New Astra hatchback. 1.6 Year 2001 model year a jpoc road test.

This car was my ride for a round trip from Germany to France and back. That's two and a half thousand kilometres in a weekend. Hard work but a good way to get to know a car quickly.

This car is a wonderful example of the importance of considering the ease of use of a product. GM seem to have forgotten to do that in this car and as a result, it should not be on anyone's shopping list.

Inside Dark and gloomy
Performance & Economy Adequate but no more
Handling & Ride Not bad at all
Conclusion, would I buy one?

This car has a fine chassis, adequate economy an just about acceptable performance but I'd never buy one. If you gave me one for free I'd say that I' be happier with a well cared for Mk1 for Escort. Why? Two reasons. The driving position caused me more pain than any other car that I have ever driven and the ventilation is woefully short of adequate. While the car has many good points, I could easily learn to live with lower levels of grip and a bouncy ride but I'd never accept a car that cause me so much pain after a couple of hours at the wheel.

If you buy one, ask yourself first it you expect to use it for a drive to the Alps for a weeks skiing. Drive down in this torture chamber and you might miss the first couple of days on the piste while a physio puts you back together.

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