Hi all. I just picked up my new Astra today. It's a 2005 1.6 Breeze model. It will be from now on known as the Fabreeze by my wife as she misheard the sales lady in the garage.
No pics as of yet, but I'll take a couple if and when the sun shines. I'm sitting in my local garage at the moment while I'm having it valeted by them. (free wifi and nice coffee ) Although my local dealer are pretty good, they didn't give it a thorough clean as promised when I bought it. Slightly unimpressed with that, but it's not the end of the world.
Bit of a strange car journey for me. I have only been driving for 5 and bit years and started off with a 2002 Corsa as my first car (company car) which was incendently from the same garage I got my Astra from. After I left the company I got another Corsa (2004 Design) which was a stop gap really. I would have kept it longer, but it had been a smokers car and I just couldn't get rid of the smell. I liked it a lot other than that though.
I then decided to get a brand new Peugeot 107 as I hadn't had a brand new car up to that point. It did me ok for 18 months and was very economical. Wasn't impressed in the slightest with the service from the local Pug dealer though, wouldn't ever go back to them. After owning the uber ecomomical 107 for a while my wife and I decided to get something more fun, so I traded it in for a low mileage 2002 Mazda MX5 in immaculate condition.
Had a lot of fun in the MX5 but there were a couple of things that didn't make it that practical. I'm quite a big chap 6ft2 and it wasn't always comfortable to drive on my daily commute. Also, even though it had a 1.6 engine it was very thirsty on petrol and also a very high emission car (190 somthing co2/km). So road tax as it is was 210 for a year and would be nearly 300 under the new 2009 bandings (assuming they go ahead).
The consumption and tax were a little bit of a worry since the fuel prices only started to really rocket after we got the car and the new tax banding also were announced after we got it.
So last week something happened that made me decide to change the MX5, I put it into the side of a bus shelter Came off a mini roundabout in the wet and as I pulled away the back end went on it and I totally lost control of the car. It was like I was on ice. I knew it could be a little lary in the wet with it being RWD, but it had never done anything like this before. It was at very low speed as well (about 15mph). No one else was involved and I wasn't hurt but I decided that I didn't want a car that could be that unpredictable in the wet. I wasn't worried about driving it again, but I don't want to have to tiptoe in the wet on the off chance it would happen again.
So the MX5 is now in the workshop and it's 50/50 wether or not it will be written off. If it is, it will be paying off the Astra and if not, I'll be selling it through my brother-in-laws garage as soon as it's repaired.
Sad to see it go, but I'm also really pleased with the Astra. I have had good experience with Vauxhall's in the past and the two I did have were very reliable. This has got loads of room for me and a nice equipment level also. It's also going to be much more economical than the MX5 in the long run.
Sorry for the essay, hope you are all still awake and hope to join in with the community from now on.
For anyone who is interested, here's the outcome of my crash. Bus Shelter 1, MX5 0.
The engine was fine after the crash (started up, no noises or leaks) and the steering also seemed ok. Apparently there is chassis damage on one side though, so the repair bill is going to be over 5000. Still waiting to hear if it's going to be a write off. I'm kind of hoping it will be as it's simpler, but we'll see.