2003 Vauxhall Astra Active 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Dull and odd


Not much has gone wrong - which is the only reason it's been kept.

General Comments:

This car is dull and odd. Hard suspension, very hard seats, great on a sports car... but a sports car this ain't.

Strange, very long travel clutch, yet with an on off action. A weird, kinda choked off engine, which feels as if it's been limited. Gutless - don't try any B road overtaking jaunts. Cheap interior, poor rear vision, dull.

These odd cars have nothing apart from cheapness and relative reliability to recommend them. Modern diesels are quicker and more refined. Vauxhall in the '80s made unpretentious but fun cars like the Nova and Mk 1/2 Astra, but these are dire. Buy a Skoda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st July, 2012

2003 Vauxhall Astra LS 1.4 16v from UK and Ireland


Reliable family car, good looking


Nothing major has gone wrong with the car.

When I bought it, I had no cat converter, which made it sound a bit rough!.

So I bought a new cat converter, and it cost a fair bit, but in the end it needed it.

The car is good on fuel-ish! But maybe that's because I'm a delivery driver.

Another problem is the temperature gauge always is on zero, I think it needs a new thermostat, I think this is why it's not as good as it could be on fuel? Correct me if I'm wrong.

General Comments:

Overall, the car is very reliable; no any major problems.

The handling is awesome; the Lotus engineered chassis really makes a difference.

I would like a bit more power. Similar figures to the 1.8 16V, as they're really quick for a 115-125 bhp car.

Does anyone know how to get more power out of this engine?

Plenty of room in the cabin and for people in the rear, but it's sluggish with a full load!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2011

2003 Vauxhall Astra SXI 1.8L petrol from UK and Ireland


Comfy, but expensive, unhelpful after service


Power sounder/alarm fault would sound as and when it liked; very annoying at 4 in the morning.

Drivers side link rod failed twice in 3 months.

Leaking water pump.

Seemed to lose power after about 6 months of having it.

Very thirsty; best I could get at any time was 28 mpg. Thrashing it made no difference to driving it steady. Always seemed to get 28 mpg. Book says they're supposed to do 37 mpg, but never even managed 30. Fault was never found. Garage said no faults, and it was just the luck of the draw with this model.

Stereo very hard to turn on and off for some reason. Have to press quite hard on the button for it to work.

Heavy on front tyres, despite the tracking being set up several times.

General Comments:

Very comfy, excellent driving position.

Plenty of low down torque. No need to rev the guts out of it, but seemed to lose this after a while.

Big boot.

Plenty of passenger space, front and rear.

VERY expensive to maintain cambelt and waterpump. Came to £280 at a Vauxhall specialist, to diagnose alarm fault was £98. Main dealer isn't much more expensive, and it's the same story with other local Vauxhall specialists in my local area.

Even parts are expensive; £53 for a thermostat (did this myself to save some money).

Dealer and specialists seem very quick to charge you a lot of money, but quite unhelpful when I was trying to sort the fuel economy issue.

Final straw was when I was quoted £428 for a new sump after I cracked mine on a tall kerb, so I sold it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2010

2003 Vauxhall Astra LS 1.4 16v from UK and Ireland


Good small family car


Have a problem when on motorway when doing a speed of approx 65mph. I get a sudden judder from the engine that lasts seconds. I have checked the engine mounts and have no warning lights. Has anyone had this same problem?

General Comments:

Great car for my partner and our one child. Even thought engine size isn't high power, it sits comfortable on motorway.

The missus is happy with it, and we would definitely buy another.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2008