What should I look for in a used Vauxhall Astra hatchback?
This generation of Astra has proved durable, and usually sits near the top of the reliability league table. However, there are some problems to be aware of.
Axle and suspension issues and electrical faults are the most common complaints. The front suspension bushes can wear quickly, the instrument cluster can give false readings and electric windows have been known to fail.
A known clutch issue on both petrol and diesel models means it can be difficult to pull away smoothly. A dealer should be able to fix this with modified parts.
The 1.9-litre diesel appears the least reliable with engine problems and excess smoke. The water-pump system can also fail, wrecking the engine, so it needs to be checked every 50,000 miles. Where fitted, timing belts need changing every 40,000 miles to avoid the possibility of a catastrophic engine failure.