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Vauxhall Astra (1998 - 2004)

4
reviewed by Anonymous on 23 September 2020
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 22 February 2020
2
reviewed by Jonathan Pickard on 30 May 2018
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 29 July 2017
5
reviewed by MTD on 22 March 2015
4
reviewed by DAZZAROONEY on 12 April 2013
3
reviewed by Nashx on 1 October 2012
4
reviewed by dougiefourspeed on 25 February 2012
5

1.8 CDX 5 door hatch

reviewed by cherryred on 6 January 2012
5
Overall rating
4
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
5
Running costs
5
Cost of maintenance and repairs
5
How practical it is
4
How you rate the manufacturer
4
Overall reliability

surprisingly good car!

I bought this car at the last minute when my old C Class finally gave up the ghost. (Don't buy an early C Class, I replaced this Astra with a 190E and it's been far more reliable. But enough about old Benzes.)
I knew they were decent cars and were cheaper than a Focus. I've driven a Focus mk1 and mk2 and I don't think you'd notice the Astra being a 'worse' drive unless you were a motoring journalist. Roadholding is good, handling is good, it is possible to get the front wheels to spin if you try to pull away too quickly though.
The 1.8 engine was ok on fuel for its size, I'd get 400 miles out of £60 but that was mostly short journeys. It is quite quick. Parkers state it's 8.5 seconds 0-60 but I think that's the 125bhp post 2000 1.8, mine was 115bhp and I reckon it was a half-second to a full second slower. Not that that matters, either - that is still much quicker than other non-'sporty' cars on the road and it is cheap to insure! Definitely fun to drive.
The heater blower died - if it only works on setting 4 it might be the solenoid thingy but mine went completely. Bought a used replacement motor on eBay and swapped it out myself. I'm not particularly mechanically minded but with a decent torx screwcriver set (with one of those bendy extensions) it's quite an easy job. See the excellent online astra/vauxhall owners forums for a step-by-step guide.
Air-con never worked, it needed regassing as the compressor seemed to still work but I never got around to it. CD multichanger is in the glove compartment and takes up a lot of space, head unit has a tape player and a radio with steering wheel controls. Nice touch.
Interior on the CD, CDX etc versions is a really comfy and hardwearing velour. Seats are comfortable but a bit too soft for long journeys and I noticed the lack of lumbar support on trips from the southeast to Scotland. Electric windows all round.
Mine was metallic black, which was nice, and had disc brakes all round, which was also nice. Certainly worth shopping around to get a top-spec model like a CDX because it's a/not an SRI and less likely to have been abused and b/no more expensive at this age than a lesser-equipped model. Only downside to that is the wood-trim dash...ugh.
Gearchange was never great, never filled me with much confidence so I enquired about getting the gearbox fluid changed and was told not to bother by a mechanic friend who says he's seen them on 150k + with the same fluid. Don't quote me on that though, as I sold the car after 18 months of hassle-free driving to get something far older and less reliable....

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4
reviewed by reddevilmad on 22 September 2010
4
reviewed by mhamed on 27 June 2010

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5
submitted by Anonymous
2
submitted by Iulius
5
submitted by D. Stowe