It should be easy to get comfortable in the Astra. Both the seat and steering wheel have plenty of adjustment while the pedals and wheel are well located and all the major controls are where you expect them to be.
It’s disappointing that only higher spec trim levels get adjustable lumbar support. It is optional lower down the range and is a box well worth ticking, as without it there isn’t a lot of lower back support. Visibility is generally very good, although the view to the rear three-quarters is a bit obscured by the chunky pillars, while perceived quality is very good thanks to a decent blend of gloss and metal highlights amidst the mostly soft-touch plastics. For all that, it’s still a little way behind the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia for perceived quality and rear visibility.
Even the base Design trim has a 7.0in colour touchscreen with DAB, Bluetooth, USB and aux-in ports, smartphone projection, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Sat-nav may not be included but anyone with a smartphone can get Google based navigation systems free and project them onto the Astra’s screen. Higher spec models get an 8.0in system with sat-nav optional on all but Tech Line models.
Like any touchsceen, it can be difficult to select what you want (particularly when traveling down a bumpy road); there are handy physical shortcut buttons to help hop directly between functions. The menus are logical and easy enough to navigate through, and the display is clear even in strong sunlight. Basic Design trim gets a four-speaker stereo but higher trims get an additional pair of speakers in the rear doors.
There’s also a system called OnStar, which means that your car has its own wifi hotspot, and also means the car can be located and monitored by a dedicated call centre. You can call up and get them to download a specific Google maps route direct to your car’s nav system, or just call up for help with how to use the system, and if you have an accident then the system automatically alerts the emergency services. OnStar is optional on Design and Tech Line trims and standard on all other trims.