2003 Vauxhall Astra Elegance 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Large car comfort and ride for small car costs



Although we do feel we have had very poor service (delivery and car service) from the main-dealer we bought it from.

General Comments:

Excellent cabin comfort and ride for (small) size of car.

Very pleasing interior, console and switchgear.

Superb auto box and 1.6 is ample for it. I had a previous new 1.6 Auto Astra in 1998 that averaged 37 mpg. This one (2003 model) averages 40 mpg. Excellent for a nippy auto. Really good brake/interlock feature on auto box.

Wonderful engine note that makes it sound like a much bigger engine at 2500-4000 rpm (and really quite quiet at low revs too). Only minor gripe is whistle/whine from engine, most noticeable when cruising 40-60 mph.

I don't think the new Astra (current model) is as good for cabin comfort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2005

11th Jun 2006, 14:36

Just buying the Astra elegance which I can't wait to pick up.

Previous car was a Corsa 1.0 which has no guts so looking forward to a car with a bit of go in it. Thanks for the info on the car looking forward to it even more now.

2003 Vauxhall Astra Bertone Coupe 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


This is a reasonably priced, understated and practical car which can also be driven


No faults to date.

General Comments:

Whilst not the most imaginatively designed Coupe on the road. It has a nice external profile and does look that little bit different.

Interior is more Luton than Lambo, it would have been nice if Bertone could have given it a touch of Italian flair.

As with Vauxhall in general, equipment levels are a bit mean, but everything is where it should be and easy to use and the build quality is pretty decent.

Ride is not "bone crashing coupe" and 4 "real sized" people can be carried quite comfortably for long distances.

The only real criticism is that I would recommend getting rid of the Michelins at the earliest opportunity and fitting Goodyears.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th January, 2005

2003 Vauxhall Astra Elegance 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


Reliable daily transport


The only thing that has gone wrong is the radio/clock display. Half of that doesn't light up properly.

Other than that, it's been faultless and has not needed any dealer attention apart from a regular service.

General Comments:

The most important thing to me is comfort. Here the Astra excels, the seats are nice and supportive, not tiring even on longer journeys. A little bit of lumbar adjustment would be nice, but it's OK without it.

Economy is pretty good, averaging around 40mpg on daily long journeys.

The interior is quite nice compared to another Astra in the family. Here, the dash has tasteful fake wood trim which really smartens the look. The regular SRi with black trim looks so dull in comparison.

The gearshift is a bit poor, slotting into place with a sharp and unpleasant clonk. The gap between each ratio makes it tricky to drive the car smoothly too.

Performance is adequete most of the time, and the engine has a nice raspy growl. However, when the air-con is switched on, acceleration is noticably hampered. So much so that it's better to suffer the heat instead.

The effect could best be described as a kind of "butterflying", with the pull as you press the pedal down feeling like it is varying in time with the air-con compressor. I've tried the air-con in a more torquey Astra (the 2.0 diesel) and that effect was absent there.

Other than that, the car can bring a smile to your face, the steering is sharp and turn-in accurate. For such a dull looking motor from the outside, it can be remarkably good fun to throw about. The purposeful engine note makes you feel you might be in something more exotic too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2004

10th Sep 2004, 04:07

Try running on optimax, you won't notice the aircon lag so much.

10th Sep 2004, 08:02

Good idea. It seems a bit daft to have to run a regular car like the Astra on Optimax to get decent running though?

I'll try a couple of tanks and see how I get on..

10th Nov 2004, 02:17

Latest update...

We took the car back to Vauxhall after the interior lights failed. They fixed them and we asked them to investigate the poor running. It turned out to be the EGR valve.

All work done under warranty and the car is fine now.

Also, the interior bulbs behind the stereo/information panel display went. They're not covered under warranty so we had to replace these ourselves. One Haynes manual and an hour later of my time the problem was fixed with two £1.50 bulbs. The dealer wanted £60 to fix the same problem!!