Vauxhall Astra (09 - 15) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

Had one for a week as a hire car. Agree with the what car review. Looks good, lots of space for small car. Interior quality good. Odd steering wheel is huge and seems to be angled a lot. To drive 1.4 is predictably gutless and no point revving it as it goes little faster. Steering lifeless. No feel at all. Could I own one, never. Just no feel or character, just supremely bland, not a car i could ever love.

pete simms, February 18th 2015

i 16V Energy 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

I've always like the shape of the Astra and even though it is now five years old I think it has aged well and still looks fresh. Initially I test drove a 1.6 petrol but it just didn't have much poke, which is why I opted for the 1.4 turbo. In terms of performance, I agree with other reviews - it is not a hot hatch but if you push it there is enough acceleration to make fairly swift progress and get you out of trouble where necessary. Inside, Vauxhall really upped their game compared to the previous model and I still think it looks classier than the Focus. It is a very comfortable place to spend time and the layout of the dash is pretty good. In terms of economy, I am getting about 40mpg around town which I am happy with. Quibbles? The stereo sound quality isn't that great and it is a bit fiddly to change the settings, and I am also surprised the SRI doesn't come with bluetooth. But overall it is a solid car for reasonable money and a big improvement on previous incarnations. The depreciation means you can pick up a bargain - mine was Β£9k for a 12 month old facelift model with 18,000 on the clock (ex fleet).

Paul Johnston, Merseyside, November 6th 2014

T 16V SRi [140] 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I had been looking for a car to replace my 7 year old BMW Z4 - a great car that I felt was starting to have a negative effect on my back(and wallet). I wanted something more practical, comfortable and that represented good value as a second hand buy. Having driven Focus, Golf, Leon etc I bought a one year old Astra 1.4T SRI. I have no regrets. Before driving I was not expecting much having read several reviews online. How wrong could I be. I was really surprised at the build quality of the car - solid and refined. The dash is very well laid out with quality switches and nice chrome detailing. The cabin is very spacious too - I am 6' 3'' and have no issues. The sports seat are very supportive and the suspension perfect with hardly any roll at all. I guess the SRI set up helps with this. The engine is perfect for my driving which is mainly urban with the odd motorway cruise. I like to have some poke too and the turbo provides this very well. This is no hot hatch but if you are looking for an economical petrol engine with plenty more kick than a standard 1.6/ 1.8 petrol then this could suit you well. The Astra is great on the motorway (6 speed box). My challenge was to see how it performed going up Rhuallt hill in North Wales on the A55. This was no issue and it managed it easily in 6th gear at 70mph+. I'm getting on average 43mpg which given my average speed is 27mph is really rather good. 100% reliable so far. I'm not missing the BMW!

James Wood, Merseyside, March 9th 2014

T 16V SRi [140] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG43 mpg

Had my Astra 1.7cdti elite 3 years. I did 46k in it from brand new. What a joy it was to own at first! Well it still was right up till when i got rid of it last week. Reliability - Quite honestly not a single glitch in all that time. Tires, wipers & brakes where all that it needed in 46k. It also had all the optional extras. The only thing I found was once the windows decided to open themselves, not great for security! You could open them with the key, Vauxhall immediately turned this feature off after i told them what happened. No issues since. Driving - It was a great road holder and extremely well planted. You could cruise at over 110+ and it felt as stable as a big merc. I thought it was great at handing, (which it was) but then in the time I had the joy of driving a few BMW's Seat's, Audi's and many other cars. Then i realised it wasn't quite as sharp. The steering was a bit vague and it was to floppy in the bends, but it still glued the road! Ownership - It was good to own, but Vauxhall, as good as they tried, they weren't great and the service isn't amazing. Devaluation has put me off another new car. So now I'm off to buy myself a 2007 BMW 320i M sport with all the toys. Will sure to be reviewing that soon! Would recommend an Astra to anyone though.

