Vauxhall Astra GSI Reviews

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Latest Reviews

★★★★★

“Great car both in performance and...”

Written on: 26/02/2010

Great car both in performance and comfort/practicality. This car has everything you need to either go to a track day or go to cornwall!… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Engine, the 20 let or the 20xe r brilliant engines...”

Written on: 15/11/2008 by brendan clarke (1 review written)

Engine, the 20 let or the 20xe r brilliant engines very powerful and reliable engines, and can both be highly tuned with no fuss. The engines to go 4 r the in the j and k reg because the later GSIs are fitted with the very unreliable ecotec lumps avoid at all costs! And not to forget the car itself very good, the mk3 is the best model even to this days the best they made!
Superb honest motor the mk is the best gm's made to this day got to be the gsi though… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Strong powerful reliable engine, great handling, great...”

Written on: 03/07/2008

Strong powerful reliable engine, great handling, great interior an gadgets, nice whels, stonking breaks - thankfully! 200Bhp and easy to get more - see 300 Bhp easy and BTCC cars ran like this with no probs! Buy one, they're quick as.. and their cool!… Read Full Review

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Mackkezza's Comment

Written on: 25/10/2008

Got mk3 astra gsi used to have c20xe bored out 2.1 cammed remappd running 183 bhp very fast had off clock at 153mph now got c20let running phase 3 hybrid turbo extremely fast evo subaru rolling starts not a problem more in leauge with porkers would not change car for anything else superb car.

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★★★★★

“Lately the car has decided to stall quite frequently,...”

Written on: 26/06/2008

Lately the car has decided to stall quite frequently, mostly when stationary at lights. Engine seems to dip and then recover but mostly it dies completely. I then cannot start it and it turns over very slowly. I dare not continue as it feels as if the engine is gradually flooding. This has happened to me 4 times in the last week. After giving the car 5 minutes, it then always starts promptly with no hesitation. When the car is running, I am so wary that when slowing or stopping I have to keep… Read Full Review

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Troupey02's Comment

Written on: 28/07/2008

I had this problem with my mk3 red top except it wouldnt cut out. I would be driving around no problem but when it stopped and try to restart within a few minutes it wouldnt start. The problem was picked up by a very clever aa man who told me that the fuel pump relays were dodgy it was either the black or grey that was naff - think it was grey and the black were the improved version - I bought one and never had the problem again.

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387078_Mattymole's Comment

Written on: 29/07/2008

it is definately worth changing the thermostat. I had the same problem and thought it was the air flow meter which is one of the many common faults. It simply turned out to be the thermostat which took 10 mins to change and a water refill and cost about £10. Hope that helps.

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★★★★★

“Best car I have ever bought, Stunning to drive! Great...”

Written on: 22/05/2008

Best car I have ever bought, Stunning to drive! Great fun car. Stunning looking car. Pulls like a train in every gear. Reliable… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“The best ratio at price quality, very reliable an easy...”

Written on: 24/04/2008 by nsoimaru (1 review written)

The best ratio at price quality, very reliable an easy to operate and low maintenance cost. It`s an extraordinary power felling wen you drive… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“If you can find a decent one buy it and have cheap...”

Written on: 03/03/2008

If you can find a decent one buy it and have cheap fast fun, avoid £500 buckets and late ones with ecotec engines,expect to pay roughly £1200 for a decent phase 1 and £2000 for a phase2, best of the bunch in my opinion is the xe,d j plate phase 1in flame red… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I've owned my Vauxhall Astra GSI for a year now, and...”

Written on: 31/01/2007 by raver (1 review written)

I've owned my Vauxhall Astra GSI for a year now, and I've had endless amounts of fun in it, and upset a few newer cars with it. Mine been lowered 60mm, 17" alloys full sports exhaust, branch drilled and grooved discs with pads engine been rebuilt new clutch etc. It's never let me down, just wanted everything sweet as a nut… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆

“I have the best of both worlds - a 98 GSI with a 93...”

Written on: 15/12/2006 by Rickyboy1985 (1 review written)

I have the best of both worlds - a 98 GSI with a 93 redtop 150bhp - mint all round. Had to replace c.v boot and p.s pump in the 4 months I've owned it. Acceleration is good - it flies up to 70 and beyond. I'm very proud of my car because you don't see many around and its gleaming - It's lowered on coilovers which was a waste of money really as I'm still not confident of it on corners - it's pretty twitchy… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Bought this Vauxhall Astra GSI just before Christmas...”

Written on: 22/05/2006 by CHICKEN2110 (1 review written)

Bought this Vauxhall Astra GSI just before Christmas there and first thing I done was a full service timing belt, oil change etc. The car has had a performance chip, boost valve, pipercross induction kit and a stainless steel from front to back. BUY ONE I PROMISE YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!… Read Full Review

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270335_Herb2578's Response to CHICKEN2110's Review

Written on: 10/12/2006

Sorry mate. I have got to state that if you are not on standard alloys and you have upgraded to bigger ones without lowering, the Vauxhall Astra handles terribly compared to other hot hatches.

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★★★★★

“I have a K reg 150 bhp Vauxhall Astra red top and has...”

