1999 Vauxhall Astra LS 1.7 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A worthy small family car

Faults:

Intermittent problem with engine management around 30k, lost power whilst accelerating. Fixed at service.

General Comments:

I had this as a company car, and put 38,000 miles on it in 2 years. Very economical engine meant I could do around 400 miles a tank, compared to 300 in petrol Astras I've driven. Downside was it was the early TD engine, not the best acceleration around, but not a bad motorway cruiser at all.

Handling is superb, can be thrown into bends and good fun to drive for what is just a small family car, and in this model not the 'sexiest' around.

This car was fitted with aircon, but only a tape deck, sadly for me CD players were fitted as standard just after mine was built. Seats are a bit hard, and didn't quite go back far enough for me, but I'm over 6ft so most people shouldn't have a problem. But be warned that if seat is far back there is seriously limited room in the back. Boot space is pretty good as well.

In short this rather dull looking company car was not bad at all, and I've driven a 1.8 Sport which was very nice. If you can't live with the looks of a Focus, but can put up with limited rear room, the Astra is a very good alternative.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th July, 2002

1999 Vauxhall Astra Sport 1.8 16v from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Hot hatch performance, family car value

Faults:

The day after I purchased the car I had to take it back to get the engine management computer reset as the car kept cutting out on me.

New brake calipers required on the back wheels as they were faulty.

All work done under Network Q warranty.

General Comments:

Well what a quick little pocket rocket this car really is. Group 7 insurance for this sort of performance is amazing value for money.

0-60 8.5 seconds top speed 127 MPH(claimed)

Solid build quality and excellent road handling all add up to make this car worth considering.

Much improved over the older style astra

Watch and laugh as cars come up behind you and see that you only have a 1.8 engine, and then put your foot down and leave them standing!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2002

1999 Vauxhall Astra Club 1.6 8v from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A solid design too often underrated just because of the badge.

Faults:

The automatic computer control failed, causing the car to lose drive. The problem was fixed under warranty, but the dealer tried to get me to drive it to them, rather then have it towed. Considering I would have had to go 7miles down a motorway, at 5mph I considered this very poor service.

General Comments:

The car is easy to drive.

It is well built with no rattles or squeeks.

Handling is very good and the steering accurate with a feel for the road missing in some other power assisted cars.

The cabin is of better quality then a Focus, which I recently test drove, but not as good as a Golf. The layout is sensible and I personally like the dark plastics as it reflects less in mirrors when driving at night.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th April, 2002

1999 Vauxhall Astra Sport 1.8 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Stand out from the Zetec crowd

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

The car is new to us, but out of test driving over 9 different variants of the Astra this one has the blend of performance, economy and looks that met out stringent requirements in replacing our beloved and faithful Polo.

To sum up the cars we test drove to reach this conclusion. First was a 1.4 5 door which was revvy and sounded sporty, but lacked top end punch. Next a succession of 1.6 16v 5 doors in LS, Club and CD trims, all were adequate and only struggled right at the bottom of the rev ranges. Whilst the tacky fake wood put us off the CD one. We were then taken by the 3 door look and tried the Sport in both 1.6 and 1.8 and the 1.8 is much quicker and accomplished, especially if you live somewhere hilly.

We also looked at the following as well before deciding on an Astra. A Corsa, a Skoda Fabia, a newer Polo 16v, Rover 200 Vi and Fiat Punto.

Insurance is stupidly cheap too!

Only a low specification marks this car (no traction control or air conditioning as standard) but there is a sunroof instead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2002