Vauxhall Astra review
With stylish looks, impressive onboard technology and competitive pricing, the Vauxhall Astra is a convincingly good family hatchback
If you’re in the market for a smart-looking family hatchback that delivers good practicality, strong infotainment and a decent drive, then the Vauxhall Astra is definitely worth a look. Efficient petrol and diesel engines provide excellent fuel economy, while the plug-in hybrid model has a breadth of skills that might persuade business users out of that default SUV.
The Astra isn’t perfect, however; interior quality could be a little better in places and space in the rear seats is a little tighter than we’d like, but as an overall package the Vauxhall Astra is definitely a contender in the family hatchback class.
About the Vauxhall Astra
The Vauxhall Astra has had a bit of an image problem over recent years with bland styling, dull engines and little flair to excite buyers looking for a capable family hatchback that’s also desirable. But, with the manufacturer acquired by the PSA Group in 2017 and subsequently becoming part of the larger Stellantis family, Vauxhall has been reinvigorated and given a new lease of life.
We first saw the Griffin’s new style approach with the launch of the second-generation Mokka in 2020; a sharply-styled, small SUV that introduced the ‘Vizor’ design as the face of all future Vauxhall models. This was followed by the refreshed Crossland and Grandland SUVs, and now it’s the Astra’s turn to benefit from a thorough reworking.
Car group tests
- New Vauxhall Astra 2022 review
- New Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 2022 review
- New Vauxhall Astra PHEV 2022 review
- New Vauxhall Astra 2019 review
Used car tests
The previous Astra didn’t offer the perceived quality of the Volkswagen Golf, nor the driving dynamics of the Ford Focus, while rivals such as the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic were striking looking alternatives that made Vauxhall’s hatch look lacklustre in comparison. Now in its eighth iteration, the Astra features a smart, modern appearance, impressive onboard technology and all-important electrified powertrains to boost its green credentials.
Despite the rising trend in family SUVs, there are plenty of other five-door hatchbacks currently on sale to challenge the Astra. The VW Group’s SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia are reliable, practical options, while the talented Korean pair of the Hyundai i30 and Kia Ceed are worthy of consideration. There’s also the Peugeot 308, which uses the same EMP2 platform as the Astra.
Power options consist of a 1.2-litre petrol engine with either 109bhp or 128bhp, and a single 128bhp 1.5-litre diesel. Both petrol versions are offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with an optional eight-speed automatic transmission (standard on the diesel model) available at extra cost.
A 178bhp 1.6-litre petrol plug-in hybrid also features in the Astra lineup; capable of up to 43 miles on electric drive alone, the PHEV is the most efficient Astra you can buy until the all-electric model appears in 2023.
Unlike the myriad choices offered with previous generations, the latest Astra comes with just three trim level options: Design (entry), GS Line (sporty) and Ultimate (luxury). Starting from around £24,000, the range is competitively priced, although the plug-in hybrid models are more than £32,000.
For an alternative review of the Vauxhall Astra, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWith stylish looks, impressive onboard technology and competitive pricing, the Vauxhall Astra is a convincingly good family hatchback
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Astra lineup includes petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid power, with an all-electric model on the way
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsAstra petrol and diesel models offer great fuel economy, but the efficiency star is the plug-in hybrid
- 4Interior, design and technologyBuyers will be impressed with the Astra’s new look and generous levels of standard kit
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA big boot and practical cabin are welcome features, but the Astra could do with more space for rear passengers
- 6Reliability and safetyThe Astra misses out on a five-star Euro NCAP rating, but Driver Power customer feedback is improving