Written on: 11/10/2005 by markc1277 (1 review written)

I have a K reg 150 bhp Vauxhall Astra red top and has a modded panel filter a bit of rust on rear arches. Common Astra problem after 10 years. It's been right off the clock est 140 mph clock shows 140. Had to replace the idle control valve when first purchased. She has 110 k on the clock with tappet noise from cold but let's face it for £1,200 it was a bargain 1 years MOT and 4 months tax… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Vauxhall Astra GSI's are very good cars and have very...”

Written on: 12/05/2005 by spliff1star (18 reviews written)

Vauxhall Astra GSI's are very good cars and have very good performance. Some can hit 150mph in standard form with just 147bhp (with cat) 153bhp without cat. I was very impresed with my standerd gsi on the motorway. Mk4 golf gti 1.8 turbos (150bhp) were no problem for the gsi along with many more powerfull cars. A 180bhp seat leon was a bit too much for the gsi at say 80mph to 130mph but eventualy the astra would catch up and stick right next to it. This is what I loved about my standerd astra… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I've had my Astra GSI 16v mk3 for about 4 months now...”

Written on: 20/06/2004 by qadzy (1 review written)

I've had my Astra GSI 16v mk3 for about 4 months now and I can't get enough of it, it's a 93 j reg and superchiped so you can imagine what type of power it has. I have a red top sfi engine which has a crack on the rocker cover so I'm out looking for a cover if anyone has a spare or knows where I can get 1 let me know on mr_nawaz@hotmail.com thanks. Over the cars a rocket, top end its superb I raced a brand new Honda Civic type R the other day, at 140 my foot wasn't too the floor and the car was… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I've just got a 53reg Astra GSi Turbo from new and...”

Written on: 12/06/2004 by turboboy25 (1 review written)

I've just got a 53reg Astra GSi Turbo from new and paid £13.7995 while its worth £17k from Vauxhall, I had rain sensor pack, Zeon lights and parking aid, Its a very fast car. Its 31mph on petrol, 0-62 less then 7 sec. The car takes the same amount as a BMW 330ci coup , This is a FAT A*s car!!! and it will keep its value for money has Vauxhall no longer make it!!!!… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆

“I curently own a mk3 Vauxhall Astra GSI 1.4i and have...”

Written on: 03/04/2004 by mike24 (1 review written)

I curently own a mk3 Vauxhall Astra GSI 1.4i and have always wanted a gte however I found that my mk2 1.3 seemed to be al ot more nippy than the mk3 1.4i ever has any ideas why anyone?… Read Full Review

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182055_Daniel D's Response to mike24's Review

Written on: 19/01/2005

The mk3 is injection and the mk2 is not so it is a lot quicker. The mk2 1.4 was not as fast as the mk3 1.4i - I have driven both models.

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Chris7494's Response to mike24's Review

Written on: 30/05/2006

Yeah, i was just thinking the same, GSIs are 2.0 not 1.4 lmao

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208153_Gsiking's Response to mike24's Review

Written on: 29/08/2005

well maybe because they never made a 1.4 gsi neither did they make a 1.3 gte so i think your being robbed by sum one giving you a replica i think you should check it out mate

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★★★★★

“I think Vauxhall Astra GSI are extremely good value...”

Written on: 28/01/2004 by lowrider (1 review written)

I think Vauxhall Astra GSI are extremely good value for money. I have one on a J with the red-top SFi engine and it is just full of torque in every gear. My previous car was an Impreza turbo but due to driving many miles now I needed a cheaper car with some power to take up and down the motorway. I think i'v made the best choice for £1800 (it had just had a fresh coat of red paint) I fitted a Koni kit to it and it does help but still not too great round corners!
I did race a MK2 GTe 16V and… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I bought my Vauxhall Astra GSI Mk3 about a year ago...”

Written on: 05/10/2003 by badmofo (5 reviews written)

I bought my Vauxhall Astra GSI Mk3 about a year ago after falling for it's beefy and powerful looks. I went for the very ealiest of models a J- plate, which is the most powerful at standard about 150bhp. Mine cost £1400 (it needed paint) and had 170,000 miles on the clock. I was very sceptical at first because of the mileage, but they have Cossie heads which sets them good for 250k. I have had two probs with it, the fuel relay switch went straight away. Which cost £30 to repair. Then the engine… Read Full Review

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Gsijay's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 15/10/2003

i50 mph in your dreams!!!!!!

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363153_Leah23's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 30/04/2008

they stopped putting the redtop engine in on a late L reg. leah.

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342593_Gsi 16's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 03/02/2008

what age did they stop putting red tops in gsi astras

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341247_Driftworks's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 28/01/2008

I found this review helpful because you have just told me what I need to know I'm getting 1 very soon. And looking forword to be driving it. The minor problems that go wrong with them. How reliable is the engine with a turbo on or supercharge.

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287488_Astraboi's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 01/05/2007

I own a mk3 astra 1.4i and was wondering how I could make it quicker...K have a KN induction, de cat with a peco exhaust. Not sure if chipping it would work as its only 8 valve?

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Spliff1Star's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 04/04/2006

The 97 gsi's are less powerfull with the 2.0 ecotec and the older 92 upwards models have the redtop with a few m regs up using the ecotec engines. Maybe the engines had some work done - what you have now - a superchip or cams? Best thing as I said is to try and ask a profesional to look at it and they will know straight away.

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Gsigeoff's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 30/03/2006

hi i have a mark3 astra gsi with digi dash and i have had mine 146mph sittin next to my mates scooby and his speedo was reading 150mph and the scooby is run off the gearbox so it will be spot on and have pic's to go with it!!!!

