After my sisters husband died of cancer (very sad time for her) she said to me would I like her old car as she was going to use the family one from now on, I agreed and I have never looked back, the car had been left on the drive for over a year and after giving the battery a quick boost the car started first time, a quick service later and the car was back on the road. It is very comfortable and quite quick, its a great family car with plenty of leg room in the front and back and all seats are comfortable, its great on long motorway trips and will average 110 without really breaking a sweat and doesn't use up too much fuel we recently hit the south coast from High Wycombe and only filled it up once. Great car and would recommend it 100%. The price of a fore tyre change is cheap as I was quoted on my last service £150 so less than £50 a wheel is great motoring. The cd changer is in the boot so strap it down quite securely as the cds will jump if you go over any bumps. The manual 5 speed gearbox is smooth and easy to access all gears and steering is adjustable and will drop quite low if need be. The adjustable seats are fiddly as the levers are tucked right down the side but it is bearable and there is plenty of room in the driving seat to fit me I'm 6ft 1inch. Even if I didn't get this car for free I was going to offer £2000 as it is a great car and for value for money you cannot go wrong.
Vauxhall Astra LS ECO4 1.7DTi 16v 5-door Hatchback is the 'eco' version of the model of the Astra. The Astra in question is not the latest shape car but the one before the current model. While the car is not one of the prettiest cars you are going to buy I would describe it as better looking that some of the earlier models; although the newest model is the best of the bunch so far. In terms of performance, this version of the Astra had the 1.7 DTi, in other words it is a diesel. So as with all diesels it has a noisy engine, but do not let that put you off, as you trade the noise for increased fuel efficiency, as this car can push close to 70 MPG if driven efficiently. One note that I have noticed is the engine can be slightly sluggish if left in the low rev range. In terms of the interior of the car, it is the bog stands that one has come to expect of a car in terms of the furnishings. While the seats are not the most comfiest that I have sat in while being in a car, you cannot describe them as uncomfortable. On the steering wheels is all the buttons one as now come to expect from a modern car. A really good point about the car is that it has a large boot, to be able to fit almost anything in it, even with the seats folded down I have been able to fit a small settee in the back to transport. Overall the car very decent and one that I would recommend to anybody that is looking for a cheap and efficient car, that is not to flash but is more of a working horse, in that you know it will get the job done.
A few years back I stumbled upon the Vauxhall Astra ECO 1.7 Dti model. it was sparkly and black, so what could I do, but buy it! I love the shape of this car, and the cabin design is pretty nice too. I am going to steal a little section from my general review on cars later on. The first year the car was fantastic, well, after screwing the engine back in to place - one of the screws sheared off and the others were loose so there was a funny noise and a bit of vibration - one day i had the sense to stop the car and havea look - lucky as i think this is when the screw had just fallen to pieces. This was of course not covered under the warranty. My dad came to rescue with a couple of car jacks and a new screw. With the engine firmly back in place my next 30,000 miles went very smoothly. I had it serviced when I should (unlike my older cars) - my husband is a bit of a fanatic when it comes to doing things at the right time! So, a year and a bit... car running like a dream, i must say that it was a little uncomfortable on long journeys - think this is to do with the padding in the seats. Then one night, cold, in a bad area of haverhill, the car will not start again. Unbelievable. No problems at all on the way to the place... and then it doesnt even turn over. Call my husband who is a member of the AA, so he makes the hour long journey to come and rescue me. By this point I am dying for a wee. Once m,y hubby arrives I steal his car and go in search for a loo to use! sainsburys i think, must be open 24/7. No. garages... No, cant find any - I don't know haverhill very well, so just drive around for a little while. at this point I had been needing to wee for a couple of hours. Desperation makes me think I will drive down the service road next to sainsburys, nice and quiet, n-one will notice. I pull over and then decide it is much too bright here and theres no way I can go. back