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Overall reader verdict 4 out of 5 stars

  • What's it like to drive
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Running costs
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Quality, practicality and equipment
    3 out of 5 stars

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126 reader reviews for Vauxhall Astra Hatchback.
  • 1.7 CDTi 100 Club 5dr

    Brett Day , Essex . Date: 27/12/2005
    • Overall verdict
      1 out of 5 stars
    • What's it like to drive
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Running costs
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Quality, practicality and equipment
      1 out of 5 stars

    My car

    I've had two of the base model versions. Both cars started showing the same electrical faults with the seatbelt warning light and buzzer working intermitently when the seat belt is on, and both ended up with the warning staying on permanently.

    The 'smart' indicators were a nightmare - apart from being fiddly, spongy and awkward to use when selecting main beam, both cars often selected indicators.

    The inside of the car has a lot of angles in it - the handbrake is cold hard plastic and the gear stick is similar, and it doesn't have a nice position for your hand to fall to and palm the gears.

    The steering wheel, whilst soft to touch, has lots of ridges on the underside that make finding a comfortable hand position hard to get.

    Both cars were noisy, and rattly, particularly with the diesel, and especially in the cold weather. I have had a T-reg Citroen Xsara and a Skoda Octavia, and they both have quiet and refined diesels. My driving is a mixture of city driving and motorway. Over a week, the first Astra averaged about 40mpg, the second about 31mpg, given that over the same routes the Xsara and Octavia averaged over 50mpg.

    There are not as many cubby holes as in the previous version, and the slanted tailgate makes putting large loads in very awkward. Why are there no load eyes in the boot? The Xsara, a much older car, had them, and the Octavia, a much cheaper car has them. Even the new Focus has them.

  • 1.7 CDTi 80 SXi 5dr

    david bond , norfolk . Date: 18/12/2005
    • Overall verdict
      5 out of 5 stars
    • What's it like to drive
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Running costs
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Quality, practicality and equipment
      4 out of 5 stars

    My car

    I'm very pleased with the new Astra - we get 60mpg on a long trip and always around 52mpg as an average - though if driven hard it comes down to under 50 mpg. It handles very well and looks a storm.

  • 1.7 CDTi 80 Club 5dr

    Thomas McInnes , Glasgow . Date: 10/09/2005
    • Overall verdict
      4 out of 5 stars
    • What's it like to drive
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Running costs
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Quality, practicality and equipment
      3 out of 5 stars

    My car

    Just taken delivery of the Astra, having been drawn to the model by its bold new look, which is certainly more attractive than the staid appearance of the new Focus and same-again Golf.

    Dynamically, the car is a revelation, and certainly worthy of comparison with anything else in the class. Vauxhall has achieved a fine ride/handling balance and injected the car with character that was sorely absent in the previous generation Astra.

    The gearchange - traditionally a weakness for Vauxhalls - is positive, as is the slickness of the other major controls.

    Drawbacks are few. The CDTI performs with gusto, although it never really manages to hide its diesel origins around town, with a permanent rattle in the background. The infuriating one-touch indicator and wiper stalks are distracting, and further black marks are earned for the fiddly stereo design and low positioning of the heating controls. Vauxhall should look to Ford for lessons in how to sort cabin ergonomics.

    These foibles apart, the new Astra is a cracker. Satisfying to drive, own and look at, it is snapping at the heels of the class leaders. Forget the previous version - try this.

  • 1.8 16v Club 5dr

    Leon Lim Date: 29/08/2005
    • Overall verdict
      2 out of 5 stars
    • What's it like to drive
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Running costs
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Quality, practicality and equipment
      2 out of 5 stars

    My car

    This car, I believe, has a very poor quality radio, with the worst reception I have encountered.

    With no manual override to turn on the air recyclling permanently, it defaulted to open. I had to remember to push the button each time I started the engine. Most of the time, I only realised it after the exhaust smoke from the car in front entered the cabin.

    The horn is too soft, and I think a potential safety issue.

    The engine is good and quite responsive.

Vauxhall Astra Hatchback

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