1995 Vauxhall Astra Sport 1.6i 16v from UK and Ireland
A good value hatch
Indicator stalk unit failed leading to random problems with full beam engaging and startling other drivers (including the odd police car). This eventually lead to no lights working at all, problem was fixed by replacing the unit, which was easily done.
Bearings in auxiliary drive belt pulley wore out and made a noticeable whining noise. Problem resolved cheaply by fitting new bearings to existing pulley unit and not replacing the whole unit, as Vauxhall said was needed.
Minor problem with front offside suspension so bush, sleeve and link rod replaced by dealer.
Had problems for some time with orange engine management light appearing and the car cutting out soon after, all fluid levels were correct and tried several batteries, this was slightly alarming when it cut out several times while at high speed on motorways. Contacted dealer who couldn't find the fault or fix it-ended up buying a fault code reader and fitting a heavy-duty battery that seems to have solved the problem so far. Although it does sometimes have problems in this area if the car is driven hard-at first I had suspicions that this was to do with the worn cam belt, but the problem carried on after replacement until a new battery was fitted.
Recently fifth gear could not be engaged so I cleaned the linkage below the leather shroud surrounding the gear stick and changed the gearbox oil (which apparently is not needed on modern cars). This seems to have solved the problem.
Although I have had problems with this car they are what I would expect for a car now approaching seven years old. In every other aspect the car is in very good shape for its age with no damage whatsoever to the upholstery or paintwork.
The performance is good albeit a bit sluggish and sometimes lacking below third gear however for a 1.6 I am quite impressed by its abilities and good road handling.
I did have to replace the cam belt and associated pulley, tensioner etc as this had not been changed since the car was made and had covered twice the recommended distance and was on the verge of tearing-I put this down to lack of maintenance by the previous owner.
Car produces very minor blue smoke sometimes, but this is to be expected of a car this age, but overall a good, quick hatch with nice interior with very minimal rust around rear arches.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th January, 2003