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Vauxhall Astra - M reg

Discussion in 'Motors' started by robjf, 30 Jan 2006.

  1. robjf

    Mobster

    Joined: 31 Oct 2003

    Posts: 4,557

    Location: Derby, UK

    I should be going to look at an M reg astra in the next few days (M reg) and wondered what you guys think me and my dad should keep our eye out for when we do. It has very recently meet mot'd and has about 10 months tax, and is going for £800.

    Please advise :)

    Rob
     
  2. robjf

    Mobster

    Joined: 31 Oct 2003

    Posts: 4,557

    Location: Derby, UK

    Any ideas?
     
  3. energy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,293

    Location: Chingford

    I think you'll find the Astra isn't a very nice car. I learned the hard way :(

    The suspension is neither comfortable nor gives decent handling, the mirrors are pretty much useless as they cover a very small area, the steering wheel isn't adjustable so depending on your body shape you may or may not find a decent driving position, and do avoid the 1.4 8v engine (C14NZ) like the plague - it is ridiculously underpowered. Oh, and the brakes do not inspire any confidence whatsoever. They start from insurance group 6 upwards so are usually not particularly cheap to insure.

    On the upside, parts are cheap and easy enough to find, the heater is absolutely amazing, and the quality of the standard stereo and the interior is surprisingly good but generally I would not recommend one.

    I was relieved when a sleeping truck driver wrote mine off from behind last year, says quite a lot I think!
     
  4. robjf

    Mobster

    Joined: 31 Oct 2003

    Posts: 4,557

    Location: Derby, UK

    Well thing is, ive got an absolute maximum of £1000 to spend, and last time i asked on here, didnt return much in my area. Any suggestions and id be very greatful, postcode is GL50 4PY ;)

    Rob
     
  5. moss

    Soldato

    Joined: 1 Nov 2002

    Posts: 6,487

    Location: South Shields

    Just looking within 40 miles of your postcode shows a fair few 95-99 mondeos for around £1000, far better car than the astra.

    (cant believe I was first to suggest that)
     
  6. SB118

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,581

    Location: "Sunny" Plymouth

    He's probably asleep, he'll be here soon now you've posted the "m" word ;)
     
  7. robjf

    Mobster

    Joined: 31 Oct 2003

    Posts: 4,557

    Location: Derby, UK

    Yes but insurance for a 17 year old ;) 1.4 cars (on average) are the max i can afford the insurance for.
     
  8. agw_01

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Apr 2004

    Posts: 19,690

    Can I suggest a Rover? ;)

    You can pick up a nice 214SEi or 216GSi (old shapes - like mine) for well under a grand. If you look hard enough, you'll probably be able to pick one up for a couple of hundred.

    They come with some nice equipment as standard... my £500 214 has electric windows, electric sunroof, power steering, alloys, nice half leather interior... much much better spec than the Astra's and Escort's of the same period :)
     
  9. moss

    Soldato

    Joined: 1 Nov 2002

    Posts: 6,487

    Location: South Shields

    I'd be surprised if there was much difference between a 1.4 Astra and a larger engined Mondeo.
     
  10. chopchop

    Banned

    Joined: 14 Jun 2004

    Posts: 6,118

    there is, tis about 2 or 3 ins groups higher.
    if he gets the MPI engine they arent so bad. mostly in the LS model.
     
  11. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,405

    Location: Bristol, UK

    I am with AGW on this one and am going to suggest a Rover.

    http://atsearch.autotrader.co.uk/WW...category=CARS&channel=CARS&id=200604222483893

    Doesn't sound too bad.

    My first car was a 2.0 Mondeo Ghia X - My 18th brithday present was 1/2 of my insurance costs for the year paid by the parents. If I hadn't of got this then I wouldnt of got a Mondeo as insurance was £186 per month. So unless you have loads of spare cash then actually I wouldn't recommend one. Definately get a quote though just incase as they are great value for money.
     
