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When my husband first said he was going to order a car on the internet, I was horrified. How could you buy a car that you hadn't seen, let alone test driven? Easily, is the answer.
Having chosen your model and optional extras, you are contacted by your local dealership (unless you specify where you want to go), a test drive is arranged, and your order is completed at the dealership. If this seems like a convoluted way to operate, I must point out that on our particular order we had an "internet saving" of £565.00 (inc.VAT), which almost paid for the upgrade to Xenon headlights.
The only problem we encountered on this order was the delivery date; our order was dated 17.08.02, and we took delivery on 21.11.02. The cars are manufactured in Germany, and transported to Italy to be finished off by Bertone, before being shipped to the UK. I don't know if this has changed since.
The Car. 2dr convertible 2.2i 16V. Very comfortable, very stylish, surprisingly practical. Can easily accomodate 4 adults, and although the boot looks small, it isn't. We have been on several family holidays, and not had to take only one change of clothes each! Optional extras that we took were all well worth the investment. Electric climate control is much more comfortable than air conditioning, and has an Eco setting to minimise fuel consumption. Xenon headlights with washers mean that your lights are always bright. If you have a leather pack, then the front seats can be electronically warmed, a real bonus in winter as nothing feels colder than leather first thing in the morning!
The one extra we should have had, however, was the "rear park distance sensor". OK, we would have possibly found the beeping annoying, but at least I would have known I was going to bump my bumper! The visibility when the roof is up is poor, and that's not just the view of this woman driver. When the roof is down, obviously you can see everything!
The dashboard is well laid out, with everyhing in a logical place. The radio and CD player can be operated from the steering wheel, as well as manually. Sun visors are small, but then the whole point of this car is to make the most of the sun! I was concerned about the safety of not having a rigid roof, but once inside, you feel very secure. The roll bars are only reassuringly obvious. The roof can only be put up or down when the car is stationary, which is a great safety device and gives other motorists immense joy to see you pulled over when caught in a sudden downpour. It can also be raised and lowered by remote control, which is posing at it's best.
Never having owned a convertible before, I was unsure how cold and windy it would be when driving along at 60 mph. In the front, with the windows up, there is hardly any turbulence at all. In the back, it is apparently more gusty, but I don't sit there! Speed, noise, and bluster are all relative, but great fun. With the roof up, there is more noise than in a normal car, but not a great deal more.
The car handles so beautifully, has a great pick up, and cruise control. The car moves so well, you can be surprised to see how fast you are going, and it can handle 125mph with ease. It can be a little skittish in the wind, but is fantastic in snow and ice, and really holds the road well. Fuel consumption is good.
Last summer, my arms and face were more tanned than they had been for a long time, and I'm looking forward to my second summer with this car. On cold days, you only need to wrap up well, and turn the bottom warmer on to be on your way to fun winter driving.
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A very good review.Love the idea of a "bottom warmer".!!! :)
kungfuclown 25.02.2004 15:07
Another great op well done, The Astra has come along way from the old GTE's! I will just say that I have been in one of these and there really is not a lot of room in the back! I also agree that it is quite satisfying to see you convertible drivers pulled over on the side of the road getting drenched as the roof slowly goes up! :o) Pete
ampuk2000 25.02.2004 13:06
Not quite sure about a convertible astra, seems a bit of a weird combination. Anyway good review.
Please refer to the vehicle list for all suitable vehicles and any technical restrictions ... more
in menu item "product details"!Brand new, ready-to-fit, first class quality product including a 2 year warranty!Price including VAT!Non-generic edition - plug corresponding to the original one!NO UNIVERSAL OXYGEN SENSOR !!!BRAND NEW