Tom Ketley, Easy yorkshire, March 1st 2014

CDTi 16V ecoFLEX Elite [125] 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG52.4 mpg

This car has been an absolute bargain from my local Network Q Dealer. Purchased at 10 months old with a 3 year warranty for just over Β£10,000, off setting heavy initial depreciation the car was nearly half the RRP! The Astra's best features are its smooth comfortable ride, comfortable and supportive seats with good lateral support, interior space, great build quality, and high equipment levels. The good looks inside and out have surprised many people. The dash does seem button heavy at first but you quickly get used to the layout with familiarity. On the motor way it is quiet apart from some wind noise around the A pillars and very smooth. On the down side fuel economy in town is only average but better on longer journeys and the acceleration is ok but lacks oomph uphill - you have to really change down sometimes but at least the gearbox works well. The worst feature has to be the visability when parking but again have found it easier with familiarity. Cant understand why they get mediocre reports in the press - seriously not much difference in the way they drive over a Golf or Focus but look looks far less boring than a Golf and a much better interior than the Focus. Would not want to spend nearly Β£21,000 on this car whn new(or indeed any other of its rivals) but at the price it was a serious amount of metal for the money and I look forward to many more trouble free miles with it.

Chris Kousiappis, Warwickshire, February 21st 2014

i 16V SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG36 mpg

63 reg. Cabin: well built, mostly high quality feel, few low rent materials. Good sized boot. Quiet around town but once up to speed cabin quite noisy. Equipment: Considering price, Sri trim level too basic. Extended armrest good idea but unlike Golf, it's not height adjustable. Cruise std but poorly executed eg Deceleration doesn't slow car and clutch doesn't disengage cruise control. Who changes gear to maintain same speed? Std radio affair straight out of 1990's. Poor sound, No DAB, confusing to use and no USB. Ford bluetooth much better. Driving: Engine impressively refined, unremarkable performance though. Steering perfectly acceptable, body roll impressive, suspension fussy at low speed, very good at higher speed. Drivers seat in desperate need of lumber adjustment, can become uncomfortable. Overall visibility just pathetic. Thick A-pillars make pulling out of T-junctions difficult. Rear visibility very poor, why no parking aids as standard? Costs: 39mpg after 1500 miles of mixed driving, and that's driving economically. Β£175 road tax not impressive for modern car. Price too expensive even after heavy discount new or nearly new. List price a joke. Overall: 1.6T's are best avoided. The few good points far outweighed with flaws. Beneath modern exterior, car seems old school. Focus slightly more expensive but by far the better overall car. Even low mileage users much better off with Astra deisel or if petrol is a must, VAG's 1.4T or even Ford's 1.0 Ecoboo

ron martin, September 29th 2013

T 16V SRi [180] 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG39 mpg

I bought this car in June 2013, I am so disappointed with the performance, any hill climb the car loses power, in fact, this weekend we were in Wales and went to go up a hill near Prestatyn and the car struggled, I had to change down to "FIRST GEAR" it felt like it had 5 paving stones in the boot although there was only the wife and me in the car and we only weigh combined 135Kg so the car should have got up there OK. It has been in the local Vauxhall Dealers this morning because I thought it had a serious problem, but thy have told me that the car is in perfect condition and that they can find no fault with it. All I can say is I don't think they have driven one up a hill. I would be interested to know if anyone else has the same problem. The car itself has a nice look to it and is easy to drive except on hilly roads I will definitely get a bigger engine and diesel in future, but not Vauxhall, this car is going in the bin shortly, It's my own fault for not having a test drive before buying although there aren't may hills near Warrington. I would not recommend this vehicle to any one. One other thing is that although the boot will fit my golf equipment in. e.g. Bag trolley and shoes etc. My driver and three wood have to be put separately, diagonally across the boot otherwise they wouldn't fit in there.