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Swfcrule07's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 29/03/2006

The car I had before was the '97 GSI with the ecotec engine, which looked nothing like the engine in my car. If I changed the black L shaped cover to the red one you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, and also, this car is faster than my '97 GSI!

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Spliff1Star's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 28/03/2006

Your car is the 2.0 engine not the 1.8? The 2.0 ecotec isn't that bad if it is, as he says it's not as good as the redtop engine it's 136bhp (something like that) and I know the 1.8 ecotec is the 125bhp unit. The redtop is 147bhp and 153bhp in the none cat mk2 gte. A good redtop is far better than ecotec but the ecotecs still aren't bad.

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Funkdocta's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 27/03/2006

Yeah if it says Ecotec across the engine it won't be a redtop. The Ecotech's are approx 125bhp rather than the 150. I think they're tuned differently for more fuel efficiency rather than performance.

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Spliff1Star's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 24/03/2006

I think that may just be a ecotec. I'm sure the ecotec engine is more square and the cover will not fit the redtop. I maybe wrong. Best to go into a Vauxhall dealer and get it checked.

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Swfcrule07's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 23/03/2006

i have just got astra gsi 94 m reg it looks the same as the redtop also got sfi on air intake but it has the ecotec cover is it a redtop or ecotec.

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Tamiya3Yk's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 17/07/2005

Hi vauxhall owners!im looking in2 buying a astra gsi mk3. but am unsure whats out there. at the moment i own a 1.8 16v clio which does 0-62 in 7.6secs and hits 130mph in its younger days. what are the turbo gsi and normal gsi specs???? if you can tell me please email me at tamiya3yk@hotmail.com. many thanks. adam
<br>(please tell me as much as you can)

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Spliff1Star's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 20/04/2005

Obviously these people with there coments do not own a 2litre redtop engine car. On paper an mk3 astra gsi with 147bhp top speed is 137mph (total vauxhall magazine) unless you have had an astra mk3 gsi you ain't got a clue what your talking about. I have raced a lot of my mates cars on the motorway and I have seen it for myself. I dont need to go down this road on here so whether you want to belive it or not I really dont care.

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Funkdocta's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 29/03/2005

Don't really fancy paying out for expensive digital speed readers. Rather hang to my dash that tells me i'm doing 160MPH, much much more exciting!!!

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 24/03/2005

Fact!!! All speedos in the UK are made to over read a little EVEN AT 30MPH. That is why most Police authorities allow +10% and then the county's own allowance, of say two or three miles per hour on top.
<br>
<br>A standard GSi MK3 Astra WILL NOT DO 140 or 150MPH. END OF.
<br>
<br>Get yourself some of the more accurate digital dashes fitted to your car, or better still a genuine GPS kit and you will get a more accurate idea of your speed. Analogue needles are not that accurate as a decent rolling road operator will tell you.
<br>
<br>Oh, and 135mph in forth on an F20 box with std 150bhp..................DREAM ON. More like 112/115 at BEST.
<br>
<br>Nice cars, but they can't do that full stop!

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Callyt's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 23/03/2005

This speed for the car was worked out on a vauxhall speed calculator, so it is accurate.

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Spliff1Star's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 23/03/2005

You cant say that speedos are inacurate as I said I was racing my friends seat leon cupra and his elecronics are far more advanced and acurate than the vauhall astra gsi"s so I think his speedo would be far more correct. I did try and record my top end speed before that with the computer speedo to see if that was acurate but my clocks said 125 and the lcd screen said 105mph? I still think that everyone that has a redtop engined astra gsi or turbo converted gsi can still reach 145mph/150mph in the standerd non turbu. And I did reach 164mph in my 294bhp astra gsi mk3 which I owned.

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Badmofo's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 22/03/2005

It's inaccurate to say that speedos are over rated by 10%. The fact is in this country speedos are calibrated at 30mph so at 30 they read true and as you increase speed the speedo looses accuracy ever so slightly. Each car is slightly different you cannot say roughly 10% as law. and to say when your speedo reads 140mph your actually doing 125mph is simply not true.

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Callyt's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 29/12/2004

4500 revs in sixth gear is 113 mph.
<br>25 mph per 1000 rpm.
<br>And all the 140 mph claims are about 125 mph in real terms as the speedo's overread by roughly 10%.

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Funkdocta's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 14/12/2004

Not long ago I purchased a J reg GSI with a cav 2.0 16v LET (turbo) engine with 6speed g/box fitted, the engine has been tuned to aprox 280BHP with about the same torque. It's an animal! Had 155 MPH with ease before having to slow down for someone in my way (it has turbo speedo with 160MPH on the clocks), that was 6th gear @ about 4500 rpm so had loads more speed left there to use! Absolutely amazing cars, couldn't fault it in anyway.

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Spliff1Star's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 12/12/2004

Hello I have a j reg astra gsi and my fifth gear broke down. Angry as I was I still pushed it to 135mph in 4th gear before it was evan in the red. When my new gearbox was fitted I raced my mates 180 bhp 1.8 turbo seat leon. He was doing 146mph he says before his engine management light turned on and we were side by side my needle was firmly planted at the 140mph and the revs were still picking up. My car is standerd apart from a k&n 150bhp. Only downside is scarey handling on cornering. Enjoy seeing the faces on saxo, bmw, gti rst r5 owners as I wave goodbye to them.

