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In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Astra review - Interior, design and technology

Astra has a premium looking and feeling interior with a dashboard dominated by a seven- or eight-inch touchscreen

Compared with some of its conservatively styled rivals, the latest Astra looks sharp. From the neatly sculpted front bumper and grille to the swept-back headlamps and sharp creases running down the sides, it packs plenty of visual punch. In SRi guise, the Vauxhall looks surprisingly sporty, and this is enhanced by standard-fit 17-inch alloy wheels.

A rising window line follows the ridge running through the door handles, culminating in a flick that almost meets the roof at the top of the bootlid. This design flourish does reduce rear visibility, but the upshot is that it gives the Astra an athletic stance in profile. Narrow tail-lights mounted high up continue the sporty theme, while a boot spoiler and narrow rear window make the car look more compact.

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Inside, the Astra is feeling its age slightly despite a mild freshen-up in 2019. It’s functional, ergonomically sound and feels built to last, but it simply can’t match the quality of a Volkswagen Golf, the style of a Mazda 3 nor the great infotaiment of a Ford Focus or Kia Ceed. Still, it’s not terrible by any means and remains a comfortable place to spend time – particularly in higher-spec versions.

Vauxhall interior design has been impressive of late, with a stylish, easy to use dash and good-quality materials used, too. The Astra takes that a step further with strong tech on board as well – all operated through an intuitive seven- or eight-inch touchscreen.

That screen sits neatly in a classy piano black surround that stretches across the width of the dashboard and is underlined by a stylish piece of chrome-effect trim. The main instruments also have an information screen between them and the graphics are nice and clear.

Navigate the range and you’ll find all manner of goodies either standard fit or as optional extras. 360-degree parking sensors and self-parking system feature, along with LED headlights – which strangely are standard on the smaller Corsa, but not here. Heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control and a premium Bose stereo are also available.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

All Astra models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, while models further up the range get a larger eight-inch touchscreen. While the graphics don’t look quite as crisp as you'll find in a Kia Ceed or Ford Focus, the unit is incredibly functional and works well, with a logical layout.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,000

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,000

Fastest

  • Name
    1.4 Turbo SE 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £20,000
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