focus or astra overall - Andy22
what is the general relibility of the focus from any owners?

i'm considering one out of warranty you see, also looking at new astra and new corsa.

i'm struggling to get ABS on any of the 3, haven't test driven any yet but like the interior and exterior of all 3.

wasn't overly keen on the dials of the focus like...a bit cheap looking!

looked at the car by car beakdown so i'm now after some owners views?

focus or astra overall - Blue {P}
Don't own one myself, but my nana's Focus is very impressive, and so far, totally reliable. Which is more than can be said for her T reg Corolla.

As her's is the Zetec I think it may have the white dials but can't really remember.

focus or astra overall - RogerL
I've just got to 3 years / 40,000 in my Astra without any traumas so it's probaly neck-and-neck on reliability. As you're not buying new, ensure you get a full service history and check the cambelt was changed at 40,000, which is Vauxhall's current recommendation. The Astra is clearly a roomier car, half a class bigger than the Focus, and the higher spec models are better equipped than the Focus.
focus or astra overall - googolplex
The Astra is clearly a roomier car, half a class
bigger than the Focus

I'm not sure I can agree with that, from my experience. I also thought that the interior room was one of the big selling points of the focus.


focus or astra overall - DavidHM
New, no question about it, Focus every time.

Of course, you're buying used, so things get a bit more complicated.

If you are buying an Astra, avoid anything with less than a 1.6 16v engine as the smaller engined ones are utterly gutless (1.6 8v, 1.4 16v). I imagine the same applies to a 1.4 Focus. Neither is particularly impressive as a diesel.

On roominess, I definitely think the Focus has it. The Astra is not especially small but I've certinly been more comfortable in it than in an Astra.

The big selling point of the Astra used is that it will either be cheaper, or a better car for the same money. For me, the best buy is probably a Focus 2.0 Ghia (as it has the standard ABS and alloy wheels) and isn't too bad on fuel or insurance. That should start at £5000 or so for a 1999 5 door hatch with 80k, although cheaper ones do exist.

If you're spending substantially less than £5k, it's got to be an Astra because you have much, much more choice.
focus or astra overall - Dynamic Dave
also looking at new astra....
i'm struggling to get ABS....

I don't see how you're struggling, unless it's the additional £350 it costs to have it fitted on non standard models. The Astra Active models upwards have ABS as standard, btw.
focus or astra overall - DavidHM
Dave, by new Astra I think he means 98 on, used, because he referred to one that's 'out of warranty' so presumably £5-6k on a W plate. Certainly you shouldn't be looking at paying the same for a three year old Focus as for even the most basic new Astra.
focus or astra overall - Dynamic Dave
Dave, by new Astra I think he means 98 on, used,

D'oh !!
focus or astra overall - Pete Mansell
I have had my 99S Focus 1.6 for 3 years. Now up to 45000 miles it has been totally reliable (far better than my previous 15 years with Volkswagons)

Fuel consumption is 41 mpg averaged over the year. My only comment is that the 1.6 is a bit over-geared, and you have to be prepared to rev it to get the best acceleration.

Pete Mansell
focus or astra overall - Andy22
in response the interior i commented on was the dials on the focus, i just thought they didn't look that nice. Don't know which models come with white dials?

and my budget is £7000 so i'm loking for under 20k miles.

ideally, i want ABS, ALLOYS, RCL, and in black!
focus or astra overall - DavidHM
Only two cars meet your specs in AutoTrader. One's in Guildford and one is in Northwich in Cheshire

They're both 2000 Astra SXis.

If you're willing to be a bit more flexibe about the mileage (say, up to 40k) I think you have a good chance of finding a W plate Focus.

Don't know if this will work but this is a link to an AutoTrader search finding some slightly higher mileage Focuses (Foci?)
focus or astra overall - Andy22
no i want to keep the mileage low.

and the old type xsi has a stick on xsi lable on the side compared to the newer one this looks cheap.

i understand i might not get exactly what i want, even ABS is essential it may well not happen.

inccidently, a local dealer has an brand new corsa xsi, 10 miles for 7,299 i'm just not ready to buy yet but thats a good offer.
focus or astra overall - RogerL
No, I'm sorry guys but for roominess the Astra has it. The Focus has many good points but roominess isn't one of them.

Driver's seat leg-room AND headroom are greater in the Astra, even with a sunroof fitted. Setting the driver's seat for any given driver will give more rear legroom in the Astra. The Astra copes with three abreast on the rear seat better, although neither are brilliant. It's easy to check, just go from a Ford dealer to a Vauxhall dealer and sit in each car.

