Forty years. That’s how long the Vauxhall Astra has been fighting at the sharp end of the family hatchback class, and it remains one of the most popular cars on British roads.
The Astra is cheaper than the majority of its key rivals, though, and it’s fairly easy to get yourself a big discount, either through our New Car Buying service or after haggling with your local Vauxhall dealer.
To help the Astra compete against newer rivals, it received a series of updates in 2019. Cosmetic changes were few, but the car’s aerodynamics were improved and the entire engine range was overhauled. There’s a choice of three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, most of which have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. There’s also an optional nine-speed automatic, with a stepless CVT gearbox the only choice with the 1.4-litre petrol engine.
This revamp led to big improvements in efficiency, and the Astra is particularly tempting if you’re a company car driver; its CO2 emissions are low for its class and its diesel engines meet the latest RDE2 emissions standards, with reasonable benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax ratings as a result.
Impressive stuff, but is the Vauxhall Astra worth considering over its hugely talented rivals? Read on over the next few pages and we'll tell you how it stacks up in all the key areas, including comfort, practicality, safety and reliability.