Regardless of your stature, it shouldn’t prove too tricky to get comfortable in the Astra. Both the seat and steering wheel have plenty of adjustment, while the pedals and wheel are located in line with each other. All major controls fall easily enough to hand, too.
We were slightly disappointed to find that only higher-spec trim levels get adjustable lumbar support as standard. It's optional lower down the range and is a box well worth ticking; without it there isn’t a lot of lower back support.
Keen drivers may also find the standard seats a little flat and unsupportive during hard cornering, although the sports seats fitted to the SRi models are better.
Vauxhall Astra visibility
We’ve no complaints with the visibility on offer when looking out of the front of the Astra. Relatively narrow windscreen pillars and decently sized front windows mean you can see out of junctions easily and safely. Unfortunately, rearward visibility isn’t quite so impressive.
Thick rear pillars obscure your over-shoulder view and there’s a noticeable blind spot. This can making parking and other low-speed manoeuvres far harder than they should be. Rear parking sensors are an option, but only as part of a pricey pack that also includes front sensors.
For not much more you can buy another pack that has the sensors, blind spot monitoring and also an automatic parking system. For some buyers, this may be a worthwhile option.
Vauxhall Astra infotainment
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.
Although it can be difficult to select what you want on the touchscreen (particularly when traveling down a bumpy road), there are handy shortcut buttons to get to all the major functions.
Vauxhall also offers a system called OnStar, which is standard on SRi and Elite trims and optional otherwise. This package brings online connectivity, a wi-fi hotspot and a connection to a dedicated call centre, whose operatives can download directly to your sat-nav a specific Google maps route you’ve requested. It’s a clever system that no rival offers yet.
Vauxhall Astra build quality
Looking around the interior of the Astra, there are plenty of things to be happy about. Soft touch plastic is spread liberally around the cabin, along with gloss black and chrome trim pieces. Higher spec models get even more metal effect bits that help lift the cabin beyond many of the other cars in the class.
Although good, it’s still a little way behind the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia. There are still cheap-feeling plastics to be found, while some of the controls don’t operate with the same precision as the Volkswagen's and Skoda’s– such as the indicator and wiper stalks that produce a rather hollow click when used.