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#1 Thursday 21st July 2016 07:36:43

From: Liverpool
Registered: Tuesday 23rd December 2014
Posts: 35

Vauxhall Astra J (2009-2016 model)

Hi All, thought I would note a few thoughts and feelings about the Vauxhall Astra J - We now use 3 of them, all different models and engines so could give a really good insight.

The 3 cars I will be looking at

1.7 CDTI
1.7 CDTI Ecoflex with Stop / Start
2.0 CDTI Ecoflex with Stop / Start

Ill start with a general overview of the car, they are great. 2 of our's come in SE spec which to me is the best all-rounder, 17" alloy wheels, half leather seats, 4x electric windows, air-con, bluetooth and some lovely interior mood lighting. The interior is a really nice place to be and the handling of the car is good although it can feel heavy especially if you're coming from a small city car.

Quality wise I always used to think Ford led Vauxhall, but the first Astra replaced a Focus and I did test-drive a new Focus and felt the Astra was on par if not better than the Focus, certainly better equipped for the money.

The 1.7cdti we have is an exclusive / executive model I forget which. This is a really random model without the alloys or half leather but it does come with Sat Nav and Bluetooth. I believe it may be aimed at people who want the functionality and not the fussy about the appearance. The seats aren't as comfortable as the half leathers but spec wise it's a close second, first if you don't wan't the alloys.

Dual controls can be awkward to find so best suggestion is to go straight to he-man for the £500 bill.

The 1.7cdti is a great engine and been around for a long time. They have just dropped it from the line for the new 1.6cdti. As you can imagine it's a pretty reliable unit. Our highest mileage so far is 118k and it runs just as good as the 70k car. It's equipped with a DPF filter and it has been terracleaned to stop the constant regens. The 1.7 has enough power for overtaking which is great and is pretty economical with around 45mpg around town and 55mpg on a run.

The 1.7cdti ecoflex is pretty much the same unit but the engine turns off when sat at lights etc. I don't feel this can be any real benefit to consumption and can be a pain with some learners, I know a few times personally the cars just turned off as I want to pull off, causing a 1-2 second delay. Nothing major but can be annoying. Thankfully it does have an on/off button.

The 2.0cdti is a bit of a hidden beauty. It has 165bhp and is a lot more responsive than the 1.7cdti, I believe 0-60 around 9 seconds. As you can imagine it's a really nice strong engine with a smooth power delivery, sometimes you do feel as if there is a power surge, possibly the best way to describe it, once you finish accelerating it can take the car 1-2 seconds to realise you aren't pushing the go pedal anymore, this is normally under good acceleration anyway and never had any complaints from pupils. around town you're looking at 45-50mpg whilst on motorway expect an easy 65mpg (I had this on a trip to london and back, around 750miles to a tank I got)

All 3 variants are fitted with the 6 speed gearbox which is great.

The car's come with an oil life indicator which is great, when serviced the oil life is reset to 100%, every 250 miles you do the counter loses 1%, but if you accelerate quickly or drive in certain ways, the counter will lower quicker, really good to make sure you keep on top of the car's servicing, at 20% it will ping up as an error/notification when you start the car, I'm a firm believer in looking after the cars so after a week or so the instructor's are screaming at me to get it serviced rather than the other way-around.

Common problems.
Every car has them, for me the sun-visors are flimsy, our 2.0cdti both sun-visor mirror covers have snapped off, they share the same part as the insignia so prices vary from £20 secondhand to £100 each, Expect to pay £40 delivered for a good quality second hand set.

Brakes, Oh my god for the love of hearing make sure you get the brakes cleaned with each service. They love to squeal, alot. I first noticed it around 18k, it's a common problem and is to do with the sliders and grease, Forums recommend synthetic grease and not copper grease, treat it as part of your yearly service and it won't bother you.

Gearbox's. Some models can have problems with the gearbox, touch wood we have been fine, I believe it affects the 2.0cdti more because of the extra power

Fuel tank bangs. A few people have reported issues with bangs from the fuel tank - I have experienced this in the 2.0cdti. An issue with the baffles in the fuel tank means when the tank is nearly full the fuel will bang around when you stop, nothing major and not an issue if you normally half fill anyway.

Glow plugs - on the ecoflex engine the glowplugs have built in sensors, which make them a tad more expensive than the standard plugs. Vauxhall charge £450 to replace all 4 glowplugs on the 2.0cdti but you can find the genuine plugs online for around £65 delivered (each). I believe the 1.7 ecoflex has 1 sensor and 3 normal plugs whilst the 2.0 ecoflex has 4 sensors, it would be worth checking on your own though. Very easy to replace the glowplugs on the 2.0cdti, It took me around 10 minutes, 8 minutes was spent finding a screwdriver to price off the electrical connector. They are located at the very top of the engine for those wanting to do a bit of home-mechanics.

Diagnostics - the car may say 'service vehicle soon' which actually means the car has an error on the system. Vauxhall charge £75 for diagnostics and around 75% of garages i know couldn't see any errors. Fine if you happy to pay Vauxhall. I found the best solution was to purchase my own diagnostics - op-com for those interested. It cost me £35 delivered but it's easy to use and gave me a clear error code which I found out was glowplug number 2. I have used it twice now so by my reckoning I have saved £115.

Overall, solid built cars, The 3 we have have covered 52k, 118k and 74k and they all feel nice and tight, the interior's look great for the mileage, when you compare them to a previous Seat ibiza we had with 120k and our 118k Astra the astra looks brand new, seat looked knackered.


Last edited by TDAScott (Thursday 21st July 2016 07:43:11)


Thursday 21st July 2016 07:36:43

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Re: Vauxhall Astra J (2009-2016 model)

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