ALAN HACKETT, September 16th 2013

T 16V Exclusiv [140] 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

I have owned this car for over 5 years now and its been superb,performs very well for 1.6,and not expensive to run.I service it myself, and have only had to replace 1 coil spring other than the usual wear and tear items,brake pads,three etc.I also have a 2012 Insignia but I much prefer the Astra

DAVID HOOD, SOUTH LANARKSHIRE, September 13th 2013

i 16V Club 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG34 mpg

A very poor car . Pros it does about 50 to the gallon and is reasonably nippy and refined. Cons bumpy ride poorly built trim falling off handbrake badly positioned so every time you release it you catch your hand on the gear lever housing . Poor visibility due to huge screen pillars . Poor boot access narrow hatch and seats don't fold flat neither do the front headrests come off so if you want to put long items in you cant as they foul on partially folded seats . Have hired the Asrtra for 2 weeks and my last hire car a Hyundai i30 . It was much much better than this . I can see why all the i30s had been hired out and all that was left was crappy Astras . I looked in a showroom at a Skoda Octavia yesterday and it was way way better than the Astra . Better build more space and more comfy . I wont be buying an Astra anytime soon !

Chris Steele, July 9th 2013

CDTi 16V SRi 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG50 mpg

I have had the car a couple of weeks - a 11(61) plate with 6000 miles - I do at least 20k miles a year and need something dependable and comfortable. I like the style of the car, especially the interior. It is very comfortable and I actually like the rather light steering, and the handling and suspension is excellent. It appears to have a very solid build quality and I find that it is mostly pretty quiet. Fuel economy is as expecyed some way short of the 62 claimed - but other than that I think it is a well built, attractive car that is good to drive. With a 3 yr network Q warranty I expect ownership to be pretty pain free - highly recommended

john naunton, January 14th 2013

CDTi 16V ecoFLEX SE 5dr [Start Stop]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG50 mpg

Not sure why Roger drives autos if he doesn't like them. I bought manual veraion new and although not fast off the mark like my last Astra 1.8RSi comfort factor is excellent. Smooth runner, quiet and fuel efficient. Wife loves the heated seats, but auto lights and wipers are excellent features for the driver. Running costs would be hard to decide but MPG is good and I also got fixed 2 year service plan with the dealer for Β£250 whixh is pretty good given prices will probably rise. Cabin is roomy, controls on dash easy to reach/use without distraction. Only downer so far was lack of spare wheel, just inflation and repair kit though you can order spare space saver when buying for Β£85. Lucky me got one with jack/wheel key from dealer free so that was also a bonus. Although retail price Β£21,000 yo can pick up new at Β£14,500 so no real need to worry about depreciation. So far very pleased despite having to sacrifice power for comfort but at 56 you can't be a boy racer all your days.

Patrick Burns, January 4th 2013

i 16V Elite 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

This is a review of the automatic 1.6 Elite, which isn't listed by What Car. This is a curiously high-spec car with an awful engine and gearbox. I don't like automatics at the best of times but this one is particularly bad, making every gearchange sound as if you're on your first driving lesson. Passers-by will stare in amazement as it lurches up the road. The kickdown is vicious and will make the engine rev faster than seems good for it, once it actually makes the change - it is amazingly slow to respond and quite frightening when pulling out at junctions. The 1.6 engine is dog-slow, raucous and drinks fuel like a Chevy V8. The interior has heated leather seats (not powered though), cruise control,climate control and all sorts of other gizmos that don't interest me. Good points: it's quite comfortable and it's OK on the motorway once you eventually get it wound up to 70mph. Probably designed for the undemanding sales rep who likes switches to fiddle with on those boring trips to Hull and back.

Roger Cantwell, April 27th 2012

i 16V Elite 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

Owned this car for just over 1 year - 1 year too many!! Car was new at time of purchase - 4 months after purchase engine failed. One month after the car was in the garage for water ingress and two recalls & car is currently back in garage for water ingress & engine problems. Despite the problems it is a smooth drive, and a comfortable car to drive. Plenty cabin and boot space. Steering in comparison to other cars i have owed is slightly heavier, but it's all about adjusting. Running costs are high, but then its to be expected with a sport model, but the insurance is not too bad, fairly moderate. Overall I perhaps wouldn't reccommend this car to anyone given the multiple issues I have experienced, but nothing in life is ever 100%, it is just your luck.

