I have had Astra's before (inc. Belmonts), but nothing like this. I bought this car from an auction for £220, it had done extremely low mileage cos the owner was disabled.
The engines on my other astra's we realy strong, with one at 130,000 miles, no tapping noises, and all started first time. The one is no exception, and engine wise you couldn't tell the different between my high mileage and low mileage cars.
Its incredibly comfortable for a 13 year old car, everything works, and nothing rattles. Compared to my dads 1994 Astra, mine is more comfortable.
As for performance, its brilliant I haven't tried the top speed yet, but it does 100mph with no problem, no engine noises, and great handling at that speed. Will leave most cars standing at the lights.
The Astra GL was no Enterprise, but it came with electric windows, electrically adjustable wing mirrors (heated), adjustable height steering, power assisted steering, central locking, basic ECU diagnostics and electric aerial.
Second hand parts are very cheap, and always available. New parts from Vauxhall Dealers are more expensive, but on certain things like CAM belts, brakes, etc. Its not worth buying lower quality for the sake of a few quid.
I have no complaints about this car. However I have owned other Astra's so I can say what to look out for:
-Rust is a common problem, treat it before it gets too bad.
-It is very easy to break into so don't make it 'nick-able'. Get an immobiliser or alarm and don't leave anything on show.
-Don't be put off by an oilly engine, it is usually the rocker gasket which will set you back about £3-5 and anyone with intermediate repair knowledge can change it in 10 minutes.
-Automatic chokes do fail sometimes, you would pay about £10 from a scrap yard, or £60 new. Again intermediate repair knowledge and a Phillips head screw driver is all you need.
-DON'T take your car to a dealer for repair, you will be over charged! Go to a Vauxhall Specialist or DIY, it will about ½ the price and probably be a better job.
-Clutches do wear, however kits are about £60 and a mechanic might charge you about £50 to fit. Squeaky clutch cables are the norm - live with it.