Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
I know this is boring...but I am really p****d off with my Astra and wish I hadn't bought a Vauxhall! It is just over 2 years old and I usually have reasonably nice cars... It is so bad now that I want to sell this after only 6 months...what would be a good 2nd hand car to get that looks good and drives well without costing the earth to fix? Maybe I am asking the impossible :O/
Astra Sport 1.8 - Maz
I don't think you're asking the impossible. May I suggest

Xedos 6
Toyota Celica
Or even a Mondeo

Any of these will probably make you glad you've ditched the Vauxhall. Although not cheap to fix, even better they won't go wrong.
Astra Sport 1.8 - No Do$h
Add the Seat Leon to the list.....
No Dosh - but then who has?
Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
Hey thanks..I will have a look a those as I am not familiar with all of them...I usually have a 3 door car as I prefer the lines and altho engine size shouldnt be important to a female...I like to know there is some power under the bonnet!
Any other suggestions welcomed :O)
Astra Sport 1.8 - blank
Have you tried a Mini? They're great!

For more conventional try Focus (best drive), Civic or Corrolla (best reliability)

Depends on your priorities really.
Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
I haven't tried a mini..have driven a Focusmany times and altho the drive is good, I personally find it an ugly car...have driven my Dad's corolla when he had one years ago (I rest my case) and the Civic sounds worth trying..I hear they go like the proverbial off a shovel! Thanks for your suggestions!!>> Have you tried a Mini? They're great!
Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
SO FAR I fancy the MX5
What about Japanese imports? Worth it or more trouble?
I know someone with an imported MR2 and he was trying to sell me the virtues of the higher spec etc he had for the the dosh as a more basic model here...I am not so sure...
Astra Sport 1.8 - Maz
SO FAR I fancy the MX5
What about Japanese imports?

Personally I wouldn't bother importing an MX5 yourself as there are huge numbers of excellent imports (called the Eunos) already over here. Spec (and insurance) on imports tends to be higher.

A rumour went round a while ago that the rustproofing on MX5 imports was not done properly in Japan. This is almost certainly rubbish put about by Mazda UK. In fact, beacuse the weather in Japan is not as car-unfriendly as here, imports are likely to be in better nick than UK specs.

The MX5 is massively impressive in terms of reliability and fun. It depreciates slowly. You'd have a job to go wrong.

Give me a shout JuC if you want to know any more.
Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
Maz, thanks for that. I wan't sure if there were problems getting spare parts and garages to fix imports, that was my main concern. However, I will look at the Eunos (as you called them). Now I may well be asking you more if that's OK. Firstly, the best way to approach looking for one...then what I can expect to pay...I am only looking for your experience and won't be quoting you! don't worry but I really appreciate your input so far. (I am guessing your name reflects your optimistic view of Mazdas!) :O)
Astra Sport 1.8 - Maz
Hi JuC. This promises to be a long one...
Maz, thanks for that. I wan't sure if there were

problems getting spare parts and garages to fix imports, that was my main concern.

Generally no problem on this score, although my Eunos has never gone wrong (touches wooden steering wheel). When it's serviced I have a friendly local mechanic work on it. It's all quite standard.

But if you try and get Mazda to read the ECU for diagnosis, I hear that the car will speak Japanese. Someone else may know more about this.
Firstly, the best way to approach looking for one...then what I can expect to pay

Where are you based JuC? There are loads about. As with other cars a dealer will normally provide a 3 month warranty and a bit of protection for about £500 or so more than a private buy.

If you have a friendly mechanic ask him to do a once over on a private buy. Don't forget the HPI check.

When you look at the car, check the following:

Hood damage, pop-up lights work, rust under door sills, crash damage, aircon.

Unlike many cars, prices vary wildly. The best I've ever seen in my neck of the woods is a P-plate for £5000. Cheapest (G plate) is about £3,500. What colour do you fancy? Prices are quite colour dependant.

(I am guessing your name reflects your optimistic view of Mazdas!)

>Yes you're right. Mine is 12 years old and looks like it rolled off the production line yesterday.

