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Old 29th April 2005, 23:42   #1
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Default Opel Astra

Long term review of Opel Astra

Vehicle Name : Opel Astra
Year of purchase : 1997
Color : Blue

We bought Opel Astra in 1997 as our family car. Color was chosen by myself (the dealer had only blue & maroon)

The delivery was taken from Mumbai, Shreyans motors if I remember correctly as there was no dealer in Pune at that time. Our company driver had gon to take delivery & while he kept keys at home there was no one at home so in the evening when we did pooja & all decided to go out for a ride & there was first surprise the big question ?How to put car in reverse?? as to put the car in reverse gear you need to pull a little knob on gear lever & push it all the way to left. (as this was first day no one bothered to read owners manual) so I called my uncle who had also bought Astra recently & he told me as what to do.
So we wnt out & the first thing that was noticed was its smoothness boy that car was real smooth (back then Pune roads were not that bad)
At this time my father was real worried as temprature gauge was above 90deg. C
but thats a normal working temprature! :O (my father was only using Maruti cars at that time)

Exteriors :
Now since the emergence of new cars the Astra looks a bit dated but I like the way its lines flow, look wise its a fairly simple looking sedan.
The front lamps are neat & flow with the shape of body.
The tail lamps are also good. Overall it looks good.

Astra has a gigantic boot. Never had any problem with luggage sotrage. Once I maanged to squeez in 6 mattresses.

Interiors :
Interiors are well designed with easy reach of driver as well as passanger. There is multi information display in the middle which shows time, date/radio station display and outside temprature. NICE
Also when you switch on the ignition whole instrument panel lights up with a pleasant orange light. Looks really good.
(Club model showed fuel consumpation and few other info.)

Steering is a bit on harder side but it gives you feel of road handling is not a problem. Understeer is not much of an issue.

When it comes to lights it is a bit different lights are on right side below ac vent.
& to switch on map reading light you have to pull the light knob. Confusing! Also the light comes up when you open the door & there is no way you can swtich it off. Hmmm sometimes on dates it really kills the mood.

Instrument panel is fairly basic showing speedometer, engine temprature and fuel level (it acts a bit crazy once you go below half tank mark) with other lights such as oil pressure, handbreak etc. There are lots of slots there but only few of them are active you can see diff lights when there is a direct light on it.
No RPM meter here, one thing that I miss the most

Car came with pre-loaded musci system (at that time this was also unique) music system is fairly basic but produces good quality sound. Also has an automatic antenna.

It has power windows with control of all four windows to drivers side with rear window locking switch (again very good) And also has power mirrors which let you adjust both side mirrors from inside. The quality of the switch is wonderfull. Light years ahead as compared to current accent, sonata, safari.

Has central locking with dead lock. Dead locking allows you to open doors only from drivers side door.

Getting in and out is real easy with no problem for tall ppl, older ppl. Leg room is great. Front side legroom is huge with sufficient rear legroom.

Seats are comfortable though lower back support is not great. Still overall seating is good. No problems with long runs. Both front & rear seat belts are height adjustable.

Air conditionar is very good car gets cooled immediately. Though AC makes too much noise at highest settings that should have been better.

Engine
Old Astra's came with single point fuel injection system. Engine is not the most powerful one but is surly toruey one. There is enough torque at low rpm & goes one increasing as revs go higher.
Fuel consumption is good. I get around 10km/lit in city with 95% AC
Once managed to get 16.5 km/lit during My place ? Gujrat ? Mumbai International Airport ? My place with full load and boot filled with bags.
Usually from my place to Mumabi International airport & back journey (around 350km) takes about 25lit with AC ON full time.
Worst got somewhere between 6 to 7 during drive to Nashik with pedal to the metal drive.
According to manual there is electric switch under hood which lets you specify Octane number (87 or 91) of your petrol & engine adjusts its characteristics accordingly. Never tried it though. Picture will be posted later.

Tyres:
As far as I remember it came with MRF ZigmaVT tyres which were replaced by 185/70 R14 Good Year GT770+ tubless tyres. Body roll is a bit on higher side but is alright.

About six months ago we bought Honda Accord 2003 model and I got Opel Astra. Couldn't be more happier

Problems:

Not many problems so far.
Battery died on somewhere around 70k kilometers
Front suspensions were changed around 85k+ they could have gon longer however this car was mostly used by my mother who is not good when it comes to speed brakers.
Also at last servicing (92k) changed clutch plate as clutch was getting harder. Now it is as soft as butter.
Thats about all I can remember. No major incidents till now (touchwood)

As it comes to modern cars Astra might not be good looking, might not be powerful but with cars for me its not about figures its all about how your car makes you feel
& my car makes me feel like King!


Thank you
Aditya

P.S. : I do not take it to Opel service center for a quite a while as there is a garage near my house whoes owner used to work in Devdatta motors on Karve road. He is a very relible person & won't drill a hole in your pocket. If anyone want more information please PM will give you his address and contact no.

Pictures will follow soon

Last edited by Revvmaster : 30th April 2005 at 15:11.
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Old 30th April 2005, 00:45   #2
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hey adya33
good write up man . waiting for the pictures ....


Rev

Last edited by revtech : 30th April 2005 at 00:47.
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Old 30th April 2005, 02:58   #3
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Hey adya,
Nice write-up there.One thing i wanted to ask you is that did'nt you face any chassis vibrations while idling in Ac!!!
Astra also do tend to pull a little towards the left,mainly due to the company's camber settings.There is hardly anything one can do about this.Did you face the same at any point???