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 14/11/2004

Depends on where you get them from. 288mm discs off the Vectra are 5 stud and are machined to fit four stud applications. You can buy four stud discs from after market sources, but not genuine GM items. They are machined to fit.

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Gbolton200's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 11/11/2004

The V6 sized discs you would put on a GSi are 4 stud, its only the calipers and pads that are in fact straight off the Vectra. Unless you had a 5 stud hub conversion....?

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 10/11/2004

The discs are engineered to be 4 stud fixing. Other than Vaux-MD who do a kit for about £195, there is also V-Tuning, Regal Autosport and Courtenay who can offer V6 Calliper and disc conversions...they are quite old hat now.

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Fing's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 08/11/2004

It was some time ago now that I asked for any suggestions as to whether there's any big brakes I can bolt on the front of my Mk3 Astra without spending a bloody fortune. Astra2 has suggested Vectra stuff-surely they are all 5 stud?? The Astra is 4 stud!! Any suggestions greatly appreciated as mine are very badly in need of replacement and I'd like to upgrade if there's anything out there...

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172399_Jamydubbs's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 30/09/2004

Ive got an astra gsi red top on a k plate I didnt have a problem getting mine up to 155 I rekon i'd get 160 with enough road it blows of the clock at 140 but I got a trip computer and that blew to 155 and I still had some to go mine has slamed 40mm with gas shocks and 17s 205s so it handles deep smooth and sticks 2 roundabouts i've also got a fat backbox wiv a green airfilter it sounds sick lol peace out!

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 17/08/2004

Vectra V6 Discs will go on. You will need to contact someone like Vaux MD Developments on VauxMD@aol.com. Ask for Dave or Pete. We do a V6 kit which consists of Callipers, modified 288mm discs and pads. We can do Police Spec pads too if you want them, all genuine GM parts by the way.

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Fing's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 16/08/2004

Anybody know if there's any mass produced, easy to come by big brakes out there that will fit on the front of my Mk3 Gsi (Astra)?? I got 17" rims on it so clearance isn't really an issue. I'm just trying to avoid having to pay £1000 or more for a new setup... :-/

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Gmac Inver G's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 30/07/2004

all this talk of speedo reading is fair enough but if you find out the gear ratio of your motor ,say 19.3 for 84 on cav sri or astra gte then 6000 rpm in top would be regardless what the speedo said 115.8 given that you are running the same wheel and tyre ratio as standard

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162048_Superwin's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 13/07/2004

Greetings all. Very interesting this topic. I have a 1992 j GSI, with red top. I have recently seen 145 on the clock, as well as the face on some guy in his brand new nissan 300z in disbelief. cant tell you how funny that was. However the poor girl has been struggling lately with oil in water problem. I have replaced the head gasket and had a skim in the hope it was'nt a bad head, but it's not the coscast head. Am also struggling with fueling problem at the mo, when its cold, pulling away, engine dies for a sec, so i have to blip the throttle.
<br>Any help would be appreciated.

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Badmofo's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 10/07/2004

GSIJay, i have read your comments on my review. It seems most people agree that my claims seem reasonable, except to you. Firstly you try and give me some nonsense technical talk which obviously uncovers how little you understand the GSi, then when i challenge your "technical knowledge" you can't back your comment up???
<br>Perhaps, and this is just my theory. That when reading my review your pride was challenged when you realised a £1400 car will in all probability give your brand spanking new £15,000 GSi turbo a run for it's money? What im trying to say is, you realised your £15k went on a car which is just not as fast as you thought it was. So saying my claims are false ain't gonna make your motor go any faster mate.
<br>
<br>As for my review it's true, i don't claim the reading are "an accurate representation of true, real speed etc, etc" Im saying what happened and what it said on the dials. That's what i care about, if it says 140mph on the speedo then as far as i care im doing 140mph! if it goes beyond 140, then i just have to guess! Which is what i did!
<br>
<br>As for my baby Astra GSi, it's no longer with me. We went our seperate ways, i wanted to carry on round the corner and she decided to go into the corner! It was a top crash though! I took out a phone box and a phone terminal station thing, which knocked out most phones lines on the street for the night!
<br>
<br>At the moment im driving a 1.6 peugeot 205 gti with a 1.9gti lump in, it's good fun! But im missing the GSi. Im trying to save up for another one! They go for great prices on ebay for some reason? £1700 for an absolute mint one last month! But couldn't bid any higher than £1200 :(

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158614_Astragsiturbo's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 12/06/2004

hi i am currently in the process of putting a c2olet engine in to a astra mk 3 gsi j plate. the let engine comes from a n 96 still redtop. the problem I am having is with the wiring loom. the round plug behind the battery tray and the end of the let loom both have male connectors on them. how do i go about this and the motronic realy is motronic 25 i believe this is wrong as it is meant to be 27. The engine turns over then dies. Can anyone help

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Scottgsi1992's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 30/05/2004

I own a mk3 Vauxhall Astra GSI on a J plate 92. The 92 gsi's where the quikest mk3's Vauxhall built. In 93 they started changing the engine and it just got weaker and weaker. 92 gsi's put out 147bhp compared to the 93 gsi's which put out 137bhp. so yeah the 92 Astra ease's past 140mph. I timed my 0-60 at a touch under 7 secs although on paper it says it does it in 7.5. If you compare gsi's after 1992 they are exactly the same power as the 2.o sport. so the only mk3 gsi worth owning is the first one ever built J reg 92's

