What should I look for in a used Vauxhall Astra coupe?
According to Warranty Direct, Astras have a reasonable reliability rating and a low average cost of repairs. When things do go wrong the brakes, engine and axle/suspension problems are the usual culprits.
When you come to look over any potential buy, check when the timing belt was last changed and have a look at the exhaust manifold on the 1.8-litre engine, which can crack and necessitates a new catalytic converter as part of the repair. Power steering pumps can also fail on high-mileage cars.
Other things to watch out for include damp front footwell carpets (moisture can get in via the ventilation system), while uneven tyre wear can be a sign of suspension misalignment and might indicate a bigger problem.
There have also been a couple of recalls on the Astra, concerning the brakes and steering. Check the VIN with a dealer to see if any work was necessary - and it's been carried out.