The new Astra has certainly got bolder looks than the last one, though some may say it's a little heavy-jawed - but no matter, it's got some character and the new three-door due next year looks better balanced altogether.
The last car was a much better driver than many reviewers gave credit for. (I've run mine for 45,000 pleasing miles) and the new version is a tad sharper in the corners.
Ergonomics have taken a dive though - it's amazing that Opel/Vauxhall could spend so much time and money developing the interior, yet provide fewer cubby holes than the last model.
Lowering the dashboard screen has contributed to this and, as a by-product, made the clock difficult to read for back-seat passengers (as in "when are we going to get there Dad?").
Knobs are dials are less well positioned as well - several rotary controls are now down in front of the gear shift instead of being perfectly positioned - why? why? why?!
Still, overall, it's an OK car. The only other gripe (of the hatchback) being rear 3/4 version for tight parking, which is no better (no worse either) than my wife's Seat Leon.
Overall, it's a curate's egg - good in parts - but (just) manages to squeeze in as a 4-star car...
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