1996 Vauxhall Astra CDX Estate 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


Running costs are high due to constant repairs, but when running, a good work horse


Have had continual problems with this car. In particular I have had 3 new EGR valves. The first EGR valve I had replaced lasted only a few weeks then it was replaced again free of charge. Now 15 months later it needs yet another EGR valve at a cost of £327 fitted.

I am totally dismayed by the reliability, it is a shame because the card is well designed inside and has lots of boot space.

General Comments:

The car is comfortable to drive.

Loads of boot space and nice and wide.

The mechanical build quality is poor and unreliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st October, 2002

1996 Vauxhall Astra 2.0 Sport 2.0 litre from UK and Ireland


Great! (until you get to corners)


Broken exhaust, failed at quite a margin over the national speed limit! Oops.

Small electrical faults, tail light bulbs always blow after a service, dashboard lights loose connection.

General Comments:

Absolutely lousy to drive with people in the back. Mudguards rub on ground when cornering.

Very scary to drive fast. Feedback from steering is poor compared to other "hot hatches" like the Saxo etc.

Seats and driving position good.

Vauxhall now recommend changing the cambelt every 40000 miles, at a dealer, this costs well over £200. Arrrgh!

Good power from the engine, gear ratios are generous, presumably to allow it to do 60mph in second comfortably.

Good to drive down fast A-roads. Power makes dual carriageways, and motorways easy.

2litre engine and fat tires give quite a bit of noise at 90mph. Annoying.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2002

10th Sep 2002, 15:00

Use a mobile mechanic or independent for the belt change. It will cost you about half that! If it's the ECOTEC engine, the problem is not the belt, but the tensioner which breaks up and causes the belt to jump or fall off altogether! This should be replaced at the same time as the belt.

Good luck!!


27th Sep 2006, 10:03

When changing the cam belt on these engines always replace the tensioner and rollers, both of which can fail - resulting in catastrophic engine failure.

In addition, replace the water pump before 60000 miles (Vauxhall's unofficial recommendation) as this is also prone to failure and can also cause catastrophic engine failure. The water pump is run off the cam belt and I would recommend that this is replaced along with the cam belt, rollers and tensioner.


28th Sep 2006, 03:00

And the above (good) advice can apply to pretty much any modern engine, and it's not too expensive either.

1996 Vauxhall Astra Sport 1.6i 16v from UK and Ireland


A quick stylish alternative to the modern hatchback


Middle part of exhaust needed replacing.

Possible tracking alterations.

General Comments:

For a car with only a 1.6 engine it certainly will move.

The interior looks the part, sports bucket seats, with well maintained upholstery.

Having 100bhp and reaching 0-62mph in around 10.5 seconds not very quick, but sound acceleration through the gears.

As well as the well rounded performance it offers around 36-38mpg in town and motorway driving a reasonable figure.

I will be hoping to move on to the quicker Astra Gsi 2.0 16v as I've been so impressed by the car I have.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2002

1996 Vauxhall Astra Bertone Convertible 1.6i from UK and Ireland


Eye catching, but probably needs a bit more poke


New Back box - Absolute nightmare to get hold of, apparently Vauxhall do not keep stock of Bertone back-boxes took approx 2 weeks to arrive!

General Comments:

Incredible how many looks you get in this car, it looks the absolute business with either the hood up or down. v. practical with good boot room, and is far from thirsty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2002

19th Nov 2002, 05:31

Yes, the car does get looks. I'm very happy with mine. I bought the 2.0i version of the same car. Comes with a great level of spec.

Mine however has been modified quite a bit. I have shoehorned a 2.5 V6 engine from a Cavalier into the engine bay. Along with some tasty wheels and a GM bodykit. Has been feature in 'Total Vauxhall' magazine. It's great to hear all 6 cylinders singing away with the roof down! Plus, it now goes like a bat out of hell!