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Old 28th April 2009, 16:59   #1
btirthankar's Avatar
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Wink 1996 Opel Astra | WB02F5646 - The Cruiseship

I had been eyeing the Astra ever since it was launched. My first drive in that car, in 1996 - the experience was heavenly. Till this day, that ride-comfort and NVH has been unmatched in similar segment vehicles (other than the BMWs, Mercs and Audis that i have test-driven).

The pleasure was when you braked, the rear end of the car used to lower itself, compensating the forward thrust and heads didnot NOD.

Yes even in those days, I realised that it was underpowered.

I finally got the taste of ownership when I was allowed to use the company owned Astra (1996 model) for 3-4 months.

It gave a mileage of 6-8 kmpl. Yes this was the vehicle which taught me how to drive frugally, by light-footing the throttle. Inspite of that I decided I will buy one for myself.

The search ended and I picked up a steel Grey 1996 model. Things had to be spent on during ownership.
  • Alloys
  • Tyres
  • Timing Belt
  • Strut Mountings (They always gave way)
  • Brake pads
  • Brake shoes
  • AC Compressor repair
  • ICE
  • Front WIndshield replacement (for scratches)
  • Coolant plastic pipe near intake manifold
  • radiator and AC Fans
Though I used to get 6-8 kmpl in the city, It used to return 16kmpl on the highways. (or whenever I drove it on overdrive on extended periods). The car was designed for highway cruising.

The engine was not rev friendly. The LET was good. I changed gears @ 2000 rpm.

  • CCU-HYD Nonstop 1500 kms in Aug 2007
  • HYD-DEL-MUM-HYD 8 states 8 days, 4000 kms in Dec 2007
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...es-8-days.html (Bonnetcam® 8 States = 8 Days)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...es-8-days.html (8 States = 8 Days)
  • HYD-GOA-HYD Nonstop Jan 2008

Don't mind my 'publicising' the Drivoblogs but a lot of user experiences have been shared in the above threads regarding the Astra.

  • One during the HYD-DEL-MUM-HYD, the brake line lost fluid and I drove whole night in that condition through Seoni till Sagar.
  • Once the radiator fan failed and the car had to be driven without coolant for 10 kms.
  • I was never confident of the brakes and cornering, so never drove above 100kmph
  • Once while driving through waterlogged streets, water wetted the carpet and a polythene got fouled up in one of the driveshafts and dislocated the axle bellow.
  • I always had a tough time sourcing spares and getting the right mechanic.
  • Both the Astras I used - used to overheat during bumper to bumper traffic.
The car was finally sold in Hyderabad in April 2008 after I got the Innova. I used to take it door to door to offer it everyday during lunch time, until one guy on Minister Road fell for it.
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1996 Opel Astra | WB02F5646 - The Cruiseship-image908.jpg  

Last edited by btirthankar : 28th April 2009 at 17:13.
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Old 28th April 2009, 17:16   #2
nithinnarayanan's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Bangalore Kannur Manipal
Posts: 237
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Keep it coming buddy.
The review...
Total Kms
Average service cost.
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