Vauxhall Astra Review 2023
Vauxhall Astra At A Glance
The Vauxhall Astra is bored of living in the shadows of rival family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. The last model was actually a very good car, but its bland looks and uninspiring interior meant it failed to grab the attention of anyone other than bargain hunters and rental fleets.
The new Vauxhall Astra is very, very different to its predecessor. It's the first Astra developed under the watch of Vauxhall's new owners Stellantis, which means it's based on the same architecture as the Peugeot 308, DS 4 and Citroen C5 Aircross.
In order to differentiate the Vauxhall from its French siblings, the new Astra takes a more value-led approach. It's priced competitively, with list prices starting from around £23,000, and there are just three trim levels to choose from.
Even the entry-level Vauxhall Astra Design is pretty well kitted out. Some will think it's a bit underwheeled on 16-inch alloys (we'll come onto the ride comfort advantage below), but there's very little missing from the interior. A 10-inch navigation system and 10-inch digital instrument cluster are standard, as well as front/rear parking sensors and cruise control.
Most buyers are expected to opt for a Vauxhall Astra GS Line. This mid-spec model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a 360-degree camera and heated seats, not to mention a heated steering wheel and adaptive cruise control. Topping the range is the Vauxhall Astra Ultimate, which looks flashy with its 18-inch diamond-cut alloys and adaptive LED pixel headlights, while it also features a panoramic sunroof, Alcantara seats and numerous driver-assist features.
The interior isn't as plush as it could be, but even the latest Volkswagen Golf is a bit disappointing in that regard. It's functional, though, and the twin displays running across the dashboard mean it feels very 2022. You can even yell 'Hey Vauxhall' commands at it, but we reckon most buyers will be better just using the standard-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It's sufficiently practical for a family car of this size, but you might want to wait for the Vauxhall Astra Touring Sports estate if you regularly carry a lot of luggage. The hatchback's 367-litre boot will be enough for the weekly shop, but it's not going to swallow up as much as you'd get in a Skoda Octavia.
Another USP of the Vauxhall Astra is its extensive engine line-up. The majority will be powered by a punchy little 1.2-litre petrol, while a 1.5-litre diesel is expected to sell in tiny numbers. There's even a plug-in hybrid – two, in fact, combining 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and 12.4kWh battery pack. The Astra e-Hybrid, as it's badged, is capable of covering up to 43 miles on electric power alone.