Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The driving environment is quite cramped and storage is in short supply but the worst aspect is the flawed ergonomics – as the air vents are at the top of the centre console, controls for the stereo and ventilation systems are awkwardly located low down, while the air-con isn't very straightforward to use. However, the quality of the finish is impressive and the dash-top plastics, well damped switches and solid doors all help to create an air of quality.

The Astra estate has a supple ride and offers plenty of room for front and rear-seat passengers. A longer wheelbase than the Astra hatchback results in extra leg room in the rear and most models come with electric front windows and air conditioning. The seats are firm and supportive enough for longer trips however road rumble is noticeable and the diesels can be a bit clattery on - particularly on start-up -and can be intrusive on motorway journeys.