2003 Vauxhall Astra Elegance 2.0 DTI from UK and Ireland
Economical and comfortable
There have been minor problems with rattling trim. Both front windows have suffered, as has the centre console surround. These started roughly around 6,000 miles and have started to disappear again around the 15,000 mile mark.
There has been some minor condensation around the offside headlamp.
Other than that, the car has been perfect.
What is worrying is that a definite mechanical rattle is appearing (possibly timing chain) between 1000 and 1500 revs. This is worse when the car is cold.
It doesn't appear to affect the performance though - it's just getting noiser as the miles pile on.
In Elegance trim, the normally dull Astra cabin is lifted quite a bit by the fake wood trim and chrome rings around the dials.
The air-con is very efficient. The seats very comfortable - even on long journeys.
Performance is spot on, 0-60 isn't blinding and some turbo lag can be a problem at roundabouts, but in gear performance is fantastic. This engine was built for overtaking.
The gear shift is also of a high standard, getting a much smoother shifting box than smaller engined Astras.
However, the big diesel engine dulls the otherwise good Astra handling. Smaller petrols are more fun to drive in the Astra range.
Economy is fantastic. The best I've got is 65mpg, the worst 46mpg. I'm typically getting about 52mpg in mixed driving.
Worst fault is probably the huge amount of black smoke when accelerating hard - seems to be a common problem with 2.0 and 2.2 DTI engines. Vauxhall says it's normal though.
Note, the well known issue with these units burning oil quickly has not been a problem for my car. I've never needed to top it up in over 10,000 miles of driving.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th August, 2004
These cars are belt, not chain driven!
Sorry, you're wrong there, the 2.0 DTI and 2.2 DTI engines have a timing chain, the 1.7 DTI (and CDTI) use a cam belt.
Interestingly, the 2.0/2.2 DTI have one camshaft, but 16 valves! How odd!! The 1.7 DTI uses the regular 2 camshafts for it's 16 valves.
You may be thinking of the auxiliary belts?
FYI, I got this from an Opel technical bulletin, so I'm 100% sure. I also looked under the bonnet of my Astra! ;)
Very certain these 2.0DTI engines are chain driven, not belt driven.
Update: all of the rattles went around 15,000 miles - re-appeared around 16,000 (with some new louders ones) and have new dis-appeared again as 17,000 miles approaches.
Can't get my head around it. Doesn't seem much point getting the dealer to look at it as it's intermittent and they might just make it worse!!
Still, as faults go, it could be a lot worse. Everything else is just fine.
Final update, I've sold the car now.
In total I completed 18,000 miles in 11 months. Total miles was 23,000.
Main issues encountered: headlamp condensation, seatbelt starting to fail to recoil properly, rattles and squeaks from dash and side windows. Engine was smoky too, although that was supposedly normal.
Main plus points: fairly comfortable, cheap to service, economical (50mpg average) and quick through the gears.
Main negative points: velour seat trim attracted cat hair like a fur magnet and wouldn't hoover off easily. Not enough space, build quality suspect. Depreciated a lot, thanks to introduction of new Astra, not surprising, but annoying anyway.
It would be more economical to run the QE2. MINE IS BAD ON JUICE.