Day 5. The little things…

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GM then and now. 30 years.

Here are a few small annoying things I noticed about the Astra.
All cars have them no matter what the price…

When you only have 30 miles left worth of gas, the info screen goes into this default mode. Blocking any other modes. Like the radio.
So you can’t adjust anything until you put so gas in the tank.
Sure it’s a strong way to remind you about not running out of gas, but it is also driving you nuts.
I hate it when cars treat me like a 3 year old.

The turn signal is different than any other car . And it’s a bit weird. it just doesn’t stay down or up when you push it. So you just don’t feel it working. Sure you can hear it (And it sounds like an old 70’s GM car), and see it on the dash.
But it does feel different and is actually pretty hard to get used to.
I wonder if it’s an “Opel thing”.

The visibility in the back is pretty scary. But not as bad as the Mini Cooper.
But despite the narrow widows, visibility is OK on the sides.

The headrests move up and down, but not forward like on VWs.
So they’re always too far back. Like on most cars…

These are small things that some people might not even noticed.
But I’m picky…

Conversation 15 comments

  1. Vince-

    How is the lack of a coolant temp gauge on the dash bothering you?

    And I see you have the leather seats? Are they comfortable? restrictive?

    Keep up the great work! Love the reviews!

  2. to get rid of the Low Fuel Warning simply push the Big knob in the centre of the stereo. That selects the “OK” sign that shows on your picture.

    As for the indicators, man they are easy. Push all the way down to turn on. Press softly (half way down) for three flashes (a lane change). Very very simple. So what if they return to the “neutral” position?

  3. Well, It took me some time to get used to the electronic turn-signal stick, but it’s actually very nice. It has that “in-the-middle” position where the car only blinks 3-4 times, used for lane-changing, exiting round-abouts and situations where you only need a short period of blinking.

    As for the “30 miles left” 🙂 When You have the SatNav version it also comes up with a list of gas-stations that is withing reach.
    In Germany (and other EU Countries) it’s illegal to empty Your gas-tank. You’ll end up with a hefty fine and some “words” from the police if they find You stopped by the road with an empty tank. That’s probably why its designed to “get your attention!!!”. So, If You behave like a three year old, be prepared to be treated as one 🙂

  4. Of course the info screen blocks NOT any other modes! Look at the OK! Press the big Controll-Button at the Radio…means OK, the driver noticed it and the display step back to the usual mode! Also in Winter, when temperature go around zero, slippery-danger-alert!

    greetings from a happy european opel signum driver!

  5. I’ve driven cars (like the 350Z convertible) where the headrest is fixed but way too far forward, forcing me into hunchback mode, so if it’s not going to be adjustible laterally I’d prefer it to be too far back.

    That display thing on a low tank would annoy the living hell out of me, but from my experience living and working in Germany it is almost typical culturally that a german car would do that. Germans seem to thrive on having someone tell them what to do.

    I saw an Astra parked and gotta admit although I like it I think it is at too high a price point here in dollars. $20k for a small hatch with only decent equipment is steep and would steer me toward a Mazda3, mainly because with the Mazda I can have more space, more fun, and negotiate the price down to below the Saturn. If this car were stickered at 20k but I could dicker it to 18k then it would be reasonable, but Saturn effectively prohibits that so no deal. For the price of the Astra or less there are too many better alternatives, I think.

  6. Hello Vince, the turn signal like you said is an opel thing, here in Mexico all opel (chevrolet branded in local market) cars have that kind of turn signal, vectra, astra,corsa,etc.

  7. Thanks to all for the comments.
    I did put gas in it yesterday so I can’t try to push the OK button anymore.
    But I do remember trying everything (And I think I did push the OK thing…).
    The seats are very firm. The support on the sides are great.
    But they might be too firm for some.
    I think the base 5 door has softer seats.
    The lack of temp gauge doesn’t bother me. I’ve driven other cars like that.
    Most new cars don’t heat up anyway so I never pay attention to the gauge.
    I’ll be returning the car this Friday. (For something else from GM)

  8. Since this is just basically an upscale Cobalt….why doesn’t it at least have the Coolant Temp Gauge? Even though it’s rather pointless, I have a friend w/ a 2005 Coboalt LS Coupe with the coolant temp. Btw, I thought the rear visibility on the Cobalt Coupe was bad, that is even worse!

    I’m still trying to understand the qualm about the turn signals, don’t Jettas have that feature too?

  9. Does the due to empty number go away under 30 miles (Just says “low” instead) as well? I like to see mine go below because that means I usually have about 4-5 days left of gas the way I drive and where.

  10. Anyone who has ever owned an old British car, you become accustomed to glancing at a engine temp reading. I’ve never needed it in any other car though. It would make sense that the digital display would show something if the temperature got to a critical point.

  11. That first photo reminded me that the Cadillac Seville was one of the best looking styling jobs of the 70’s in my opinion.

  12. GM then and now?
    OK, give me GM then.

    Rusting heaps of inferior technology always win in the end.

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