Vauxhall Astra (2015) Review

Vauxhall Astra (2015) At A Glance

More spacious than previous Astra. Originally available with decent 1.0 Ecotec petrol. Five star Euro NCAP rating. Good ride comfort.

Doesn't move things on significantly from the old model.

Insurance Groups are between 11–22
On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this Vauxhall Astra was merely a heavily revamped version of its predecessor so similar are the two in design. But this is more than just a nip and tuck.

It is in fact fresh out the box and based on a new platform. So, while it may not stray from the path in terms of looks, there are big changes elsewhere.

Most notably inside. The interior has been completely redesigned with a much neater layout and far fewer buttons. So the cluttered and button-heavy dash has gone to be replaced by a much easier to navigate design. The quality of the central touchscreen display is much improved and all the controls have a more solid feel to them.

In fact, the overall quality of the Astra is much improved, as it needed to be given the below par finish of the old model. Only the fiddly ventilation and air conditioning controls let it down. Some of the plastics could be better too, but these are only very small criticisms of what is a very comfortable and well put together cabin.

Comfort is certainly what the Astra does well: the ride quality is very good and at motorway speeds there's little road or wind noise, making it a relaxed car for long journeys in. What's not so good is the steering. While the Astra is accomplished in corners with good grip, the steering lacks feel and doesn't give you much in the way of confidence. It means the Astra isn't as good to drive as other hatchbacks.

That said, the Astra is primarily aimed at company car drivers and for those, running costs are more of a priority. Which is why Vauxhall has worked to improve fuel economy. A big part of this is weight reduction, which is as much as 200kg - the same as two rugby players - on some models, thanks to a lighter body shell.

Opt for the impressive 1.6 CDTi diesel - which the vast majority of Astra owners do - and the official figures say you'll be seeing 91.1mpg with CO2 of 81g/km. That's for the 1.6 CDTi 110PS ecoFLEX model, but if you want a bit more poke, the same 1.6 CDTi comes with 136PS or there's a top of the range 160PS BiTurbo model.

If you don't cover long distances then the petrol engines will suit you perfectly. The best is the new 1.0 Ecotec. This three-cylinder may at first glance seem too small for a car like the Astra but with a turbocharger boosting power to 105PS it has plenty of get up and go while still averaging a claimed 67.3mpg.   

The 2015 Astra was certainly much improved compared to the car it replaces, especially when it comes to the interior, while comfort levels are impressive. It's not exactly ground-breaking and doesn't move the game along, but it still has plenty of appeal and is offered at a very affordable price, which makes it very good value too.

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Astra (2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

79%

Real MPG

29–72 mpg

MPGs submitted

514

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

ASK HJ

Best used family car for £7000?
Can you recommend a petrol used car (circa £7000) that has low running costs but is large enough to fit two child seats in the back plus a double stroller in the boot?
How about a Dacia Logan? It's a budget offering but that means you'll get a relatively modern one with your budget. It's a practical estate with low running costs and £7000 will get you a 2017 example. Alternatively, consider a Vauxhall Astra estate.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best automatic for covering 20,000 motorway miles a year?
What medium-sized automatic would you recommend for motorway driving, up to 20k miles per year. I had a Mazda 3 1.5 petrol but it was thirsty. I'm looking for something less with a budget of £8k-£10k.
A Kia Cee'd would be a good option. The 1.6 CRDi auto is reliable and efficient, and your budget will get a 2016 model which will still have some of its manufacturer warranty remaining. Also consider the very similar Hyundai i30 with the same engine or a Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's a good car for commuting on a £10k budget that has Apple CarPlay?
I’m changing jobs shortly and that will require me to commute to Birmingham from my home in Kent (approx 150 miles each way) at least once occasionally twice a week. I’m looking for an economical hatchback or estate comfortable on long journeys and ideally with Apple CarPlay (I’m an avid user of Waze and podcast listener). I have up to £10k to spend. What do you recommend?
How about a Kia Cee'd? MY17 models and newer should have Apple CarPlay. They'll have the remainder of Kia's seven-year warranty, too, and will be very cheap to run. Also consider the Hyundai i30 (you'll get a newer-generation model for the money) or a Vauxhall Astra.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Am I within my rights to reject a car with a recurring fault?
I bought a Astra Petrol 1.4T on the 16th March from a dealer. The car cost approximately £9000 and is a 16 plate with 28000 miles. Within one month I had to take the car back to have the clutch repaired, as it was spongy and unresponsive. The car was fixed under the 60 day warranty, however I had to return the car again a week later as the same fault reoccurred. The car had no further issues for three months before the same clutch issue occurred again. The car was fixed and returned to me the 30th September, however the same day after collection the engine malfunction light appeared on the dashboard. The car is booked in again at the dealer for next Wednesday, however it seems a coincidence that this issue has occurred immediately after being at the garage. Please could you let me know my rights, as to whether I can ask for a refund, either part or full, for the car? The car has consistently required fixes for issues that should not occur for the age or mileage of the car. I have no confidence that the clutch issue will not reoccur, and the dealer is currently telling me that the engine malfunction fix would cost me.
Unfortunately, you are now just outside the six month limit for liability of the dealer for any fault that could have been present or developing on date of sale. To make a case against the dealer you would have to prove the list of faults. What you have given me are repeated clutch problems (fixed each time by the dealer), followed by the engine malfunction light which occurred at after six months. That said, there has been engine trouble with the 1.4T stemming from early Astra 1.4T models being filled with the wrong oil on the production line, and for that Vauxhall itself could be held liable.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Vauxhall Astra (2015) cost?

Buy new from £15,964 (list price from £19,050)
Contract hire from £162.05 per month
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