I have owned a 1.6 LS estate automatic for over two years and am delghted with virtually all aspects of it.
I could have done with all four windows being electrically powered instead of just the front two, and would also have liked a sunroof, but apart from that have had no problems whatsoever.
I drive it fairly hard and fast over all types of roads and it returns 36mpg on average. Its load-carrying capacity is superb.
Over a six-year period I have had two of these. Where the interior of the cars may lack a little spice for some, they almost have a German (VW) feel about them - nothing too fancy, but practical and sturdy.
Road-holding is very good, and the ride is firm and comfortable, even on those long trips to Cornwall.
Club and above versions with entertainment controls on the steering wheel are a big plus, and air-con is also an advantage. Boot space is good, and is also aided by folding the rear seats down as with all hatchbacks.
I have never had any trouble engine-wise, in fact it's hard to knock this model at all.
Suffice to say it's a solid, sturdy, economical and comfortable vehicle. It must be good, because I've just purchased a 1999 1.6 Club estate as my new work car. Viva Vauxhall!
PS When are Vauxhall going to adopt the Holden Commodore from Australia? It's a beaut!!
I'm not sure what cars other reviewers have driven recently but I am rather disappointed with the new Astra Design 1.6 estate (Easytronic) I now have for three years as a company vehicle.
I find the driving dynamics rather indifferent, comfort only average and a lot of design flaws that the 'mighty' General Motors should have got right.
The 1.6 engine hardly pulls below about 3500rpm and is slow on throttle response and the steering is not particularly sharp.
Design flaws? For example, the heater controls are too low for the driver to see clearly, and with anything plugged into the accessory socket, the heater selection switch is obscured. The 'auto' dipping mirror doesn't darken enough, the small headlamps are quickly obscured by a little dirt on the steeply raked glass, and there's no fresh-air - only poor heated or cooled air flowsinto the car. There are also tiny sun visors of little use to anyone other than tall drivers, flat, hard seats and more - I could go on.
In its favour, it does have a large glove compartment. My previous three company cars were Rover 45s (one was an automatic) which eclipsed the Astra in all the above departments apart from the glove compartment!
Astravan 2000 - 2005 Model 1.7DTI with turbo based on the astra estate, Brilliant best van I ever did 90,000 miles in and it never broke down apart from the brakes once but it was great !!!
Very good work horse and reliable too, pulled up hills in 5th gear like you'd never believe and loaded up with tools to the roof nearly, cheap to run, stuck to the road like glue plenty of pulling power which seemed endless and was over 55 miles to the gallon of diesel 525 miles to be nearly exact on a full tank and that was carrying tools, drills, screws, ladders, just about everything, bring back this model Vauxhall the new model is poorly designed !!!
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