My height (6'1") and straight-legged, straight-armed driving style have conspired against many cars over the years. Short / average drivers with short / average passengers may not notice the difference but taller drivers / passengers will.
focus or astra overall - googolplex
Well I don't doubt the validity of your viewpoint and I'm not as tall as you. It just runs against mine and all the reviews and comparisons I ever read. So there you go, we must agree to differ.
focus or astra overall - Dynamic Dave
no i want to keep the mileage low.

Unless you're planning on doing mega miles per annum, I wouldn't let mileage concern you too much. After owning various Vauxhall's for the past 17 yrs, I can vouch that the engines soak up high mileages with few problems. All my previous ones had reached 90,000 miles plus when I sold them on and never needed any oil top ups between services. And I'm no Sunday driver either - I would often test the rev limiter to see if it was still working ;o)
Just make sure the cambelt and tensioner are changed regularly.
focus or astra overall - Perturbed
Focus every time. I recently changed my Focus after 2.5 years of extremely happy motoring with it. I'm 6'2" and had no problem getting behind the wheel. As far as handling goes, the Focus is extremely good (class leader) I had the 2.0 Zetec (the dials were silvery grey)and the insurance group was only gp8

I've had numerous Astra's as hire cars, and they are a reasonable car, but if I were to choose one to own, its definitely the Focus!

(PS - I changed from an Audi A3 to the Focus, its that good!)
focus or astra overall - HF
Why does it matter what make of overall you wear? Surely it should be the car that's the most important thing?
focus or astra overall - MikeC

Have hired several Focus' (all 5dr 1.6 Zetecs) and several Astra's (1.6 8v LS, 1.6 8v Club, 1.6 16v Comfort, 1.8 CD).

Overall Astra wins, I throughly dislike the Focus.

Performance - agree with DavidHM Astra 1.6 16v is noticably quicker than the 8v and definately more refined with more or less same mpg. Focus is quite leisurely unless you push it hard, I was regularly revving to 5500 to get anything out of it.

Brakes - agree with other that ABS is hard to find. Focus brakes are very prone to locking up easily when repeated used. Initial bit is good and the feel reassuring until you use them in earnst. Astra lack feel and don't inspire confidence but are more predictable.

Noise - Astra 8v course when revved, Focus is noisey at idle but not so much at high revs. 16v Astra quiet. Road noise in Focus is fair bit worse than Astra.

Feel & Comfort - Focus seats are thin, the only car I'm guaranteed to get back ache in after 30mins. Astra comfortable. Quality of Astra better than Focus which is a bit plastic. The Astra feels more like a VW product, functional precise switch gear, firm seats etc.

Driving - Focus good. Initially I disliked the Astra but the further I drove the more I liked it. Of the two Astra wins. Take long test drives, Astra is difficult to drive smoothly at first.

Equipment - dire on Focus, Alloys & AC but no ABS, no side airbags. Cassette players (unique fit) don't even have track search. Astra LS has CD player, no ABS on early cars. Club cassette only, no ABS, no AC?. Comfort has ABS, nice alloys, CD, AC, side airbags.

Astra reliability is probably worse than Focus.

Hope this helps.
focus or astra overall - Liverpaul
Mike, have you gone mad? No offence, but the Focus is far better than the Astra, in pretty much every way. I am on my second Focus - both company motors and they are so much better than the Astra's driven by others. Focus far better interior/ build quality than astra, better seats, more supportive I'm over 6'2" and have never had so much as any problems, including when I was covering 45k per annum in my first focus.

The biggest difference is in the driving, focus wins hands down, still the best in class almost 5 years after introduction. Focus handles really well, goes well (even though current 1 is the 1.6) and has excellently weighted steering.

Equipment fine in my current Ghia, but was lacking in the CL I had previously, although I had ABS on that - (the company paid for it on all cars). I expect the Astra may be better equipped to make up for it's drivability and other failings compared to the Focus. I'd expect the Focus to be more expensive though, they hold their value (especially compared to the old Escort!) due to it's better reputation but you'll easily sell on as demand is high. Therefore should get more (and newer) Astra for your money, if you're happy to compromise on drivability etc.

Reliability is 1st class, neither Focus has let me down once, and the first was on 60k when I changed jobs and this has reached 52k. Can't comment on the Astra's reliability.

We're actually looking for a second hand one for my Wife - amazingly she after not liking my Focus's initially, now is refusing to let me get her anything else, and she used to be anti-ford.

Hope this helps.
focus or astra overall - Andy22
unfortunately the price of used focuses is way more than the astra which is putting me off the astra.

considering how focuses their are on the roads, i'm dissappointed.


Value my car