye to your license


No problems have developed since I have owned it.

Rust around the rear wheel arches and boot lid.

Digital dash changes from MPH to KPH on its own.

Front tyres go bald quicker than a bloke in his mid 40s.

General Comments:

The fastest car I have ever driven, mines got a few mods like a Superchip, Janspeed exhaust etc. Keeps up with modern performance cars, Civic Type Rs and the like.

The car has plenty of grip, but I have had some change of underwear moments in the wet.

Space is a bit tight in the back, but very comfortable in the front with adjustable steering wheel, plenty of leg and headroom and the most comfortable seats I have ever parked my behind in.

The digital dash is more than just a gimmick, it's easy to read with useful information at a glance.

I love this car its classic styling stands out from the crowd now and surprises everyone when you put your foot down, where else can you get 180BHP for £300?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th February, 2003

18th Feb 2004, 07:25

I agree with most of the comments except the handling part. My Astra 16v has spax adj suspension with pi 35mm lowering springs and front and rear strut braces. The handling is still very poor and can make your heart miss a beat. yes Astra 16v fast in a straight line, but around corners its poor at best.I'm thinking of getting a nova 16v instead because of the handling. And I have had no end of problems with tyres blowing out on me on the inside edge after about 4000 miles or so. if you are thinking about buying a Astra 16v then think carefully. fast yes, kill you no doubt.

1988 Vauxhall Astra GTE 16v 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Just £500 buys one of the fastest hot hatches ever made!


Small coolant leak from radiator.

Driveshaft outer CV joint became noisy.

A bit of rust coming through here and there.

A magnet for thieving scrotes who keep trying to nick it.

General Comments:

This car is about one thing, and one thing only. Straightline performance. You really have to drive one to appreciate just how rapid the legendary GTE 16v is, even by today's standards. Only a Civic Type R, Clio 172 or very tweaked 5 Turbo (if it can get the power down - most can't) will match this car off the lights. The likes of Peugeot GTI's, Golf GTI's and most rice rockets are simply left for dead. Admittedly the Astra's terrible steering and vicious understeer make cornering an extremely unpleasant experience, but who cares? Just save your fun for the straight bits, and be prepared to wipe the smug grin off the faces of all sorts of unsuspecting people.

The engine is not just powerful (mine is the original 87/88 model with the Cosworth casted head and 156 brake) but sweet and reliable with it. It starts first time, sounds lovely, uses hardly any oil and returns about 30 mpg however hard its driven. Must be the piffling kerbweight (this car is actually lighter than the new Clio believe it or not!) My car came with a stamped Vauxhall history and a wedge of invoices, so to be fair it has been looked after. However a 14 year old Astra with 88,000 miles is almost worthless, even with a new MOT.

This is great news when it allows you to pick up a serviceable example of one of the fastest hot hatches ever built, powered by one of the truly finest four cylinder engines ever designed, for just 500 notes. Now can you see why I don't care about the crap handling?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2002

5th Sep 2002, 13:15

Can't beat a Civic 1.8 VTI though. I've owned both.

10th Feb 2003, 17:26

The Honda Civic vti may beat the good old Astra, but for only £500 who can`t justify value for money.

The fun and the big grin you get when driving an old Vauxhall missile is unforgettable.

Doesn't annoy you so much when someone opens there car door onto yours at the local supermarket either.

Buy one,there an experience. martin chesterfield. (former Vauxhall driver)

31st Jul 2006, 14:21

Astra GTE 16v.

Speaks for itself..

I just bought my 1st one a month ago, after owning many a Cav GSI, Nova GSI, Golf GTI, 205 GTi, RS Turbo, the list really does go on.

Value for money wise, you can't go wrong. I paid £550 for my mint grey H-plate with 110,000 on the clock. 17s, clear clusters & momo steering wheel, with all original parts to go back on if that's what I desired!!!

The car devastates many an eager beaver in their new wanabe so called hot hatches.

One question though - is the box on the GTE Astra different to the one found on the Cav GSI, as my Astra doesn't seem to have 150+mph that my Cav had???

Rob, Newcastle.

21st Aug 2006, 18:55

Not enough hp to get to 150+ mph.

5th Nov 2007, 03:02

Yes, it's quicker than the 1.8 vti, but it's not quicker than the 89-91 box shape Civic ivt. The civic only edges it. I love the GTE, think they are awesome cars. I've had a civic ivt, they are also superb cars.