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Ian Bevis's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 14/05/2004

Absolutely superb review.
<br>I have had a K plate GSi in the past and loved it, Nisan GTi 'R, Honda Integra's, etc eat yor heart out.
<br>I modified mine to have 185bhp at a cheap budget and believe me it rocked. Nothing could touch it, I even sat on the rear bumper of a friends Escort Cosi.
<br>An absolute dream of a car to own. But as for bends it leans but is predictable and drivable in the right hands.
<br>And as a standard 150bhp model it will go off the clock 140 mph and I have 160 mph clocks whnen mine was modified from a calibra turbo and it cleared 150mph easy.
<br>
<br>I currently have a Westfield running the same engine due to my love for this car.
<br>SBD Motorsport have got 205bhp out of the engine normally aspirated running twin 45 delorto's and believe me this engine is unbelievable.....
<br>http://www.sbdev.co.uk/

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Timix's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 31/03/2004

Fair enough mate, might have got it round the wrong way, I had an ecotech once and sold it in under 2 months, didn't have the c20xe pull to it and was way to quiet for my liking! (o: i'v never driven a ecotech Turbo version of the just heard they have there pros and cons over the c20let.

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 30/03/2004

The new Z20LET engine are not faster standard and are less powerful too. C20LET's are 204bhp and boosted Cav/Callys to 60 in 6.4 secs. No current Vauxhall, save for the VX220 can better this. The Z20LET's are 193/196bhp out of the box. The C20LET is still a better engine with Forged Mahle pistons and Coscast heads, etc

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Timix's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 29/03/2004

Hi, I owned the Astra GSI in the pic above.... the cars been written off now! )o: white van man had ago at it!! Anyway, I now have a Calibra Turbo with the LET engine.... great fun, its basicy a c20xe with a Turbo, and it flys!! Yes you can fit a LET into any MK3 Astra with abit of modding. There are two older 2L turbo engins, one based on the c20xe (redtop) and one based on its newer Ecotech replacment, which is faster standard, but you get better returns with the C20LET if you spend abit of cash. If you want more info about this mod goto www.migweb.co.uk
<br>sign up (its free) theres loads of people that can help you with it..... great site! Good luck.
<br>
<br>ps: Im braking the car above if anyones intrested in it or parts, im in Berkshire uk. (29/03/04)
<br>
<br>Cheers.

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Funkdocta's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 27/03/2004

What about LET engines? I've heard they're easy to fit into Astra GSI, does anyone know if there is any difference in the shell of a 1.8 16v Astra GSI and a 2.0 16v model? Are the LET (Turbo) engines all 2.0ltr and are they Redtop? What should I look out for when buying a second hand LET engine to go in an Astra GSI? I will have it re-conditioned and tuned up as well - What companies do work on LET engines? Thanks all

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 24/02/2004

If you know people in the trade and pay cash (so it is not on the books) you can get a decent paint job. Did he say he was getting whole car done? Nope, only the kit, which at £200 is well believed, especially if done by a friend in the trade.
<br>
<br>As for your suspension, are you going to do regular track days? Do you run really wide rims? Do you currently have suspension/wheel clearance issues? If yes, coilovers are a good option. Someone like Bilstein or Koni should supply a kit, if not join a club like Migweb or VxLSCC and you should find people there who can put you in touch for coilover kits.
<br>
<br>If the answer to the above is no, then you are wasting money, so best just to go for a set of new standard bushes (don't bother with poly's for the road as they transmit too much noise) a set of Eibach anti roll bars and a decent set of Bilstein shockers and Eibach springs from say Courtenay or Motech. These are probably the best combination of spring and damper you can buy (save for H&R springs). They will have your GSi looking and handling much better. Only go for a 35mm drop as 50mm and 60mm drops cause the driveshafts to operate outside factory paramiters and can cause CV joints to go regularly, as well as lowered fuel consumption and premature tyre wear. (Can only adjust camber so much remember).

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Gbolton200's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 24/02/2004

Try taking a look on migweb - www.migweb.co.uk, You'll all find anything you need in the forums
<br>
<br>Astra3SRi

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Fing's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 23/02/2004

Muppetmule. I'm interested to hear where you get a 'decent' paintjob for 200 quid??
<br>We've all heard about engines/power/how fast we can go... I have a '92 red top Gsi and it's also been off the clock, tho struggles with quick accelleration on 17's.
<br>What I need to know tho is how to stop it twitching and sliding at high speed, especially twisty stuff, ANYONE can go fast in a straight line. I'm just considering spending some proper money sorting my suspension out, but does anyone have any advise on which is the best suspension to go for?? I'm trying to locate coil-overs, but no-one does a ready made kit-do they??

