1995 Vauxhall Astra CDX 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Nice motorway car, with a relatively high specification, but dangerous handling off the motorway


ABS failure, worn piston rings, poor trim build and fit quality. Horn electrics needed replacing due too bad earth.

General Comments:

Suspension is so soft it is dangerous, as I found out to my expense, when rolled on a moderate corner. If you get an Astra mk3 CDX do NOT drive it even at all hard, or change the suspension for that of a sport or GSI model.

Although I was impressed with how solid and safe I felt whilst rolling this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th May, 2006

1995 Vauxhall Astra MERIT HI-T 1.4 Petro; from UK and Ireland


Will be one of the best I ever own


Nothing, not missed a beat.

General Comments:

Not good at getting upto speed on m/ways, but it's only a 1.4 after all.

Easy to steer and lovely and smooth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2006

3rd Feb 2006, 04:15

Hi-T stands for high torqe, I'm pretty sure, but I'm not sure how much it differs from normal 1.4.

19th Mar 2006, 06:41

The 1.4 8 valve engines came in two forms, one was an 82bhp model and the other was the hi-torque. The hi-torque had a power decrease to 60bhp, but the torque figure is increased and is quite noticeable when you drive the two different versions.

1995 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.7 LPT diesel from UK and Ireland




Not much gone wrong so far, however there is a slight oil leak from the crankshaft oil seal, but nothing too serious. I do all my own servicing and repairs so will be sorted when better weather arrives.

General Comments:

Bought the car with 7 months tax and test for £300 which was a steal as the car is rust free and drives faultlessly.

It is a low pressure turbo diesel with the General Motors unit in and it runs very quietly for a diesel and starts instantly in the morning. I find the engine more refined than the 1.7 Isuzu unit which it fitted to my main car a Vectra 1.7 TD and a lot less vibration intrudes in to the cabin of the car.

It also pulls a lot better from low engine speed which I personally like as you get much better MPG. Managed to get 272 miles from half a tank of diesel (25 litres) at motorway speeds. Very comfortable drive and feels solid.

I have no hesitation in recommending these cars at all.

Heater control illumination had gone when I got the car, but it isn't that much of a job to sort, heater vents out and rubber mat removed from the little shelf above the stereo and you've virtually exposed all the screws that hold the panel in, there's just one more under the steering column plastic shroud.

Anyway, enough of that as I'm chuffed with the car and would buy another tomorrow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2005

11th Feb 2005, 06:46

I used to sell these cars so I'm glad to see you've got one that's covered such a high mileage OK.

The 1.7 TD was always a good unit, Astravan drivers loved them, but I've got to say that the Merit spec was very, very basic, and the Astra MK3 is probably the worst driver's car of all the Astras, with very mediocre handling. A Peugeot 306 or Citroen ZX at this age is a much better car to drive, but might be reduced to its component parts at 140,000 miles!

1995 Vauxhall Astra CDX 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


Like the mechanic said to me:


This car does tend to these niggly little problems which can let it down. Personally I recommend, from my experience of owning this one, that you keep away from these and all 2.0 litre vauxhalls as you are guaranteed problems and an empty bank. The engines of these cars tends to breath very badly which causes them to need constant maintenance and cleaning.

A very common problem on these cars, and other 2 litres, is the idle air valve (IAV). This tends to get clogged and can cause a lot of problems with idling. This is because the engines breaths badly because of the way they were designed.

When I first bought the car I found that the battery light started to flicker if the engine was running at low speeds. Also it idled erratically, sometimes stalling. I took it to my local vauxhall garage and they told me that I need a new cam sensor, crank sensor, idle air valve and alternator. Then they quoted me 800 pound to fix this, which is very extortionate.

I took the car to another garage and I had a second hand alternator fitted for 50 pound which did the trick. I also had the Idle air valve replaced and a new cam sensor. The car drove beautifully for a few days and I thought that it was fixed, then it started cutting out again.

The car wouldn't idle. Every time I stopped at a traffic light the car would cut out which was quite embarrassing. I found that I had to rev the car to stop it from cutting out. Also when I drove it the EML light would come on in the dash and the car would 'kangaroo' a little when accelerating.

I went back to the vauxhall garage as I thought that they were the experts on astra's, and guess what! They told me I needed a new cam sensor, crank sensor and IAV. And they charged me an arm and a leg just to tell me this! This annoyed me as I just spent out on these parts. They also told me it would cost 495.00 pound.

I went to another garage again and they told me that they couldn't find absolutely anything wrong with my cam sensor and my crank sensor. They also told my that this problem is a very popular problem with this particular car, and vectras/cavaliers. Apparently all 2 litre vauxhalls all have these same problems and it is headache to solve this problem. Its just a design fault.

This is very annoying because this car can be such a lovely drive, but when the Engine management light comes on the car goes into 'limp mode'. This causes the car to use minimum power and use more petrol.

As for the IAV, this just needed a good clean. I had this cleaned, which is a very easy task that can be done yourself, and the car drove beautifully for a few days. Then guess what! The same problems all over again.

Basically if you buy one of these cars, or a 2.0 vectra, you are guaranteed these same problems sooner or later so take note. Nothing else will go wrong with the engine as it is built like a tank. Just these same three problems over again and again. I have heard so many people with these same problems.

Nothing else to say the rest of the car is solid I suppose.

General Comments:

This is a very quick car. It has 136bhp which makes it a lot of fun when it comes to traffic light grand prix.

This car should see off those stodgy Golf GTi's and the TDi Diesel brigade.

Looking at this car I'd say it is very attractive. You wouldn't think it could go so fast though, but it still looks gorgeous though.

Inside the dash is lovely. With a sporty black dash and usual CDX extras such as air con, twin airbags and electric everything!

The ride is fantastic too. I drove up the motorway and I didn't realise how fast I was going because the ride is so smooth.

This car could be a lovely car if it wasn't for those problems I stated. If you love these cars and know what you are doing as far as maintenance is concerned then this car is OK. But if you just want a nice car then keep your distance because this car is a devil in disguise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th December, 2004

23rd Dec 2004, 07:42

Well I own an Omega with - presumably - much the same X20XEV 2.0 16v engine (not so nippy with nearly 2 tons of Omega to push along). The IAV does seem to be one of the recurring faults, I think it's worth having the whole crankcase breather system cleaned out at the same time, this does seem to help.

1st Feb 2010, 08:07

My boyfriend has owned his Astra 2.0 16v Sport from new (1995). He gave it to me when I passed my test five years ago and I love it, I feel safe in it and am now thinking about an Astra VXR!! I love Astra's and would NEVER drive anything else! If you look after your car, it will look after you!!