Give me a shout with a couple more details if you like JuC (how do you pronounce that?), and I'll give you a bit more detailed info.
Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
Maz...thanks... :O)
You pronounce my name 'juicy' - but say nothing!
Thank you for your in-depth reply.I am based in Bournemouth and find it difficult to find a 'friendly mechanic' who isn't trying to find something wrong with the car just to get sonme work..and who doesn't think a female is familiar with cars...but I am! I always try to tell them what I think is wrong so they realise that. Anyway, enough of my grumblings.
That P plate one seems a good price. I am not overly fussy about the colour and am not totally aware of which are more expensive. Not keen on white.
I look forward to your reply!
Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
Any ideas maz?
Astra Sport 1.8 - Maz
Sorry JuC, I've been out of town for a bit.

If you've no friendly mechanic, I'd suggest buying from a used car place. At least it gives you 3 months warranty. As an extra precaution Mazda will usually look over the car for you for a sum. Personally, I don't have too much faith in the AA/RAC looking over the cars.

£5,000 means you're looking for about an L reg, but make sure it's tidy. Manual gearbox desirable, PAS just about essential

Colour costs from most to least expensive are (IMHO):
Ltd editions

I'd also say the worst things about the car are that there are loads about, which makes the limited editions more desirable, and it's twitchy in the wet. If you've not had a rear wheel drive car before, ensure you're happy with this.

I'll be around if you need anything else.

Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC

Thnaks again for your advice...
Sorry for my delay in replying this time...just went back to Belfast for a week to see the family...and of coruse..have a look at some cars...
I will be intouch when I see what is about here in the south of England.

Thanks again
Astra Sport 1.8 - Maz
Ah Belfast. Happy days I've had there.The Fly IIRC

Was there anything there carwise - Eunos imports come in via Dublin I believe, so maybe some bargains?

I'm in the Bristol area, so if it's not too far to travel and you want me to keep an eye out here I will. Just let me know.

I'm conscious of the 2 way conversation and wary of Mark's wrath, so e-mail me if you like (my address in my profile for a few days only!). Alternatively, someone else may wish to bail us out by getting involved!!

Astra Sport 1.8 - bazza
We're all dying to know what's wrong with your Vaux! Well I am anyway. Is it a tale of woe or maybe just doesnt light your candle?
Astra Sport 1.8 - Dynamic Dave
We're all dying to know what's wrong with your Vaux! Well
I am anyway.

Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
ahh thank you for your responses! Well it is a catalogue of bad experiences (not to mention the dealer garage which each time I had to use!) Started with it cutting out on roundabouts (great fun) unless the air con was on...then a reat design idea that means when one headlight bulb blows, the other does too..leaving me driving 60 miles through darkest Dorset with only fog lights..and £50 for new ones! excellent...then there is the great idea that by trying to use the keys to start the engine (new concept, I understand) the chip in the key goes faulty and causes the ECU to need replacing and new key...£185 and £55 respectively...and then there is the generalpoor quality of the interior...but it DOES have white dashboard I guess I am meant to be pleased to have paid so much for that... :O)
I won't go on as it makes me annoyed just recalling it all...I have always had french cars previously..
Astra Sport 1.8 - Dan J
Ah - the Vauxhall experience.

I hope you appreciate just how hard both Vauxhall and dealers work to create this experience for you. Workers sacked for putting trim together properly, dealer franchises lost after reports of good customer service. Every single component is checked to ensure it will need attention at least twice in the first 30k miles/2 years (whichever comes first). I can just see the dealer grovelling when a punter is complaining that their own Vauxhall hasn't had an engine failure yet when everyone else's has - no problem sir, we never changed your oil filter anyway, we just don't understand it.

Have had similar experiences detailed elsewhere :) Shan't be buying Vauxhall again...

Dan J
Astra Sport 1.8 - Maz
Nice one Dan. Made me laugh big time.


No Private Road, but then who has?

Astra Sport 1.8 - No Do$h
Thank you Maz.......
No Dosh - He who dies with the most toys wins.
Astra Sport 1.8 - JuC
Blimey that is so accurate it made me think you had worked for them!! made me laugh out loud :O))
Astra Sport 1.8 - Mikey Jay
What do you find so wrong wih your astra? Mike


Value my car