to the roundabout where a police car decides to follow me! Of all the times to choose! So I end up in a dark housing estate, theres a patch of ground with some trees... - perfect. No. I can't bring myself to get out of the car here, its too dark and scary, I would rather burst my bladder than get knifed whilst peeing! MMhhh. I seem to have digressed a little, turns out I wait for the AA man to tow the car away and visit a garage on the way home. Sorry, back to the Astra. So, my first break down. The car has gone to some garage way out in the sticks. We talk to them the next day, they have had a quick look, but need more time to make a diagnosis. Fine. A couple of days later... The computer that controls the fuel pump has packed up... its nearly £1000 to fix it. Well, car cost me 4000 only a year prior. We go for it on the basis that up to this point I could not fault the car. Fixed, my bank account is a little lighter, but nevermind, the car is running lovely again.. until a month or 2 later when the oil pump fails.....then a couple of months later (a week after a service and new tyres) the car started making a funny noise and it turns out that the oil pump broke. - ok, 600 pounds (mates rates) to fix - bit of a gamble as they did not know whether it would run afterwards - may have wrecked the engine. OK, well, after spending a grand a month and a half earlier I decided to risk it. It all went well and the car was running lovely for another month... until... da.. du.. duh... my husband spotted a little oil leak... back to the garage... CRACKed engine. Would you believe it! At this point we decided to sell it (to someone who knew about the crack). Overall I really loved this car. - ok, i think really i loved the shiny black shape with its cute little spoiler. But, when it was running well, it ran lovely. I would probably still get another one even though I got my pockets so burnt! Useful things to know... Cheap TAX, Great economy, Nippy despite being 75BHP.... bu buy one at your owwn peril! - I guess its like most things though, sometimes you're just a little unlucky!
The 'D' word rang bells in my head as the Boss told me that my new company car was not going to be petrol, but that noisy 'taxi' style thing they call DIESEL!!! I shuddered at the prospect of having to scale down from my existing 1.6 16v Astra LS to this new Kid on the Block - the ECO4. Now wait a minute...ECO4, anything with the letters ECO included makes you think of Green, environmentally friendly, 50 Miles per hour on the Motorway, Dean Martin on the stereo, but before I had ordered my new pipe and slippers, lo and behold the ECO4 was sitting in the forecourt beaming at me. I must admit, I'd actually driven past it thinking "no, that's not it!" but NO it was it, and pleasantly surprised I was... The car itself is nicely finished, colour- coded, and with a snazzy spoiler on the hatch, so that at first glance, onlookers believe that this is a sporty car...! Iniside the interior is quality, however the dash is as bland as ever - who are the designers at Vauxhall - the same ones who design the sets for Eastenders? That aside, the inclusion of a CD player (single CD) and air conditioning have raised the profile of the LS range. Remote central locking, twin airbags, electric front Windows, and a rev counter - YES!!! Something which was missing from my 1.6LS Turn the key, and for a diesel, it's very quiet - soundproofing is very good for this level of car. Steering very responsive, and on inspection I discover that the suspension is lowered, and the inclusion of Michelin Energy tyres raises my admiration for Vauxhall a wee bit (although I cannot forgive them for the dash!) The engine is very helpful, if you want controlled power, you've got it, although the turbo kicks in when you least expect it - especially when you take off from a junction in first gear - woooooof! I've had the car for 10 days now, and the clock is now at 1600 miles. Vauxhal l figures claim 80 mpg, although the guy at my local dealer said that it will do 90 mpg on long haul motorway journeys. I have only filled the tank three times in the last 10 days, I am blown away at the consumption, and in Scotland, on all those great motorways we have (not) this is a phenomenal performance. I have taken the car all over Scotland, on all classes of roads (some shouldn't actually be classed as roads) and it has taken some punishment already. I took the Bosses advice and kept the speed down for the first 500 miles, although it is generally agreed that Turbo Diesel engines do not need to be 'run in' - in other words, you can thrash the arse off it almost as soon as you take it out of the garage... Well done Vauxhall - I love the car, although is there any chance of you giving me an Astra Touring Car, for weekend use only, of course...?