What's the used Vauxhall Astra hatchback like?
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Astra is just what a good drive it is, and far better than its styling might suggest. All models have a fine blend of a smooth ride and sharp handling, and the suspension revisions to performance versions such as the SRi make them excellent hot hatches.
Similarly, the cabin styling may be uninspiring - and the dash is certainly functional rather than fashionable - but what the Astra lacks in aesthetics, it more than makes up for in practicality. True, the cabin looks a little cramped by modern standards, but there's enough space for four adults - and five at a push - as well as a very good boot, with split/fold rear seats on all models.
Most, but not all, models also have height adjustment on the driver's seat as well as reach and rake adjustment on the steering wheel, allowing anyone to make themselves comfortable behind the wheel.