What should I look for in a used Vauxhall Astra hatchback?
The most important thing to check is that the cambelt change (due every 40,000 miles) has been carried out. Failures can lead to big bills.
Otherwise, the Astra is a tough little car, and figures from Warranty Direct put the Astra in the top 20 most reliable cars in our 2005 Reliability Survey. Electrical items are the biggest area of complaint, responsible for almost one in three of all claims.
The 2005 JD Power survey also echoed these findings, giving the Astra good marks for build quality and mechanical reliability. However, just as the Astra scored lower than its arch rival, the Ford Focus, so Vauxhall as a company finished behind Ford.
Although there has been one service bulletin over possible brake fluid contamination, there has been just one recall on the Astra. It affected only three-door models built in 1998, and required a part to be replaced on the front seats so that they did not become insecure.