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.