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Muppetmule's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 22/02/2004

1997 P 2.0 16v Sport

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Muppetmule's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 22/02/2004

To the chap who was deciding to go for a GSi or ecotec. I recently bought a 2.0 16v sport 3 door with 49k on the clock and full history in mint condition, for what I believe was a steal at £2200. I think value is more like 3k.
<br>
<br>I have already bought a rear GSi bumper, £54 and have the front and side skirts lined up for £125, then a decent paint job, say £200, I will have a car that looks great with good power too, and low miles in mint condition.
<br>
<br>I find the engine nicely quick to 100mph, then it doesnt pull as hard, but its not often I get to those speeds so I find it great fun. I like the power from 40-90 ish for overtaking, etc and this engine is more that adequate.
<br>
<br>I would echo what the guy above said, buy the best car you can for your budget then maybe modify it like I plan to. Oh and dont forget to get a nice set of 17s under the arches to finish it off. :-)

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 16/02/2004

Please also note that the Calibra was also fitted with the C20XE (red top) engine (early 16v ones were). It was mentioned that only Astra MK2's, Cavaliers and early MK3 Astra GSi's got them.
<br>
<br>Std Redtops in non CAT models made 156bhp at 5600rpm and 144lb/ft torque and later CAT equipped one's hit 150bhp bang on. Some engines vary and produce better figures when run in than others, just the way it goes.
<br>
<br>Extra horsepower is fine on the engine, but increased rev limits are not. Valves are good for for 235bhp as are the conrods. The head needs no flow work below 235bhp, above that you are looking at pocket pistons, wasted stem valves and lairy cams, at which point you will be junking the std ECU. If you chip the car, make sure have replaced the con rod bolts at least as they re only good for about 7500rpm, and most chips boost this to a 7750rpm limit. The engine has forge Mahle pistons from the factory as it was originally designed as a turbo engine, so you also get a 500bhp rated crank (rpms kill it, not power) and sodium filled exhaust valves on 13mm Cosworth bronze valve guides.
<br>
<br>The Ecotec engines are restricted by the inlet manifold, so mods here can help reap some good power. They are a cheaper engine as they used mass produced components and were assembled by robotics, not hand. They were also more emmission friendly, hence the demise of the C20XE.
<br>
<br>Either engine is very good, as most Vauxhall units are and you will find no shortage of places to go to tune the car.
<br>
<br>Try Swindon Race Engines, Q.E.D, SBD Motorsport, Courtenay, V-Tuning, Cossvaux....................just don't bother with Regal. Bad news!!!!
<br>
<br>A good GSi will show a genuine 135mph give or take 1mph. (about 150 on the needles) as has been proven at Millbrook Proving Ground and Germany where Opel test their cars. Modified GSi's will hit higher speeds, but we are talking well modified ones as you need more torque at that speed to make significant strides in additional miles per hour. Sub seven second cars are either lying or packing more power than stock.
<br>
<br>Run away if you see any rot or hear any knocking from the engine. The cars (either engine) should have smooth tickovers and pull cleanly to the limiter with few significant flat spots. Standard suspension is also very rubbery, so look to replace with better dampers and springs. Bilstein and Eibach cannot be beaten in terms of springs and dampers. Best tuners recommend them.

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 16/02/2004

The Redtop is raved about and rightly so. It is a storming engine. However, the later Ecotec cars are equally as capable, albeit not hand made like the redtops were.
<br>
<br>£ per bhp, it is cheaper to tune an Ecotec than it is the C20XE (red top). Speak to Q.E.D about this.
<br>
<br>The GSi's are nice cars, your best bet is to simply buy the cleanest car you can for the money you want to spend. If it turns out that the best is an Ecotec, go fo it................most people LET engine these cars anyway. LOL

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Wozza Mk3's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 16/02/2004

I noticed u guys talking about the red top, and the ecotec. I currently own a 94 mk3 1.8 16v astra cesaro. I'm looking to upgrade to the 2ltr gsi. The problem is I'm torn between the idea of getting a 92/93 red top, or a more modern 97 ecotec. Although the extra power would be nice, I'm more focused on making sure I get a gsi thats going to last. The majority of red tops that i'll find will have more mileage than my current astra, and it's likely that a 97 will be in better nic. I also heard that the red top is more reliable, is this true?
<br>
<br>Any views u guys have got would be handy,
<br>cheers.

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 16/02/2004

Your SRi is therefore faster than a GTE 16v....................please explain. And NO, the SRi will not be hitting those speeds without engine modifications and a change of final drive ratio. The F16 box fitted to the SRi is the closest ratio box Vauxhall fitted to the MK2. I have owned a MK2 SRi myself and the speedo was wildly inaccurate (I too saw 140 on the clocks on straight roads)
<br>
<br>You would need a run up and a VERY strong tail wind to get the limiter in top on car due to the unfavourable final drive ratio. I cannot hit the limiter in top on my two valvers with F20 boxes.

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Gbolton200's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 13/02/2004

Not quite so old chap, the quoted top speed of the Mk2 SRi is 126mph, which is *aparrently* achievable with a very long run up on the level with calm winds, and is *NOT* what should be expected when going downhill with a following wind. The factory top speed is not what the car is geared for, you aren't expected to hit the rev limiter in top gear to be doing 126. downhill you would expect about 135-140 from a Mk2 SRi

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 13/02/2004

The MK2 SRi may indicate 140mph, but the actual top speed of that vehicle is no more than 125mph as they are gear limited by the F16 close ratio boxes. If you want to know how fast the MK3 GSi REALLY is check out parkers or http://www.carstats.co.uk/ where the truth will be revealed. 140/150 is probable and likely on the clocks but the actual top end of a MK3 GSi is nearer 135............2mph slower than the GTE 16v (which I have owned 5 of) which is about right as the 16v MK2 has a lower drag coefficient and less weight.................................
<br>
<br>The 0-60 on the GSi out the box is 7.5 secs too with a standing quarter of 15.8secs. Not rocket ship fast, but by no means what you'd call sluggish. Nice car, but only hitting a gen 140/150 on either throttle bodies or a C20LET turbo lump.