Morven Munro, February 19th 2012

i 16V SRi 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG43 mpg

First of all let me get this straight. 99% of people reading this will be interested in a low-priced family car, so I will try and keep to that. We are very, very impressed with our Astra. We usually buy cars new-ish then keep them 5 years or so. We got our 2001(Y) car in early 2002 with 5k on the clock and still have it! We have only covered 40k since and there have been no serious problems. It nearly always passes the MOT test with no/few issues. It's very good to drive too and the 1.4 16v petrol engine provides good performance. Cruising at around 70mph is effortless, if just a little noisy. Turn the very good CD player up (most only had radio-casette) and you'll be fine. Another good point is the AC. We don't actually use it because of the damage to consumption we simply roll down one of the ELECTRIC windows. Another very nice feature. Even on the back roads it's good to drive and the steering is sharp and accurate. The ride is smooth, even on UK roads. At first we thought it was slow compared to the old 1.8 car we drove but actually it's perfectly acceptable. Shame it doesn't have alloys but you don't know the difference from the inside. This brings me onto the only negative. The only green thing about it is the colour. Road Tax = Β£190p.a. which is quite a lot for a 1.4 petrol. Fuel (okay, we sit in quite a few traffic jams)is expensive. Β£20+ for 100miles, and I worked out we only got 31 mpg over the last 4 weeks. That aside, the Astra is a great family car.

Connor Marston, January 28th 2012

i 16V LS 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG31 mpg

After owning SEAT Diesels for the last 5 years it has come as a bit of a shock to be driving a petrol Vauxhall again. The 1.6 petrol (115bhp) engine is ok but has no top end but that is typical of average petrol engines. The cabin is big and comfortable enough although the touch sensitive inidicators can be a pain when they decide to be twitchy - maybe I'm just a bit ham fisted with them though. The MW radio reception is appalling and constantly squels as you pass power lines. I was surprised to be quoted Β£250.00 by the main dealer for the second service so opted to go independent for half the price. It's an average car that does things averagely well. Can't wait to upgrade to a decent diesel hatchback agin though.

Antony Wallis, November 24th 2011

i 16V SXi 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I had this 11 plate vehicle for a couple of weeks as a hire car whilst my Ford Fiesta Ghia was being repaired after some idiot busy on her phone run into the back of me. Overall, I was very impressed with this car. The interior was nice, made out of good materials and especially for a Vauxhall was finished to a high standard. The equipment levels were high, the ride was smooth and comfortable and it had good all round vision. It drove very well around town, handled brilliantly on windy B- roads was not to bad to reverse and park but the 1.6 petrol engine (which was not a turbo) was at times especially at higher speeds a bit sluggish and felt a bit out of it's depth on the motorway. It is also not the most economical car I have ever owned or driven, the height adjustable steering column didn't go up far enough for me and I kept on bashing my knees on the bottom of the steering wheel as a result of this and I was a bit disappointed with the size of the boot as it did not look a million miles bigger than my Fiesta's boot and was no where near as big as the boot on my mother's 2005 Ford Focus. At first, I found the 'button' park/ handbrake annoying (have always been used to a good old fashioned lever handbrake) but after a few days I got used to it and actually quite liked in the end. Would I buy one in the future? Possibly but not one with this engine. It would have to be either a turbo 1.4/ 1.6, a 1.8 or a CDTI diesel version.

