1998 Vauxhall Astra Club 1.6 8v from UK and Ireland
ECU light comes on after hard driving. Fault cause unknown as yet.
Mayo under the oil cap..
Rear arches rusting, rest of car perfect, clear of rust.
Noisy PAS pump.
Low end grunt on the 1.6 8v is a little lacking, and therefore care is needed when overtaking on A and B roads.
The steering I find is a little devoid of proper-feedback, and therefore understeer can become a surprise, especially if it's wet and you accelerate a little too hard when cornering.
The PAS is very light (almost too light) lock to lock. It's effortless even when stationary.
Front wheel spin can be a problem, especially in the wet if you accelerate from standing too fiercely. This can leave you a little stranded if your trying a quick maneuver.
Personally I would prefer lower profile tyres than the standard 195,60,15's, and I feel the handling would be far improved on a lower profile tyre. I have decided to try lower profiles when these ones need replacing.
Road noise and engine noise is notably low, even when the engine is revved fairly hard.
The passenger ride comfort is excellent and the driving position is OK. However I find that my elbow rests on the door more often than not. (I'm not too large for the pilot seat, but I find it a bit compact on longer journeys)
The gear stick position and length is excellent, allowing for slick changes, the gear change can be a little bit "Astra notchy" on higher mileage models.
Clutch, brake, accelerator position and weight are very good. Other controls are well laid out and in the standard Vauxhall positions.
Overall the driving experience is pleasant for short trips and occasional longer journeys. I find that this model is affected by strong winds or when overtaking lorries; this can be a little bit hairy at first.
The cabin heater is "taxi driver hot", even on the lowest warm settings, and the fan blower it "wind tunnel" power when set on highest level.
Standard audio speakers are well placed and reproduce a reasonable output.
3 x 3 point rear seatbelts are a welcome addition, as are the 3 rear headrests.
The boot space is pretty good for the size of the car, enough for a weekly grocery shop for 4 people, however leave the push chair at home.
For cheap motoring it's hard to fault the Astra G models.. A great buy.
Avoid early diesels, a Vauxhall dealer warned me..
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th January, 2009