Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Sleek-looking cabin with decent quality trim
  • Infotainment system looks good and easy to use
  • A big leap over the old Astra

How is the quality and layout?

Inside, a clean cockpit layout grabs your attention. There’s a new steering wheel design – one that’ll presumably make its way onto other new Vauxhalls in the coming years – and a progression of the ‘Pure Panel’ screen layout that first started with the latest Mokka, with two 10.0-inch screens merged together in one solitary design element.

The quality and choice of materials is very impressive. There are soft touch plastics on the dashboard and front doors, the leather-wrapped steering wheel feels great in your hands and its buttons work with precision. With the Volkswagen Golf taking a tumble in interior quality recently, the Astra finds itself near the pointy end of the class.

Infotainment and tech

The latest Vauxhall Astra debuts a new infotainment system to take full advantage of the new Pure Panel screen layout. There’s an array of digital instrumentation that complements the central infotainment screen – and it looks classy and homogenous, and moves on the game, matching the brilliant set-up in the Peugeot 308.

All the systems work well, and are easy to navigate, with excellent integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto supplementing Vauxhall’s very effective standard-fit sat-nav. Particularly appealing are the musical information and warning chimes, although we’d be interested to see if the novelty wears off after extended use. Our system glitched a couple of times on our test drive, but we’ll put that down to it being an early production model.

Comfort

  • One of the best in class for comfort
  • Supportive, well-shaped seats
  • Rear passengers have lots of room

Get behind the wheel of the Astra and you’ll find that there is enough range of adjustment for most drivers to get comfortable. It has a good view forward, a nice driving position and plenty of long-distance support.

AGR-certified (‘Aktion Gesunder Rücken’ or ‘Campaign for Healthier Backs’) seats – a favourite of Opel/Vauxhall in recent years – are 12mm lower than the old Astra’s seats and offer ‘comfort’ and ‘sport’ contouring via electric adjustment. Nappa leather and alcantara upholstery are on the options list.

The story in the rear isn’t quite so rosy – we’ve already discussed the tight leg and headroom for those in the back, but in addition, some of the darker interior trims as well as bulky pillars can leave it feeling a little like a coal bunker for passengers, unless you specify it with a glass sunroof.