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Wozza Mk3's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 13/02/2004

I currently own a 94 1.816v mk3 Astra Cesaro. I'm looking to upgrade to the GSI. I'm torn between the idea of getting the older 92/93 with the red top, or a more modern 97. Although i've heard numerous comments suggesting the red top is better, logic is telling me to get the more modern ecotec, which is more likely to have less mileage and be in better condition. The extra power would be nice, but i'm more focused on getting a gsi thats going to last.
<br>
<br>Any views u guys have got would be handy,
<br>Cheers.

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Plater's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 09/02/2004

The Redtop Engine , identified by the Red L shaped insert in the rocker cover and SFI lettering on the black inlet cover, was only fitted to Astra GTE 16v's from 1989 to 1991, Cavalier GSI's from 1989 to 1992, A limited run of cavalier Sri 16v's from 1992/93 and early Astra Gsi's (The 2.0 litre models). All other vauxhall models are fitted with either the 8v units or 16v Ecotech units or the larger capacity 2.5 and 3 litre units. Redtops were never fitted to any other model other than the ones I listed above, so unfortunately the Astra Sport you intend to buy does not have a c20xe Redtop powering it , unless someone has done a conversion. The difference between the 16v redtop and the 16v Ecotech is substantial. A Redtop boasts a factory figure of 150 bhp but most have been fitted with free flow exhausts , induction kits and the like which can see power rise to 170 bhp and an engine that will easily redline in fifth. By comparison the Ecotec has a stock 135 bhp and is fitted with a cat from the factory, power can be increased by going the usual route but power delivery can only be described as smooth, and in truth the ecotec is basically a cruising engine, in a drag race the ecotec 16v would labour to beat a decent 8v sri up to 85mph and would only outpace one top end because of the extra valves and higher top speed. A good redtop however, is capable of outpacing the newer vectra 2.5 v6 sri's and would leave an ecotec standing. I speak here from experience because i have driven both ecotecs and redtops and there really is no comparison, This reply will probably open a whole can of worms but i have seen the expression on the face of the v6 vectra driver as i pulled away in my £500 cav Gsi and left his £7500 barge struggling behind, when we met up later he even had the cheek to suggest i had a turbo engine fitted under the bonnet......poor loser!

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Muppetmule's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 07/02/2004

I hope the cops dont read this forum, they would be really impressed at all our serious speeding offences.
<br>
<br>LOL
<br>
<br>Im buying a 2.0 16v sport, I might put on some 17"s and original front,back and side skirts off GSi cos the sport looks a little dull.
<br>
<br>Im sure it's the same unit as the GSi but not as tuned. I know what you mean when you say red top I have seen them, opposed to the ecotec?
<br>
<br>Is that right, if so whats the differance, is the ecotec apptly named and has fewer stonking donkeys in it?

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Gbolton200's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 24/01/2004

I would have to say that 150 in a Mk3 GSi, early or not is entirely possible, having redlined my own Mk2 1.8 SRi at 140 - yes that is how fast it was going - given the increased ratio final drive AND higher ratio 5th on the Mk3 2 litre AND higher rev limit, I would have said there is no reason it wouldn't do 150 - after all nobody said it was going up hill, or even on the level!!! I wasn't to redline my astra... God I love some parts of the M25 at 4am! :-)

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Timix's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 14/01/2004

I have owned a Cav GSI and a Astra GSI and I love them, thing I like is its a missleading car. Have had 4 Escort RS turbos off the lights, You should see the looks on their faces when you start pulling away from them (o: Anyway, from 6 years of driving a Redtop I know you can easily pull to over 140 mph ON THE CLOCK and keep on going till it pins out, i'm not saying it does 150mph you'll properly need a GPS to proove that but it does 140 at least.

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Astravxr's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 27/12/2003

I got a mk3 1.4 16v astra one of the later models and i got that up to 125mph. On a downhill and surely with the wind following so i dont see no reason why a gsi cant go off the clock at 140mph. Unfortunatly i have never got her abover 115 ever since. Maybe she is in need ov a service or getting rid of that poor excuse of a replacement air filter.

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Gsijay's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 11/12/2003

badmofos if you want to know wot power and torque is I"ll let you have a go in mine ? mrk 4 astra gsi turbo pictured in the mrk 4 reveiws thats wot u call a motor boy I"LL show you wot quick is !!!

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Gsijay's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 11/12/2003

sorry badmofo"s your full of poo !!! no way a car with only i50 bhp could do that kind of speed and that 0-60 stop smoking funny Cigarettes, its makes you tell lies !!!!!!!!!!