  12. EddScott

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,256

    Location: Pembrokeshire

    Can't comment on the other car suggestions as I've never had the pleasure.

    However, if your young any car that has letters after it GSI, GTI, EFI etc is going to increase the insurance premium.

    I have a 97 (R) astra and although I hate driving it, I have to admit that it is very reliable. My GF has treated it with utter contempt for the last 3 years (bit annoying as I paid 3K for it) and it seems OK. The interior is pretty horrible but seems hard wearing. Ours suffers dreadfully with misting and I think its quite common on them.

    Ours is a 1.6 carb and its OK with fuel but not brilliant. As for performance, you don't really buy these sort of cars for their performance so I really wouldn't worry about that. Handling again, is something that really only happens in other cars so don't expect much. I've likened it to riding a big blomange (sp) and the cheap budget tyres we have on ours can break traction if someone spits on road.

    And an M reg for 800 should really only have mileage in 4 figures. A mate just bought a turbo diesel M reg for £500. Ours is R reg, reasonable condition and if I spend a weekend on it it should look pretty good. I'm trying my luck at £1000 in the hope of getting £800.

    Other than that it will be a fine addition to any household!
     
  13. Jez

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 32,376

    That astra sounds very expensive? £800 is about what i'd want to be paying for an M-reg golf with sub 100k miles, not an astra.
     
  14. chopchop

    Banned

    Joined: 14 Jun 2004

    Posts: 6,118

    well he hasnt said what the milage is. but it should be quite low for £800...
     
  15. Rotty

    Don

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 40,512

    Location: Notts

    It needs to be in exceptional condition to justify £800
     
  16. energy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,293

    Location: Chingford

    You see, I was going to suggest a Mondeo - after having the Astra written off I bought one and thats what I drive. Everything about it is better with the exception of:

    - lack of air recirculation function on the heater
    - quality of some of the interior fittings is low and flimsy

    Other than that, even on a 280k mile old ex taxi, handling, brakes, comfort, space all better. Its been perfectly reliable over the last 11k miles I've had it (as was the Astra, to be fair) and believe it or not, my motorway commute to work returned more or less the same fuel economy (its a 1.8).

    Sure, I had to pay a difference for the insurance (grp9 vs grp6) but if you're going for one of the higher power astras (the 1.4 SPI is dog slow as I mentioned, to the extent that it becomes tedious) you will be looking at a similar insurance group as a Mondeo.

    Just do some quotes, and see what they return. You might want to try Norwich union as they seem very cheap for young drivers. Mondeos can be picked up for 2-300 pounds on auction sites and autotrader.
     
  17. scoobyrichuk

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,616

    Location: Malvern, Worcestershire

    £800 is a hell of a lot for a mk3 Astra. As has been said they're not great cars - they don't handle well, have depressing interiors and are a pretty boring drive (no worse than an Escort though from my experience) but they are very very reliable if you look after them. Look for a 1.4 16v, much better engine than the 8v (puts out around 90 hp and is approx 10s to 60) if you can, the 1.4 8v engine is rubbish (well in SPI form anyway.) I've found that Cav's are much better cars in every way (better build quality, better handling, better ride, more toys etc) and are also very reliable/cheap to maintain. You should be able to get a mint 1.6 cav for under £500 and they are cheap to insure...
     
  18. Dogbreath

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 16,651

    Location: Devon

    The main thing Mk3 (and Mk2) Astras suffer from is extreme rot in the rear wheel arches. Check very carefully as lots of them get filled and re-sprayed, and the rust will be through in no time.

    And the single point injection 1.4 is a real slug.
     
  19. chopchop

    Banned

    Joined: 14 Jun 2004

    Posts: 6,118

    dont i know it :(

    i have to get hold of a welder and replace part of mine :rolleyes:
     
  20. Liverpool-Lad

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,519

    Location: Liverpool - UK.

    Something like a Cavalier GLS/CDX sounds like a good idea. Youd probably get a really late one with a decent spec/condition for the price.