As my long term DPC, I cover some 25-30K miles a year in this car and find it to be more comfortable than the Focus Zetec I had previously. It has good load space for all the tools that I carry but like the Focus is seriously let down by the lack of cabin storage. Service intervals for this car are 12K but on a couple of occassions I have found the engine to be empty of oil at only 6K miles. A rumbling noise from the back started at about 35K that sounds like a wheel bearing but garage insists that it is due to replacement tyre fitting and that this is common. Apart from that and having now covered in excess of 55K I have had no serious problems and overall consider it a good, comfortable, long distance car.
I've owned this car for 12 months - and have clocked just under 10,000 miles. My previous vehicle was a BMW 3 series - a seriously hard act to follow!
Generally, I'm pleased. It drives well, the seats are comfortable and the controls are all easily accessible. It is very stylish (both inside and out), which I have to say, was not the case with most of the other estates I looked at. It is also very economical: averaging about 46 mpg - and reaching as high as 52 mpg on long motorway journeys.
There is one HUGE drawback however - which overshadows the many positives ..... it is far too noisy! OK, I may have been used to a BMW petrol engine - but it at the end of the day, I've driven much quieter deisel cars - and it comes to something when you have to turn the stereo right up to hear it above the engine! I noticed this on the initial test drive and thought that I would get used to it. Unfortunately, I haven't.
For the moment, I'm tolerating the noise because everything else about the car is very good. However, I'll certainly be looking for a quieter replacement well before the 3 year warranty is up.
This is a peach of a car it's very quick, comfortable and quiet. Everything is carried out without fuss or drama. The IDS+ and Continuous Damping Control make for a very interesting, if bizarre, feeling going round corners - the car really does feel as if it's on rails.
Space is good, though rear legroom could be better. The one and only complaint I have - and it's really minor - is that there aren't enough places to put you phone(s), MP3 player and so on in the centre console compared to many other cars.
Build quality is fantastic considering the price, and the materials are far superior and softer than the Ford Focus.
I have recently recieved a new Astra as a company car to replace a Ford Focus hatch. I was looking forward to a big car with plenty of room. I had driven the old model Astra estate last year on holiday, and ended up hating the thing, as it was so slow. The new Astra feels quicker than the old one, but I still have to wait for the turbo to kick in before I can go anywhere. Add to that the fact that you can't forget its a diesel. Boy is it loud! The Focus was quiet, but I've nicknamed the Astra "the tractor". Even driving it, I can still hear the engine rattling away, with the odd vibration noise felt in the cabin. One main thing I really hate is the stupid indicator/wiper system. Instead of the indicator stalk moving up for right, and down for the left, it returns to the middle position. I find that when changing lanes, and use the indicator, I find myself having to flick the stalk the opposite direction to cancel, as well as having to check the dash to see which side is flashing. It reminds me of the indicators on early Fiat Unos, where someone thought them a good idea to attatch them to the dash instaed of the steering column. That idea didn't last. Do I recommend the new Astra? No. Would I buy one? Definitely not. I just have to put up with this for another six months until I get another Focus. Roll on Hallowe'en!
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