1999 Vauxhall Astra CD 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A great all rounder that's quite quick and looks not too bad either

Faults:

Nothing significant.

When I got it the odometer said "------- " , so I pulled out the fuse for the dashboard, counted to 10 (which reset it), plugged it back in and it worked again!! This happened again about 12 months later, and the same fix cured it (previous owner was a relative, so I knew the mileage was correct).

It uses a bit of oil (about 500ml per 1000 miles), apparently quite acceptable for this model of car?

It needed one tire for its MOT as it was damaged (suspect from a pothole) - not the car's fault.

The only other slight issue with the car is that it has rusty rear arches, which have had a shoddy repair job done in the past and are now starting to show rust again; so far costs to repair this have been quite costly, probably more than the value of the car. So just going to leave it and hope it doesn't cause any MOT issues in the future.

General Comments:

It's smooth, quiet, reasonably quick when you need it to be (apparently 99bhp under the hood) and so far hasn't let me down (touch wood!!). The auto box is lovely and smooth for its age, and it has the usual sport and snow buttons.

It's got pretend walnut trim, velour seats, electric windows/heated wing mirrors, an adjustable steering wheel with volume/channel control buttons on it for the radio (which are ideal, as the volume control on the actual radio seems to have developed two settings of off or FULL VOLUME!!), driver's seat height adjuster, along with the standard air con etc, making me think that it must've been quite a high spec model back in its day.

It looks quite good outside too with metallic paint, colour coded bumpers and alloy wheels.

My cousin bought the car in August 2015 as a 'one lady owner' car (from her son) with 38,000 miles on it, a full Vauxhall service history and a year's MOT (quite remarkable for a 16 year old car). Then proceeded to drive it on an epic 4000 mile road trip around Europe without a single issue.

I then bought it from her, and the 1st thing I did was (after topping it up with oil) contact Vauxhall about the service history, who verified it saying it has been with them for services and MOTs religiously until August 2013. We assume it was then off the road for a year, before getting an independent garage service/MOT/timing belt change (stamp and mileage in book) in Aug 2015 before my cousin got it.

Overall it's been a fab car!! And with only 55,000 (nearly) on it, and a service history to verify this I hope to keep it for a long time provided the rusty arches don't cause any terminal MOT issues in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2017

1999 Vauxhall Astra Club 1.6 8v from UK and Ireland

Summary:

There are so many better cars out there, avoid!

Faults:

Rear brake shoe adjuster disintegrated, causing the brake to jam on.

Leaking rear shocks, and constantly breaking rear springs.

Thermostat water pump and timing belt kit at 60,000 miles.

Front caliper binding; swapped for a good used one.

ECU melted internally, causing the car to breakdown.

Leaking plastic fuel pipe.

General Comments:

I have had quite a few cars over the past years, but this is by far the worst I have ever had.

It is so poorly sprung and uncomfortable that I hate going anywhere in it. The heater is freezing and the temperature gauge never gets off the cold, despite a new thermostat and flush through of the cooling system. I blanked off half the radiator and that helped, but it's still freezing in the winter.

The seats are thinly padded and you can't adjust the steering wheel, so you never really get comfortable.

The suspension is too hard, and the damping too soft, so you go round corners as if you were on a pogo stick, only less fun.

The engine is something from another era. Single cam, eight valves, single point injection etc. So lacking in power that it's not worth the bother of overtaking anyone unless they are walking, or on a bicycle... maybe.

Very poor low speed running. Surging, hesitating or misfiring unless you keep the revs up.

Really nothing much going for it unless you consider the running costs. An easy 40mpg, but negated by the fact you will never be away from a garage for very long.

Would never, ever, buy another Vauxhall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th February, 2012