What's the used Vauxhall Astra like?
Most importantly, the Astra Estate is very practical. The tailgate opens wide to reveal a square loadbay, with none of the hatchback's V-shape, which so limits its versatility. True, it's not the biggest boot you'll find, but the seats drop without fuss to give a flat floor. Watch out for the drop between the sill and loadbay, though.
The Astra estate is good for people, too, and the cabin will easily take five adults. On top of that, the driver's seat and steering adjust in all directions and the view forward is good. However, the thick A-pillars create blind spots, and rear visibility isn't so good, especially when parking.
Perhaps the big surprise to anyone used to previous Astras is how well this version drives. The car feels well controlled through corners and the ride is comfortable, although the SRi's stiffer suspension can feel unsettled. It's pretty refined, too, apart from the diesel engines, which sound clattery at low speeds.
Safety is a strong point, too. The Astra scores the five-star maximum for keeping occupants safe in Euro NCAP tests and a creditable four for protecting children in the back.