It's a car with no bells or whistles, but should get you from A to B
Fuel pump (EXPENSIVE!!!); common issue on the 2.0 DTi.
Wear and tear items.
Having bought the car for £1600 (in 2009) from a dealer, it was a great price, mainly because the incompetent dealer thought it was a 1.7. It still looked very tidy, and had plenty of history with it.
The 2.0 diesel has plenty of grunt, and whilst it will never perform like a 2.0 Impreza, it's still pretty nippy, and once you hit 2.5k revs, you can feel the extra push the turbo gives. Fuel economy wasn't bad either, but deteriorated over the last 6 months of ownership.
In the time I owned the car, I only had one major mechanical issue, and that was the dreaded fuel pump failure. The local dealership wanted to charge me in the region of £2000 to replace the pump. I managed to get a refurb with fitting for closer to £800; still a large sum of money for a £1600 car.
Tracking is another frequent issue (wheel wobble at speeds), and I must have had the tracking sorted every 6 months to reduce the wheel wobble.
Over the last 6 months of ownership, I had the EML light appear frequently, but the diagnosis system is pretty useless and gets you close to the engine, which I already knew that's where the fault lay LOL. Diag codes can be very misleading and not actually indicate where the real fault lies. The EML would come on and cut back the power, but would then disappear, restoring the power; very annoying.
All in all, the Astra estate is a basic car, even the CD spec with extras, but is a great workhorse. The extra boot space for a small-ish car is great, and I have lugged a fair bit around it. Having had a Rover 75 before, it wasn't as luxurious, but did what it needed to do. Seats were firm and were OK for a couple of hours, but much more it would be a little uncomfortable.
Would I have another Vauxhall Astra... well I would, but if I was looking to buy a BRAND NEW car, I wouldn't look at Vauxhalls. The reason for this is the poor service I had always received from the local main dealer. They have no interest in you WHATSOEVER unless you are there to buy brand new. Even when you do (as friends have from them), that's it, the slightest problem is a major headache to get sorted.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 4th January, 2012