1990 Vauxhall Astra Reviews - Page 9 of 10

1990 Vauxhall Astra SRi 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
Engine and transmission 1.8i petrol
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10

Faults:

Fuel hose split at pump body, then at rear of engine bay, two separate times.

A later fault, car would start, run while on cold idle program, then stall after five minutes, usually when you're turning right at traffic lights. After turning the engine over for 30 seconds while praying/swearing under breath it would restart and run normally for the rest of any journey. Turned out to be fuel pump relay.

Assortment of bulbs failed.

Stolen recovered once, broken into another time. Replaced the steering wheel, locks etc.

Spark plug lead came loose from the plastic retainer and chafed on the radiator fan blades. Replaced the leads with silicone 'hot leads' and made sure they were secured with cable ties.

Usual wear and tear parts, new exhaust at 85,000 miles, air filters, oil filters, gearbox oil changed, tyres wear on corners on front, even though no PAS on the car.

Used 10w40 oil and slick 50, flushed the radiator and it runs cool as you like, no overheats, ever. Slick 50 gearbox additive helped too, feels smoother for it.

Changed the cambelt and alt belt.

Standard parts are cheap for Vauxhalls, widely available, and there is still a lot of performance stuff available for these cars if you want exhausts, air filters, discs, ECU chips and the like.

Bags of crashed ones at scrap dealers too for the odd mirror, panel or light cover for pennies.

General Comments:

Thieves know this car is easy to steal, locks are a joke, so get a stoplock, and get a PRO model, all the others are easily removed (see What Car tests on security). Fit an immobiliser, it will be worth it.

It goes well enough, 115 bhp 8v SOHC engine used to power the GTE 1.8, this version, the 1.8SE has breakerless electronic ignition, it just needs oil changes every 6,000 miles and it should last and last. 0-60 nothing special, 9 and a bit seconds I think, handling is reasonable, no surprises, gentle understeer on the limit. Easily bettered by the French hot hatches though. Cheap to buy, cheap to own, but watch the rust on those rear wheel arches and door bottoms where moisture ingress gathers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 1999

1990 Vauxhall Astra GTE 2.0i 8v petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
Engine and transmission 2.0i 8v petrol
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong accept for a leaking radiator!

General Comments:

Very reliable. Never let me down once. The performance was very acceptable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 1999

1990 Vauxhall Astra L 1.4 'ecotec' petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
Engine and transmission 1.4 'ecotec' petrol
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10

Faults:

Rear wheel bearing and carb (auto-choke system) are the main things. It really objects to being started on a wet morning.

Plus the usual bulbs/tyres etc. Otherwise the car has been reliable although I don't expect the engine or bodywork to last much longer in good condition.

General Comments:

I like this car a lot. It is comfortable and has worn well despite 90K miles. Dash is getting squeakier every day but this is only to be expected.

Performance is not great - acceleration from start as well as mid-range is poor although the car is happy at 75-80mph on the motorway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 1999

1990 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.4 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
Engine and transmission 1.4 petrol
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10

Faults:

Rear wheel bearing snapped.

Axle needed replacing (see above).

Front wheel bearing replaced (which required heat to remove).

Bulbs need replacing regularly.

Whole exhaust system replaced.

All electrics needed rewiring (due to previous owner).

Brakes needed replacing.

Rear driver wheel locks and skids.

General Comments:

Exhaust rattles when car idles.

No sooner has one thing been sorted than another thing goes! But with over 109,000 it can only be expected.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 1999

1990 Vauxhall Astra GTE 16v Special 2.0i 16v (157bhp) from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
Engine and transmission 2.0i 16v (157bhp)
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10

Faults:

Nearside central locking solenoid required replacement at 80k.

Replaced radiator hose clamp.

Nothing tricky.

General Comments:

Exceptional performance. Nice to drive, but tricky to handle initially (because of the power). Fastest production front-wheel drive car is worth owning despite the insurance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 1998

1990 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.4 carb petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
Engine and transmission 1.4 carb petrol
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10

Faults:

Front shocks, vacuum advance unit, ignition module (replacement has failed too), brake discs, pads, shoes, loads of brake light bulbs, rear wiper moves very slowly, cam getting very noisy, exhaust back box

General Comments:

Considering the car has covered 104,000 miles, many of the parts I have replaced have just been worn rather than broken.

Reliability is excellent - only broke down once in 22K miles, when the vacuum advance failed. Also considering the car gets thrashed up and down from York to Bristol every fortnight, it's an excellent car; I will be genuinely sad to get rid of it when I get my new company car in October.

Here's to another 100,000 miles !

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 1998

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 41 reviews