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Old 07-31-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
Asinity is on a distinguished road
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 452

2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Looking to buy an Astra

Surprised nobody had anything to say.

I've had a frustrating week of shopping and have narrowed it down between the Astra and a Malibu on a lot down the street. Fully understanding these are two different classes of car, my wife loves the Astra and after reading up some more on it I have come to understand some of the concerns I had, for example I had no idea the transmission goes into neutral while stopped, and I thought there was something screwy as far as the acceleration lag when starting from a full stop.

I also looked into the fluid a little bit and apparently the Type I-V fluid commonly turns brown within a short period of a change; black fluid is the concern. Read this online, and my transmission mechanic confirmed.

All that said, we all love the panoramic roof, it's got enough space for my daughter in the back, and while the lack of armrests/cupholders up front is mildly irritating, it's not a deal breaker. The car is fun to throw around corners and is a great city car, yet very comfortable on the highway as well where most of my driving is done.

On the flip-side, I really like the Malibu that's priced very close to the Astra. It's also a 2008, 2.4L loaded with every toy, and has 105000km on it. It would make a great highway cruiser.

The Astra has been well maintained (I assume I'll be needing to do the timing belt service as the car was sold pretty much right when it was due for it) and the underside was undercoated; not a spot of rust anywhere on the car. The Malibu also seems to have been taken care of mechanically, however rust is starting to form in various spots.

I am completely torn at this point what direction I really want, I think I'd be happy with either car for a number of years, but the only thing holding me back on the Astra is hearing rumblings online of coolant leaks into the transmissions, coilpacks and knowing that i should probably have the belt changed which will add $1000 to the car.

Is it really that common for these cars to have their transmissions fail? Some sites really spread the fear.

You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.


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