Vauxhall Astra review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£18,885
What Car? Target Price£17,845
Vauxhall Astra 2019 facelift RHD infotainment
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Astra undercuts the Volkswagen Golf by a big margin and generally has lower brochure prices than the Ford Focus. Big discounts are available if you’re prepared to haggle (or if you visit our deals section), although it’s important to note that the Astra will lose value faster than many of its rivals.

As a company car, the Astra makes heaps of sense, though. Official emission levels are impressively low; 103bhp diesel models equipped with a manual gearbox emit just 90g/km of CO2, only increasing to 92g/km with the more powerful 120bhp engine. The diesel engines are compliant with the latest RDE2 emissions tests, too, so there’s no 4% surcharge in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax. Even the petrol engines pump out from as little as 99g/km. 

PCP finance deals are usually competitive, especially when a hefty deposit contribution is available, although an equivalent version of the rival Skoda Scala could be available for even smaller monthly payments.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level SE is worth considering. It gives you 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and all the infotainment equipment we discussed earlier. 

We reckon SRi trim makes the most sense for most buyers, though. It adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, tinted rear windows, LED headlights and the more supportive sports seats that we mentioned in the interior section. You also get larger (17in) wheels.

Elite Nav adds heated leather seats (front and rear), a heated steering wheel and climate control. However, this and range-topping Ultimate Nav trim (which comes with even more luxuries) are too pricey for us to recommend – unless you’re getting a hefty discount.

Vauxhall Astra 2019 facelift RHD infotainment

Reliability

The Astra was one of the worst-performing family cars in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey; only the Peugeot 308 proved more problematic. The Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic were all reported to be much more dependable.

Like all Vauxhalls, the Astra comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty and a year’s roadside assistance. This is in keeping with cover from the majority of other manufacturers but can’t beat the five-year warranties that Hyundai and Toyota offer. It’s also a long way behind the seven-year warranty offered by Kia.

Safety and security

Disappointingly, the two entry-level trims (SE and Business Edition Nav) don’t come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard. This important safety equipment is included on more expensive trim levels, though, and the Astra's system can recognise pedestrians as well as vehicles. 

Meanwhile, blindspot monitoring is standard only on range-topping Ultimate Nav trim, although it is optional (as part of the Parking Pack mentioned earlier) on the cheaper trim levels. The Astra was appraised for safety by Euro NCAP back in 2015, but the organisation’s tests are far more stringent these days, making direct comparison with more modern rivals impossible.

SE and Business Edition Nav trims don’t have an alarm as standard, so they didn’t score particularly high marks in Thatcham’s security tests. 

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2019 Vauxhall Astra front
Open Gallery9 Images

Verdict

Attractive company car tax bills and big discounts for private buyers are the two main pulls of the Vauxhall Astra. If you’re looking to inject a little excitement to your daily commute, the Ford Focus is a better bet, but the Astra is still a fair choice if you just want a down-to-earth family hatchback.

  • Affordable company car
  • Roomy in the back
  • Big discounts
  • Missing safety kit on cheaper trims
  • Disappointing reliability
  • So-so performance

What's important to you?

Performance & drive
Interior
Passenger & boot space