Used Vauxhall Astra Hatchback 2004 - 2010 review

Category: Family car

Outclassed by rivals, but still great value

Vauxhall Astra Hatchback (04 - 10)
  • Vauxhall Astra Hatchback (04 - 10)
  • Vauxhall Astra Hatchback (04 - 10)
Used Vauxhall Astra Hatchback 2004 - 2010 review
Star rating

What's the used Vauxhall Astra hatchback like?

The five-door Astra is comfortable, spacious and decent to drive. However, if you fancy something more exciting, the three-door Sport Hatch has agressive looks, stiffer suspension and better handling.

Both versions are good cruisers, although the Sport Hatch has more wind noise at motorway speeds. All the petrol engines are refined, but the diesels are grumbly around town, although they do quieten down at motorway speeds.


Outclassed by rivals, but still great value

  • Supple ride
  • Composed handling
  • Strong engines
  • Narrow boot opening
  • Dowdy image

The cabin is well-designed and built with high-quality materials. There's enough space for a family of five at a push, although some rivals have more legroom. The boot is a generous size, but the tapered design of the tailgate means it can be difficult to load.

The Astra comes with a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating, and Club models upwards get curtain airbags fitted as standard. However, only the top models have stability control.

Ownership cost

What used Vauxhall Astra hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Vauxhall Astra hatchback?

The great thing about Astras is that they're affordable, and you shouldn't be in for a shock when it comes to running costs.

The diesels use less fuel, but will cost more to buy in the first place. The 1.3-litre averages 58.8mpg and emits 130g/km, but the 100bhp 1.7-litre isn't far behind at 56.4mpg and 135g/km. The 1.9-litre averages 47.8mpg and 159g/km, but the most efficient of all is the 1.7-litre ecoFlex, at 62.8mpg and 119g/km.

The petrol models will suit those who cover fewer miles. The 113bhp 1.6-litre petrol model averages 43.5mpg and 156g/km of CO2, with the 1.4-litre just in front at 44.8mpg and 151g/km. The 1.8-litre model is noticeably less efficient with average economy of 38.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 175g/km.

Insurance ranges from a reasonable group 9 for the low-powered petrol cars, through to 32 for the turbo models. Servicing and repair costs are low, and parts are readily available.

Steep depreciation was always an issue when buying the Astra new, but cars will have already passed though the painful years, so buy at a fair price and it shouldn't be a concern.

Our recommendations

Which used Vauxhall Astra hatchback should I buy?

Our favourite engine is the 113bhp 1.6-litre petrol that was introduced towards the end of 2006. There is an earlier version, but it has only 104bhp and feels noticeably slower. There's also an 89bhp a 1.4-litre petrol model, and a 1.8-litre with between 123bhp and 138bhp - but they're not substantially better. There are a few turbocharged petrol engines to consider: the 178bhp 1.6-litre, the 196bhp 2.0-litre and the VXR with 237bhp.

Of the three diesels available, we'd go for the punchy 1.9-litre with either 118bhp or 148bhp. The 1.7-litre engine with between 79bhp and 100bhp isn't bad and the 89bhp 1.3-litre is surprisingly capable. In mid 2008, the frugal ecoFLEX model was introduced to bring improved mpg and lower CO2 emissions.

There's a long list of trims available, but the Club is a safe bet. It comes with alloys, air-con and curtain airbags, but the rarer Design adds luxuries such as leather trim and electric rear windows. If you fancy spoiling yourself, the Elite brings climate control and leather upholstery, while the sporty SXi/SRi comes with lowered suspension and racy styling details.

The whole Astra range underwent a face-lift in late 2006, with a new front grille, headlight surrounds and rear light clusters, along with a host of interior design tweaks.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Astra hatchback?