Vauxhall Astra Estate (98 - 04) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

We bought the 2008 150 bhp diesel astra estate. My previous two cars were focus 2005 - Ghia & 2007 Titanium - 1.8 tdci and 2.0 tdci.The astra is the quickest to drive than both of the above. Astra is alot more fun and handles like its 'on rails'.Steering is much better than the focus. Due to owning two large dogs the boot is ample and been a caravanner too it does not struggle towing. The focus towed well but the astra does alot better and does not struggle in 1st & 2nd with the caravan as both of the focus did. Alot of people complain re; the noise of the diesel but I like it - sounds like a real diesel and not like a petrol you have to rev at the lights when setting off to make sure it hasn't stalled.After all I own a diesel - so I want it to sound like one too.Both Fords were noisey.This estate is far better for space in the boot and rear footwells than all the estates we test drove including V50's, Passat, Focus estate and Saab 9-3. Neither one was as fun to drive either. We are very pleased with our Astra.

Ann Jones, west yorkshire, July 8th 2008

CDTi 16V Design [150] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG48.9 mpg

Got a 1.6 LS 8V Estate petrol version which I've had for 6 years now with approaching 102,000 on the clock. Fabulous car, totally reliable, very practical and perfect because I've got dogs and the very expensive Guardsman dog cage fits. And, something which seems to be lacking these days, it's got a sunroof! I want another one!!

Patricia Macfarlane, Aberdeenshire, May 9th 2008

i 16V LS 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned my 05 reg Astra 1.8 petrol Estate from new and covered 45,000 miles. The car is first class in every respect. It has excellent gear ratio's and a lively engine. Towing up to maximum weight of 1300kg still gives approx 30mpg in average conditions. Towed approx 4,500 miles out of the 45,000 and have never reset the computor so the readout covers the total distance since new and shows 39.1 per gallon. Now selling and buying a Vectra, my Astra still looks as new inside and out. Apart from the two services only other cost a pair of front tyres at 31,000.

les col, suffolk, May 7th 2008

i 16V Elegance 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I had this car for just over the year. I am generally happy about the car except a couple of bits:- I have the auto version of this car and although it is rated at 140 Bhp it never feels like that much. In fact unless you constantly drive it in Sport mode it is quite a slow car. And I suspect nowhere near the 10.9 seconds 0-60 the book suggests you can achieve. The book very advises that you can achieve an average consumption of some 36mpg. This is somewhat ambitious. I am averaging around 28mpg and in town this drops even lower. Coupled to fuel now at 107.9 pence per litre this is not a very economical car. Its an auto so it eats tyres, I’ve done 17k miles and about to get a new set of tyres. Mainly caused by it increscent need to wheel spin every time you push the loud peddle ever so slightly harder than a fly. It's not all doom and gloom. I'm one of those people that on a perfectly descent day in the summer, will be causing a huge tail back on a 'A' road cause I’ve got my caravan in tow. Now this is where the 140bhp is suddenly realised. It tows brilliantly. Because its an auto box you get all the torque early on, just when you need it, and it take all the effort out of towing because the car changes its own gears and on time too. Sport mode is a must then except for motorways and the car seems to realise its pulling more weight. Even the economy isn’t that bad on tow achieving mid 20's mpg, helped by the 60mph rule on motorways.

Gareth Mayhew, April 14th 2008

i VVT Life 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Further to my review of the 27/2/07 and reading subsequent reviews, I have now done 40,000 miles from new and have not changed my opinion of the car. Perhaps the 1.6 is too small for 'Easytronic' as the performance is flat unless using the 'sport' button when it does improve but the engine loudly screams through the gears. Design wise it has a lot of shortcomings for such a modern car from such a large company. I can only think that some other reviewers must have had some pretty poor cars to rate this one so highly. My experience only reinforces my opinion of just how good my three company Rover 45's were over a nine-year period. This much-maligned make was totally under-rated and were better than the Astra in almost every department, comfort, performance, handling and detail design. OK, perhaps some of this was down to the Honda heritage which makes me think maybe I should be looking at Honda for my next car, definately not Vauxhall.

Alan Marriott, Worcs, April 12th 2008

i 16V Design [115] 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have just bought a Vauxhall Astra estate 1.8i 16V Design. I love it. I have a dog so I needed the boot space, but I don't think I have compromised at all! It's a stylish, clever car and I am so pleased with it! It has rain-sensing wipers, auto lights, front and rear electric windows etc. Tax is high on it - Β£210 - but it's a 1.8, I guess. It's a really smart car. I am 22 so didn't want an estate which is stereotypically an estate, but I think it's so smart!

