2003 Vauxhall Astra elegance estate 1.6i16V from UK and Ireland
Overpriced iffy build quality. Better off with an LX model
Low fuel warning lamp and flasher come on too quickly.
Rubber seal around nearside rear door has fallen off.
Cassette holder in dashboard falls out.
Gearbox feels notchy (although will probably loosen with miles).
Dash moulding does not fit around speedo cowling.
I was surprised by this alleged 'top of the range' model and how Vauxhall get away with charging so much more for them.
The build quality of this vehicle is not up to Vauxhall's usual standards, it feel like a Friday afternoon job.
Various niggly faults have manifested themselves particularly with interior trim and fit and finish.
The nasty fake wood in the dash does the interior no favours at all, Vauxhall should have made more of a effort with the interiors of their vehicles in the first place.
On the positive side, the car is reasonably comfy, handles pretty well and is quiet and refined to drive, I would expect a standard CD player for the price though, even the rep favourite's LX model has this!
Fortunately the car is temporary otherwise I would have returned it to the manufacturer with the amount of faults I have found.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th September, 2003
Tell me about the build quality! I had a '93 Astra 1.4 Merit. Never let me down, cheap to run, well built. I thought this new Astra was supposed to be a leap ahead in terms of build quality etc, but now suspect that it's the usual story of the motoring journalists acting as PR for the manufacturers - a bit of self-preservation! Mine's an '02 diesel and the build quality doesn't inspire confidence.
The gearbox may be down to the engine the car was equipped with.
Less powerful units (e.g. 1.6 petrol) get what feels like a rod-shift gear change and it's pretty poor.
Others (e.g. 2.0 DTI) get what feels like a cable shift unit that is much smoother, although less sporty.
The nasty ones get the reverse gear in the top left, the others in the bottom right.
The Elegance also should have a CD player - could have been downgraded perhaps?
Build quality can be variable. I hate to say it, but is it possible the UK built cars are worse than the Belgium or German ones?
The estate is built in Germany, not the UK I believe, in my experience the UK built models are better made.