1999 Vauxhall Astra Club 1.6 8v from UK and Ireland
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A better question would be: "What hasn't gone wrong with the car?"
Problems have included: -
- Ignition barrel.
- Brake pipes corroded.
- Mayo in the oil filler cap (no sign of head gasket failure or broken rad)
- Main engine seal gone (now leaking oil)
- Leaking power steering fluid.
- Seal around the near side headlight has somehow broken, resulting in the headlight constantly displaying condensation.
- The rear wheel arches are stutting to bubble up with rust under the paint.
I don't think that I have driven anything as woeful as this.
For a car that is only 6 and a half years old, the reliability is shocking. I have owned Volvos twice the age of this with no problems at all. Not even a hint of rust!
Both the steering and handling are awful. It's more secretive than a government agency. It tells you nothing about what is happening on the road.
The clutch is vague, and you only know that it is biting because the car starts to move forward. Again, where is the feeling?
The gear-change is notchy and you really have to work the engine hard to get anything from it. Forget about putting the A/C on, you'll get nowhere if trying to build up any speed. The 1.6 8V engine is far from adequate for a car of this size and weight. It lacks BHP and torque and lacks a decent exhaust note.
I also find the driving position to be odd. Not only are the seats like sitting at the desk of your local insurance company, but you seem to sit on the car rather than in it.
The dash layout could only have been worse if it was put in the back of the car. And why does the centre console face the passenger?
Unfortunately the good thing I can say about this car is that it is ideal for people that don't actually like driving.
To add to this, you would have to be bereft of emotion to even contemplate choosing this car. It lacks soul, driver satisfaction and is about as rewarding as an in-grown toe nail.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 19th April, 2007
19th Apr 2007, 12:00
Sorry to hear about your problems, but you definitely got a lemon. This car (and any other) should not have had so many problems at this age and mileage. Either a lemon or whoever had it before you didn't look after it at all.
22nd Apr 2007, 17:19
I think you may have simply had a bad car there. I've had one now for a while with no major problems. I find that it handles well, has a nice smooth gearbox, a good, almost un-stallable clutch and although not the most powerful car I've ever driven, packs some punch when driven aggressively enough.
I love the car!!!
This said, I do get the "mayo" on the oil cap. Apparently this is a build up of condensation within the oil well. Usually caused by frequent short journeys. Not a problem though.