1993 Vauxhall Astra LSi 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Incredibly reliable motoring



Fuel Pump Relay.

Rusty rear arches.

And that's it.

General Comments:

I bought this car in 2002. I was chuffed, it was my first proper car, and it came in the rare Diamond Black colour.

Within a couple of weeks, the distributor had failed. I felt a forboding feeling of dread - "I've bought a bad one!" I thought.

And to prove me right, another couple of weeks, and the Fuel Pump Relay went.

A bit of research, I found out that these go at -this- age. The rear arches also went a bit rusty. I replace them, three year's later, not a single problem at all.

A workhorse, the performance isn't so great, but I'm not bothered. Everything is bolted down, it feels safe, predictable. I learnt how to drive in this car, and it's safe nature has lead to an accident free driving life.

The car currently sits in a lock-up awaiting a truly well deserved clean-up and servicing!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2005

1993 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.4i petrol (single point injection) from UK and Ireland


All round workhorse for family or trade, providing good economy and ride


The clutch cable was stretched when I bought the car, but was only GBP£8 to fix DIY though.

Seized water pump threw the cambelt off at 98,000 miles. It needed a replacement engine as two pistons were smashed by the valves.

Anti-roll bar bush needed replacing at 100,000 miles (nearside wheel).

Wishbone came apart (nut fell off!) on the nearside, CV boot joint end, at 103,000 miles. This was fixed at the roadside, just about, to get me home.

The strut on that same side also went before I sold the car for spares or repairs. It banged heavily when driving over uneven roads, but soldiered on.

Typically for an Astra, the bulbs on the heater controls (all of them) had gone and are a pain to get to sometimes. I just left them.

General Comments:

Despite the above seemingly unending faults, this car really did provide excellent value for money, and economy.

It covered over 10,000 miles inside three months - over country lanes, off road (!), motorway and around town. It never let me down on the road bar once, and was soon fixed again for the cost of one 19mm nut.

Very good workhorse, with a generally reliable, start-first-time engine which covers motorway miles easily at speed and still returns well over 110 miles for every GBP£10 of petrol (about 12 litres).

It does, however, struggle uphill to the extreme. I had to drop into 2nd gear for simple uphill stretches of motorway sometimes! Maybe the single-point injection needed re-jetting?

Has very decent cabin space and intuitive layout. Even the three door hatch model has decent room for four adults and a child, with a roomy boot capable of holding a large dog.

Didn't seem to have any problems with rusting, except small patches around the wheel arches where there were vandalism scratches. Even these took ages for rust to set in.

Handled very well and provided ample pickup from the lights - albeit noisily.

All around a decent reliable workhorse, but must be kept serviced to remain in roadworthy condition.

Keep an eye on those wishbones, struts and anti-roll bar bushes!

I would definitely own another one of these - for the outlay of a second hand Astra (about GBP£400) you get a very hardy, economical, almost bullet proof family runaround and/or workhorse.

If and when things do go wrong, they're inevitably cheap and simple to fix. You can't ask more than that for a 12 year old car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2005

1993 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Cheap, cheerful and reliable workhorse


Front shock absorbers needed replaced at 80,000.

Collector on exhaust at 80,000.

Clutch cable snapped at 90,000 miles.

Catalytic converter failed at 90,000 miles.

Rear windscreen wiper motor at 95,000 miles.

Bulbs behind heater/ventilation switches have never worked.

Rear brakes required overhauling. (new piped and slave cylinders)

Front window winder is stiff.

Drivers outer door handle has lost it's springiness, but still operates perfectly.

General Comments:

Despite the above faults, all of these were cured quickly and cheaply. The car has been unfaillingly reliable and extremely cheap to run.

This caw will not set the world on fire with its performance; it will however sit on the M6 all day at 85 - 90mph and still return nearly 50mpg.

These basic Astras are tough old workhorses. They don't appear to rust badly, have good carrying capacity and is a good all-rounder.

My one gripe - and I have heard this from other Astra owners - is the ventilation system. The fan does not seem to have much power and the windows mist up easily on cold wet days (especially if you have passengers).

This has been the cheapest vehicle to run that I have ever owned. I expect it to sail through the next MOT and I will grudgingly have to sell it later this year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2005