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There is a newer version of this car Read the latest Vauxhall Astra Hatchback review here

Vauxhall Astra Hatchback review

2009 - 2015 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 54.0
” Used bargain and tonnes of choice out there “

At a glance

Price new £12,995 - £25,995
Used prices £847 - £9,417
Road tax cost £0 - £290
Insurance group 7 - 26
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Fuel economy Not tested to latest standards
Range 468 - 961 miles
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Petrol

Diesel

Pros & cons

PROS
CONS
  • Smaller petrol engines are lacklustre
  • Steering lacking in feel
  • Ordinary looks

Written by Parkers Published: 21 August 2023 Updated: 21 August 2023

Overview

The humble Vauxhall Astra hatchback is one of the most popular used cars in the UK. This particular model has a strong reputation for refinement and economy, although some argue the looks are rather anonymous.

Compared with older Astra models the cabin is a huge step forward with an upmarket (ish) look and feel, while passenger space for those in the back is also better than average.

If you’re looking for a secondhand hatchback you’ve plenty of other options. Cars such as the Ford Focus, Toyota Auris and Renault Megane should also definitely feature on your shopping list.

Vauxhall Astra Mk6 known faults and common problems

This generation was first shown to the world back in 2009. It was discounted quite heavily throughout its lifetime and as such it sold well, so you can expect to find plenty on the used market.

These models are getting close to the bottom of their depreciation curves. Oh, and plenty were used as company cars, so there will be a few with high mileages out there. There are no real horror stories in terms of reliability. Astras are generally resilient workhorses and this model shares many parts with other Vauxhall cars.

Buying guide

Common issues, and what to look for if you’re looking at getting one.

Recalls

During the course of its lifetime it was subject to seven recalls. These concerned window issues, short circuit problems, passenger seat movement and airbags not deploying. These mostly concerned early cars but either way, it’s worth checking that the recall work was done.

Parking brakes

Multiple issues with the parking brake have been reported. Some of these relate to them disengaging too quickly automatically. Worth testing it out on a steep hill during the test drive.

Service intervals

Service intervals are long at 20,000 miles or two years. This means ‘forgetful’ owners may skimp on servicing.

Six-speed issues

We’ve seen several reports of the 6-speed manual gearbox failing on the 1.4-litre turbo petrol.

DPF blockages

Not a problem with the Astra per se, but a problem for most diesel engines that don’t regularly cover good mileages. If you’re after a diesel make sure it’s done reasonable mileage in the last year.

Choice

The Astra was available with more than 100 trim level and engine choice configurations during its time on sale. It’s worth researching what each one comes with in order to figure out which one is right for you.

Surface corrosion

Surface corrosion due to various paint defects is relatively common. Corrosion is bad but if you’re unfussed by paint you shouldn’t be put off my minor blemishes.

Cambelts

Cambelts need changing every 100,000 miles. Make sure they have been done as this is pricey.

Skirt rips

The aerodynamic skirt under the front bumper is good for fuel consumption, but can easily be snagged and ripped off.

Practicality problems

Not so much a manufacturing issue, but this era of Astra does suffer from a small boot. At 370 litres of boot space, it has a boot smaller one than the contemporary Ford Focus, Peugeot 308 and Volkswagen Golf.

What models and trims can you buy

All in, there are more than 100 trim levels and engine choices on the hatchback alone. The cheapest earliest models were simply referred to as S, while the fanciest everything-including-the-kitchen-sink late models were called Elite. Highlights in between those bookends include SRi, Tech Line and Exclusiv.

The Astra was also available as an estate, called the Sports Tourer, and there was also a hot-hatch version called the VXR. Unlike the previous model, there was no van or convertible variant.

Over the next few pages, we’ll review each aspect of the Vauxhall Astra, taking into account its practicality, comfort, fuel economy and performance. If you’re short on time, you can also skip to our verdict page to see if we recommend the Astra Mk6 as a good used car.