CHRIS CLEMENTS, DEVON, April 3rd 2008

i 16V Design 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I am in love. this car is the best ive owned so far. Ive had 10 in the last ten years, including the new megane and punto but this is simply excellent. The punch from the engine is excellent for a car of the size-the auto box seems to push it on instead of holding it back. i am disabled and it handles my wheelchair no problem and i find it comfortable to drive on long runs. I wanted a car with more punch, a premium feel (anythings better than the megane!) and something that cuts a dash in car park. Ok the astra is a common sight but i still et comments on its looks (design trim in met black) so even as a familar sight it still merits a comment! Highly recommended. so good my wife who hates big cars has sold her "precious" (in her words) 2yr old polo for one. certainly praise indeed!

ryan clee, February 4th 2008

i VVT Design 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The car is an 06-plate model and has done 45,000 miles without a hitch. I disagree with the other review that the engine is noisy - I find it's OK, and has one hell of a kick when the injection kicks in. I have had a 2004 BMW 318 SE and the build quality comfort and running costs haven't got a patch on an Astra estate - I know, unbelievable, isn't it?

lee forshaw, lancs, November 2nd 2007

CDTi 16V Club [90] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have just spent two-and-a-half years and 50,000 miles in this car. It's a very well built, practical and comfortable car. I love the Design trim - half leather, black wood interior and darkened glass - it gives the car a classy feel that the Club model lacks. The auto wipers are the only irritation - they never seemed to do what I wanted. I had optional cruise control and the DAB 6-disc audio - it is expensive but is a fantastic system. The handling and ride were good, although the steering was not that sharp on the factory fit Continental tyres, but I replaced them with Michelins and improved things. I had no reliabilty issues and my dealer Murketts of St.Ives Cambs is superb. However, the driver's seat in the estate sits higher than the hatch and does not go low enough for my liking, but it is not something that irritates once you are familiar with it. What did irritate was the diesel engine. I have never liked diesels but for tax reasons I had to have one. The 1.7 CDTi 100 is rough, noisy and struggles to pull the weight of the car along. It feels like an old-school diesel. Fuel economy was also an issue, barely better than my previous 1.6 16v petrol Astra. I do not miss that engine a bit. My advice: the Astra is a great car, as good as anything in its class. Go for the Design trim and go for the 1.9 CDTi 120 diesel (I wish I had). I am curently trying a Saab 9-3 diesel (same 1.9 CDTi 120 engine) and it is not as good to drive as the Astra.

Steve Ashton , Cambs , October 9th 2007

CDTi 16V Design [100] 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have a 2001 car which has now done nearly 140000 miles. It has never let me down and starts first time every time. It feels much more solidly built than my wifes Peugeot 206SW. It is fun to drive as the suspension is quite stiff and it handles well. The standard factory fitted radio/cd is excellent. On the down side, I find the drivers seat very uncomfortable and I just don't seem to be able to adjust it to a comfortable position. As passengers, my wife and daughter also find the ride grossly uncomfortable mainly because of the stiff suspension which means they get thrown about over bumpy roads, to the extent that they sometimes feel car sick. I also have problems with the alarm system which goes off without any provocation particularly in warm sunny weather. The aircon has also decided to pack up. It is, however, an extremely practical car and I will be loathe to change from an estate to a hatchback. My next car, however, must be more comfortable and have a much better ride.

David Palmer, Hampshire, August 31st 2007

i 16V LS 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The Astra estate, like all MkII Astras, is a very unassuming car, and to be honest needs alloys to give it some zeal. The interior is functional and tough, the exterior solid and, I promise you, it's as well built as a VW. Where the 1.7D really satisfies is its engine and chassis, to the point where it can embarrass any car that underestimates its power band, torque and motorway-chomping abilities. Service costs are lower than the average Japanese and German car, and Β£3500 gets you a clean, low-mileage example with full service history. I'm very happy - it's a great car. 8/10.

Evan Smith, middx, August 20th 2007

TD LS 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

Ian Simpson, Fife, July 28th 2007

i 16V LS 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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!!

Dave Robinson, Shropshire, July 21st 2007

i Club 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have a 1.6 Design estate with 'Easytronic' transmission as a company car. As it is a company car, I believe that I can be more objective in my evaluation as I do not have to justify the choice in terms of spending my own money. First thing I must say is that I would rename the transmission 'Jerkatronic' as it is almost impossible to drive smoothly. It has been back to the dealer twice in the first six months from new and they can find nothing wrong. Secondly I would criticise the drive for remaining in a high gear too long until the engine is starting to labour, and also remaining in low gears until you begin to think it has stuck there. I am a fan of autos, but not this one. The engine lacks any sort of torque until it is doing well above 3000rpm to the point that it is embarrassing on hills, even when doing gearchanging manually. Many design flaws are apparent - poor uncomfortable seats, poor visibility with blind spots front and rear, poor ventilation in the car, bad misting up of windscreen, poor layout of controls as if they were designed for the passenger to use instead of the driver! I could go on. Interior and boot space are disappointing considering the external dimensions. Any plus points? The build quality is quite good and it has a large glove compartment. I would have thought that General Motors could have done better with all their resources and experience.

Alan Marriott, Worcs, February 24th 2007

i 16V Design 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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!

Alan Marriott, Worcs, February 17th 2007

i LS 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

William Mason, Wilts, January 24th 2007

CDTi 16V Club [100] 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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 !!!

MARK PHIN, CORNWALL, November 28th 2006

TD LS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

Mark Jones, July 30th 2006

CDTi 16V Design [100] 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

Jo Oliphant, November 29th 2005

CDTi 16V SRi [150] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is an excellent car on the road is very responsive. The LPG conversion makes driving much cheaper. It's very basic inside could do with a better layout.

Andrew Browne, June 30th 2005

i LS 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg