What should I look for in a used Vauxhall Astra sports?
On the whole, the Astra is reliable, and the good news is that the electric hood is very reliable. However, there are a few things to look out for.
Above all, make sure the timing belt has been changed according to schedule and be aware that the power steering pump can fail on high-mileage examples. The exhaust manifold on the 1.8-litre is also known to crack - an expensive job to fix as it means replacing the catalytic converter.
If air-con is fitted, make sure it blows cold as the system is known to be weak. Also check the front carpets for damp - it can get in through the ventilation system - and look for uneven tyre wear, which is a sign of possible suspension misalignment.
Finally, there have been a couple of small recalls on the Astra, but these aren't drastic and a dealer should be able to tell you if they've been carried out.