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Old 30th April 2005, 06:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33
According to manual there is electric switch under hood which lets you specify Octane number (87 or 91) of your petrol & engine adjusts its characteristics accordingly. Never tried it though. Picture will be posted later.
Interesting concept. Can anybody throw some light on how this works. Something to do with knock sensors I presume. Do any other cars have this switch??
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Old 30th April 2005, 08:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Machine
Hey adya,
Nice write-up there.One thing i wanted to ask you is that did'nt you face any chassis vibrations while idling in Ac!!!
Astra also do tend to pull a little towards the left,mainly due to the company's camber settings.There is hardly anything one can do about this.Did you face the same at any point???

X
hey X-machine
I haven't faced chassie vibration yet
as for left side pull there is a little pull (sorry forgot to mention )
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Old 1st May 2005, 18:44   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33
hey X-machine
I haven't faced chassie vibration yet
as for left side pull there is a little pull (sorry forgot to mention )
Hey adya,
You're damn lucky if you have not faced chassis vibrations as yet.Nearly all the old engined Astra's have this problem.
As far as the left pull is considered,its again prevelant in all the cars.

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Old 2nd May 2005, 00:30   #7
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Default Photos of my car

Here are photos of my car

I feel proud everytime I see these two




Front View


Side View


Rear View


Speedo


Center console (can't really remember when that scratch took place)


Light switch, power window controls & mirror adjustment


Drivers view


Engine


Here is the octane switch both side


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Old 29th September 2007, 11:35   #8
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Adya, there are some good deals available on Astra here in kolkata, I'm getting a 2001 model foe about 120k, the car has done 50k on the odo, do you think it's a good buy.
I'm worried about availablity of spare parts and fule consumption, the reason I'm considering opals is because I have a carb zen and with ac on the low end tourque is not good, but apart from that the zen is a good car and gets the job done without a fuss.
Please let me know about availibity of spares and cost of spares and the week points of the Astra. will it solve my need of low end tourque with the ac on and is the performance of the ac good, and most important of all the fule consumption figures within the city as kolkata is a congested city, also if buying one converting to lpg is a good option.
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Old 29th September 2007, 11:54   #9
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Don't know about the spare prices or availability now but the 120k is too high a price according to the market prices here. I would say the max you should be paying is 90-100k, if it is a very well-maintained car.
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Old 3rd January 2008, 00:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33 View Post
"Has central locking with dead lock. Dead locking allows you to open doors only from drivers side door."
Also prevents unlocking of doors from the inside. Beautiful lockdown.

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Old 3rd January 2008, 01:19   #11
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Nice write up,adya..
My dad used to own an Astra until December 2000..We all loved it so much! Probably our best car ever. I don't think the Accent or the Verna comes close to it in terms of the refinement. Of course,we'd be comparing very different models.
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Old 21st June 2009, 20:51   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33 View Post
Old Astra's came with single point fuel injection system.
If you remember, could you please tell the year when MPFI was introduced in the Astra.

Regards,
Adheesh Parelkar
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Old 24th June 2009, 20:37   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adheesh View Post
If you remember, could you please tell the year when MPFI was introduced in the Astra.

Regards,
Adheesh Parelkar
I think it was from 1999 end as I changed my earlier astra (red) to the new Astra in Feb 2000. I still have that car, runs fine, never needed ANY repairs as yet, great pickup, clean interiors and for what it's worth (value wise) it's the best value deal in the market. I don't feel like selling it off, so I'm using it as my staff car, all of whom are having a blast in it.
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Old 24th June 2009, 21:14   #14
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nice write up adya.
even we had 2 astras. one was the 1997 model & it was a marvel. it was supremely comfortable for a 10 lakh car. then we sold it & bought another astra club in 2001. this time, we again got the same comfortable seats & cossetting ride quality along with a better engine. features like one touch window, multi information display, rear seat amrest, sunroof, bonnet vents, spoiler, alloys, leather seats, 2 tone paint... all were a luxury then (now its standard on most cars)! the interiors were truly special. even the ashtray & glovebox was illuminated. the glovebox was cooled by the AC & the ashtray had a damped release. the doors used to close with a reassuring thud. well, it was truly a german car!

till date, i have sat in numerous cars. but i have never felt the rear seat comfort of any other cars to be as good as the astra. the japs dont even come close! even merc has a bit of harsh ride compared to the opel. and the seat itself was awesome. we still have the astra club in our family. FE is low, maintainence is expensive & the car itself is not trouble free. resale value is terrible too. but we dont want to & will never sell the car. because, as i said, its special. this is something you wont say about any other jap car.
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Old 10th July 2009, 11:50   #15
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Guys..are you aware that the Astra has a digital speedometer as well ? Guess where ? This is how I discovered the marvel! There are two buttons on the Multi Information Display (MID). Press both the buttons simultaneously and keep them pressed for around 5 seconds after which you notice that the centre display (displaying radio station etc.) starts blinking and a few numbers appear and disappear in random. After all the vanishing act done by the numbers, the digital speedo gets displayed. While stationary it displays "000 KMH". I have driven the car at varying speeds and have checked the digital speedometer reading through this procedure... U may try out... Drawback is that the digital speedometer only gets displayed for around 3 seconds or so.
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