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 08/12/2003

Hi Plater,
<br>
<br>was remarking on Badmofo's comments of 150mph and 0-60 in 6.5 seconds...............hence the Cosworth comment.
<br>
<br>Nothing pointed at you fella. As you can see though, those times are VERY optimistic.
<br>
<br>Cheers
<br>
<br>David

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Plater's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 05/12/2003

All your points are valid mate and you'll see from my previous reply i questioned speedo speeds myself however if my car and my mates prelude are both showing roughly the same speeds well....it speaks for itself doesn't it. As for your cosworth comments well no one is claiming a redtop is as quick. I also own a sierra 4x4 RS cosworth 91 model and of course its faster, but a second 0-60 is actually quite a lot relatively when talking about acceleration i.e Evo v11 0-60: 4.5s 2WD RS Cosworth 0-60 5.5s 4WD RS Cosworth 0-60 6.5s Honda Vtec 0-60 7.5s etc etc, a 7 second redtop is not unfeasible and even at seven seconds will be noticeably slower than a mid6 or sub6 sec car, i certainly know my own cavalier GSI is extremely quick off the mark and pulls strongly right to the redline in fifth, and i am used to driving a stage 1 cossy daily so i am not going to be impressed by a motor unless it really is impressive, granted my GSI has had some work done on it which means the power is probably up on standard but its not chipped . Anyway i stand by my previous comments.

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Astra2's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 05/12/2003

The speeds you are suggesting are simply speedo speeds. Check out Vauxhall's own figures. Your suggesting the MK3 GSi (Redtop or not) is quicker than the MK2 Astra GTE 16v it replaced...............it is not! Cats robbed them of 6bhp, the extra weight made them a slower car. 0-60 in under 7 secs in the MK3 without a turbo or a set of throttle bodies is inconceivable unless you are using the mate with a stopwatch method of guestimating the times.
<br>
<br>The car is a good all round performer, nice in the looks department, but is no way in Std Escort Cosworth territory in terms of performance...............which your figures suggest.
<br>
<br>The heads on the MK3's were GM castings (originally designed by Cosworth), NOT Cosworth made ones. Cosworth heads were found on early GTE 16v's and later (94 onwards) C20LET lumps found in Calibra Turbos and the odd Cavalier too. Any Cosworth head found on a MK3 is the result of a replacement head using a second hand item.

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Prothwell's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 19/11/2003

I have a J plate redtop and have done exactly as described - considerably past the 140mph indication. So yes, it is easily possible.

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Plater's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 04/11/2003

I see no reason to disbelieve that figure, any redtop in good overall condition , given enough road can easily redline in fifth. My own cavalier GSI pulling 6500 rpm in top gear also pushes the needle past the 140mph on the speedo and thats a heavier car than the astra, and yes i know that people will say speedo figures at that sort of speed are unreliable, but i have done this whilst baiting my mate in his 2.2 vtec honda prelude and even though he did eventually pass me he had to take his own car up to 150 to get by....slowly. It may be of course that people doubting the ability of the redtop do so because they,ve never had the good fortune to own a healthy one, there are after all a lot of tired, thrashed and breathless examples about......!

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Badmofo's Response to badmofo's Review

Written on: 15/10/2003

Well it only goes upto 140mph on the clock. It hit that, and the car kept on pulling. True i have no way of knowing for sure but i just guessed by the length of time that the car kept pulling. It was over 140mph by a fair bit though mate. Perhaps you drive one of the later models which barely touch 130mph? That's why my claim to you, perhaps seems unreasonable.

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Report this review Read 64 Comments
★★★★★

“i have just bought the new Vauxhall Astra GSI 20i...”

Written on: 11/09/2003 by jason mack (1 review written)

i have just bought the new Vauxhall Astra GSI 20i turbo 16v on a 03 plate wot a car with 200bhp and a top speed of 150mph wot can i say it has everything traction control esp {switchable} you name it its got it… Read Full Review

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Gmcorvette's Response to jason mack's Review

Written on: 01/01/2004

I totally agree. I bought one here in Australia as a Holden Astra SRi Turbo and it looks and drives awesome and it is great value for money. In Australia you dont get any options, although leather is standard.

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★★★★★

“Over all this is one very good hot hatch fit big...”

Written on: 04/05/2003 by Willow. (1 review written)

Over all this is one very good hot hatch fit big alloys drop it and enjoy the attention it gets. The car is expensive to get any big power gains out of but the 150 bhp as standard on pre-ecoteck engines is plenty. The engine is an absolute scorcher but watch for smoke and look for cream under the oil filler cap… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“This Vauxhall Astra GSI Mk3 has given me over a year...”

Written on: 02/04/2003 by H. (1 review written)

This Vauxhall Astra GSI Mk3 has given me over a year of trouble free motoring. The only thing its needed is a new petrol tank as the last one sprang a leak. They drive well but can be twitchy taking bends. The car is very well built and cruising at 90 mph feels like 60. In my opinion this is one of the best cars Ive owned (previous cars - RS turbo(ok) R5 GTT (avoid!)...and the best Vauxhall has manufactured.
If thinking of buying one, go for earlier models 92-93. Later models have a less… Read Full Review

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155998_Hhh's Response to 85391_H.'s Review

Written on: 18/05/2004

Update on my rewiew: Had the car 2 years and I have now upgraded to a Pulsar GTiR. Original comments I made in my review still stand - its a brilliant car, and if I had to tighten my belt, I would buy another one.
<br>During the second year I had to replace CV joints (apparently these are weak) and strut top bearings and one wheel bearing. None of these parts cost a fortune either.
<br>But I cant believe Vauxhall charge nearly 40 pounds for brake pad wear indicators! So If you see "brake pad" displayed on the computer you'l know that the wear sensors havnt been replaced along with the new pads.

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