- Impressively refined
- Smooth and quiet ride
- Upmarket interior
- Good choice of engines
- Reassuring handling
- Smaller petrol engines are lacklustre
- Steering lacking in feel
- Ordinary looks
Alongside the Ford Focus, the Vauxhall Astra hatchback is one of the most popular cars on sale in the UK.
This latest model builds on that strong reputation while adding some much needed refinement and driver appeal.
It has a much sleeker appearance than its predecessor, although some would argue that it's now rather anonymous, but the cabin is a huge step forward with an upmarket look and feel, while passenger space for those in the back has also increased.
Excels over long distances
Its real forte is long-distance cruising, thanks to a superbly smooth and quiet ride, while there's a good choice of economical engines including the low emissions 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX unit that is festooned with fuel-saving and CO2-emission-lowering technology such as stop/start.
It's composed and agile on the move, but the steering is somewhat lifeless, meaning the Astra isn't as enjoyable to drive as some alternatives. However, it's a good family car and comes well-equipped as standard.
Another point worth noting is that Vauxhall is known to offer excellent value for money deals on its forecourts so it’s likely you’ll be able to wangle a sizeable discount on the price of your new Astra.
As well as selling extremely well in the private sphere, company car drivers love the Astra too since it generally offers a favourable P11d value combined with low CO2 emissions, which means low company car tax.
There’s a wide range of equipment, accessories and trim levels available too so the Astra is a hatchback that’ll cater for a wide selection of drivers.
It also scored a maximum five stars in the EuroNCAP safety tests, which gives buyers even more piece of mind.
It also has a clever Flex-Floor system in the boot which serves to provide extra practicality in terms of space management behind the rear seats.
Finally, there’s absolutely no reason to question the Astra’s reliability. The previous version was a resilient workhorse and this model shares many parts with other Vauxhall cars. Read on for our comprehensive Vauxhall Astra hatchback review.
What owners say about this car
Plenty of space for a small car and the flex boot system is worth having. Read owner review
Boot space is enough for a large pushchair and all accessories you may need to carry around with a... Read owner review
Spacious, can easily fit four adults with plenty of room for any kit they may have. Read owner review