Matthew Challenger, Hampshire, October 10th 2011

T 16V Exclusiv [140] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg

I love this car to drive but it is the worse car I have ever owned. It breaks down about 3 times a year and more recently 3 times in as many weeks. It has had major parts replaced every year the first when it was one week out of warranty - Vauxhaull were not interested. I have done 44,000 miles and I think the engine has practically been rebuilt I have spent 3.5k in the last 3 years alone on repairs and now it is back in the garage for a starter motor. I could not bring myself to by another vauxhaull. I may have been unlucky but the risk is too high. I need this car to get me through the next month by which time we will be parting company. I have lost all confidence in it.

suzanne wells, August 15th 2011

CDTi Elite [120] 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG41.2 mpg

Having previously owned and driven larger cars I took the decision to downsize. I also wanted a car that wasn't an out and out hot hatch but that provided performance that was faster than the "commodity" models. I thought that the new Focus looked pretty awful and the Golf very boring. I eventually went for the Astra because it had a better interior, ride quality and performance. It was also a good bit cheaper although this was less important to me. In terms of performance, the 1.6 turbo engine provides plenty of thrust. It cracks 0-60 in under 8 seconds and is easily fast enough to get rid of the usual tailgate brigade. The car was originally hesitant at lower speeds but a software update cured this. Maybe a lesson on not buying the first cars off the production line. I went for the SRI rather than the softer sprung SE and I'm glad that I did. The handling is truly excellent whilst not compromising the ride quality too much. I find it comfortable at pretty much all speeds on the UK's potholed and speed bump ridden streets. In terms of fuel economy, Vauxhall is quoting over 40mpg but with a mixed driving style, I'm getting around 32mpg. Still not bad considering the performance on offer. The CO2 tax band is also pretty reasonable at 159g. The real star of the show though is the interior which looks as though it has come out of something much more expensive. In summary, I am pleased to bits with this car and find myself driving it just for the fun of it.

Stephen Anderson, Renfrewshire, June 18th 2011

T 16V SRi [180] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

Having taken delivery of my company assigned Astra just 2 weeks ago, this review is more of a first impression reaction. On first glance the styling is a little bland in this spec - no alloy wheels, just some eco tyres and aero dynamic wheel trims. It is the Ecoflex model, but suspiciously no MPG computer is included(?) - some old school maths suggests I'm still shy of the claimed MPG. The 1.3 diesel engine suggests laboured performance, and true to the figures it is not the most brisk, and often requires you to be in a lower gear than normal. The electronic parking brake is a small switch instead of a handbrake, which I dont feel disengages very smoothly, as it is supposed to be automatically released when clutch and accelerator are used to pull away? There is an automatic hill start assist feature, but I'm yet to read up on this as it's caught me out when I was expecting it to be there! From a positive perspective the interior is a very nice place to be - good quality materials and an upmarket feel. The red glow around the base of the gear stick mount is a nice touch. Whilst acceleration is perhaps predictably sluggish, it does appear to cruise quite comfortably at motorway speeds. However, the power comes higher up the rev range than I'd normally expect from a diesel, so sitting at an eco-friendly 60mph, you start to become more aware of moderate inclines. Overall it is quite an easy car to live with, but I was hoping for a better balance of drivability versus econom

Rhod Morgan, Gloucestershire, June 7th 2011

CDTi 16V ecoFLEX Exclusiv 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

Do not buy one of these cars, the petrol engines have a major fault with the ignition system. The ignition coils and crankshaft position sensor are weak and will fail. The engine will miss fire or have trouble starting. If this happens, take it to the nearest independent garage. Avoid Vauxhall dealers, their diagnostic computers cannot detect the fault so they will replace parts at random and at your expense. Mine broke down 2 days after it was serviced by a Vauxhall dealer and a day after the warranty expired. Vauxhall UK did not want to know and the dealer refused to see the car. After 2 Vauxhall dealers tried to fix it and unnecessarily replaced 2 major components at a charge of Β£500 it broke down again. Thankfully the RAC recovered the car and found the fault instantly and an independent garage fixed the car for Β£40. By the way the car has just broken down again, one of the unnecessarily replaced components failed after 13months, just as its warranty expired.

Matt Cook, S10 3AE, May 20th 2011

i 16V Exclusiv 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG35 mpg