How to spec a Vauxhall Astra
Our guide to Vauxhall's popular family hatchback covers which options to pick, which to avoid and how much to pay for it all...
The Vauxhall Astra is a popular alternative to family hatchbacks including the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. It consistently ranks among the best-selling new cars sold each year and is a common sight on UK roads.
Despite that popularity, though, the Astra has never been a class leader, although the latest model has come closer than ever before. It is smaller than its predecessor (yet bigger on the inside), has bold looks to help you stand out from the crowd and is loaded with the latest technology.
There are plenty of models to choose from, too, ranging from the smallest 1.0-litre petrol engine to a powerful twin-turbocharged 1.6-litre diesel. The mid-range diesel is the engine we recommend, chiefly for its low CO2 emissions and good fuel economy.
Our full 16-point review of the latest Astra can take you through how the car drives, how easy it is to live with and how practical it is compared with key rivals, but this guide is devoted to helping you spec the car to add luxury without overloading your bank account.
Assuming you've gone for our recommended Tech Line Nav model, you'll already have most of the features you're going to want, including sat-nav, an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system and an armrest (alongside everything that the lower trim levels bring). Even so, here's what we'd pick from the options list and what we'd avoid.
Ergonomic seat (£260)
This comfortable seat brings plenty of adjustment that's lacking on the standard car. In particular, you get adjustable lumbar support, which will help to make long motorway journeys more comfortable.
Front and rear parking sensors (£465)
Family hatchbacks are often bought by those who will mainly drive in the city, and that means parking in spaces that are sometimes exceptionally tight. Investing in parking sensors that give you an audible beep when you're close to an object, plus a distance graphic in the infotainment display, is a neat investment.