Cost & verdict

Vauxhall Astra review

Manufacturer price from:£18,350
What Car? Target Price:£16,385
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Vauxhall Astra
Review continues below...
23 Aug 2016 12:15 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 14:44

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Vauxhall Astra hatchback running costs

Despite featuring a higher level of standard equipment than ever before, the Astra is a fair bit cheaper than the model it replaces. That means it undercuts the Volkswagen Golf by a big margin and is very competitive against the Ford Focus. Where the Astra can’t compete with its German rival is on residual value, since the Golf will hold onto much more of its value over a three-year period.

Servicing costs are reasonable, with fixed-price plans on offer, although insurance can be higher than the class average.

As you might expect, excellent MPG means very low CO2 emissions. The 134bhp diesel has an output of 99g/km, while the less powerful version in Ecoflex guise emits just 82g/km. If you prefer petrol power, the 1.0-litre turbo also has emissions of 99g/km and, because it does not attract a 3% benefit-in-kind tax surcharge, actually works out cheapest as a company car.

Use our True MPG calculator and see what your car really does to the gallon

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Vauxhall Astra hatchback equipment

Even entry-level Design models get a touchscreen infotainment system, alloy wheels, electric windows and mirrors plus air conditioning. Tech Line Nav will be the one to go for if you’re a business user; you gain sat-nav, an upgraded stereo and an armrest for the driver.

SRi, or SRi Nav if you want sat-nav included, comes with OnStar, bigger wheels, a Sport button, front foglights, auto wipers, forward collision alert with auto braking and lane-keeping assist. SRi VX-Line adds bigger 18in wheels and a sporty bodykit to SRi trim. A lot of extra money for some styling tweaks.

Elite sits near the top of the range and includes twin USB power sockets in the rear, electric folding mirrors, heated seats in the front and outer rear plus dual-zone climate control. As that's a bit too pricey to recommend, we'd avoid top-spec Ultimate models.

While you don’t need to go mad with options, we’d recommend the ergonomic seats for lumbar support, sat-nav and parking sensors.

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra hatchback reliability

In our latest reliability survey, the Astra didn’t do particularly well against other family cars. Although it beat the Citroën C4, Nissan Pulsar and even the Volvo V40, a Focus, Seat Leon or Toyota Auris would be more reliable. Vauxhall as a manufacturer came 18th out of 32 manufacturers.

Like all Vauxhalls, the Astra comes with a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty and a year’s worth of 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. You can extend your warranty by up to an additional three years or 80,000 miles.

Vauxhall Astra hatchback safety and security

All models receive plenty of airbags. There are side-impact airbags for the front and curtain airbags front and rear. If you want to avoid a collision in the first place, you can opt for a driving assistance pack that includes a forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking.

Disappointingly, this is only an option on the lower trims. When you consider Match Edition Golf models and above get auto braking as standard, we feel Vauxhall is being a bit stingy here.

Despite this, the Astra received five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash test in 2015. The individual scores are 86% for adult occupant protection, 84% for child occupant protection and 83% for pedestrian protection. By comparison, the Volkswagen Golf received scores of 94%, 89% and 65% respectively.

Design, SE and selected versions of Tech Line and SRi trims don’t get an alarm as standard, so they only get a three-star theft rating from the experts at Thatcham Research. All other models receive a four-star theft rating, while all versions get a five-star rating for resistance to being stolen.

Those cars equipped with OnStar also have an automatic emergency response function, so if you have an accident it will call the emergency services and inform them of your location. OnStar can also help to locate the car if it has been stolen.

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Verdict

The Vauxhall Astra is a well-rounded, good-value family hatch that offers plenty of room at an affordable price

  • Good to drive
  • Affordable purchase price
  • Well equipped
  • Light steering
  • Gruff diesel engines
  • Rough low-speed ride
There are 10 trims available for the Astra hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
SRi
SRi comes with 17in wheels, front foglights, a leather steering wheel, sports seats, a front armrest, auto wipers, a six-speaker stereo with OnStar, auto-dimming rear mirror and auto braking. If yo...View trim
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£16,385
Average Saving £4,825
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SE
On top of Design equipment, you get a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, auto lights and wipers, bigger alloys and dual-zone climate control. Considerably more expensive for not much extra...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£16,744
Average Saving £4,856
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SRi Nav
Everything from SRi, with added sat-nav...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£17,029
Average Saving £4,881
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Design
Entry-level Design models receive hill start assist, cruise control, a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning and auto lights. For not much more, however, you...View trim
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£17,041
Average Saving £1,309
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Elite Nav
Everything from Elite, with added sat-nav...View trim
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£17,452
Average Saving £4,918
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SRi Vx-line
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£17,825
Average Saving £4,945
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OUR PICK
Tech Line Nav
While it may be barely any more expensive than Design trim, Tech Line Nav adds a leather steering wheel, rear door speakers, an armrest and sat-nav with an 8.0in screen. The best option for both pr...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£18,006
Average Saving £1,044
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SRi Vx-line Nav
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£18,469
Average Saving £5,001
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SRi Vx-line Nav
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£20,203
Average Saving £5,152
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Ultimate
This is the top of the Astra range and gets 18in wheels, LED matrix headlights, a parking pack, perforated leather seats and a driving assistance pack with automatic emergency braking. Very well ki...View trim
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£20,364
Average Saving £5,166
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