Vauxhall Astra (2009 – 2015) Review

Vauxhall Astra (2009 – 2015) At A Glance


+Good combination of ride quality, steering and safe handling. Strong yet economical 1.4 turbo engine. Frugal CDTi diesels. Neatly styled interior.

-Lesser 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines less impressive. Several reports of failure of 6-speed manual gearbox on 1.4T.

Insurance Groups are between 7–26
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

The Vauxhall Astra has been one of the most popular cars in the UK but that doesn't mean it has always been the best. But with this version of the British built Vauxhall Astra, the firm has come pretty close to producing the perfect all-round hatchback. Other cars may be better in certain areas, but the Vauxhall Astra is extremely competent across the board with impressive refinement and a comfortable cabin.

The design may not particularly adventurous, especially considering the previous Vauxhall Astra was such a sharp and distinctive design, but the sleek look is attractive, albeit a little anonymous. But look past that and you'll find a fine car that's also well built.

The interior is neatly laid out and has an upmarket feel with a stylish steering wheel and high-grade materials. Compared to the previous Astra this is a huge improvement. This Vauxhall Astra is also much better on the road with a far more forgiving ride and a 'big car' feel on the motorway. It's perhaps not as enjoyable to drive as Ford Focus or Honda Civic, but it's composed in corners and tidy nontheless.

Add in a wide range of efficient engines, including a great 1.4-litre Turbo and a super-economical 1.3 CDTi that can average 68.9mpg and there's much to like about the Vauxhall Astra. If you're buying a hatchback, this is an essential model to consider. 

Vauxhall Astra 2010 Road Test and Video

Vauxhall Astra BiTurbo Road Test

Vauxhall Astra 1.6CDTI 136 Road Test

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Astra (2009 – 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


Real MPG

23–71 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

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Ask Honest John

Will using a turbcharged car only once a week cause damage?

"Is it ok to drive an Astra 1.4 Turbo 150 once a week? With it sitting for days with no oil going to the turbo when it’s cool will that hurt components?"
There is no reason why driving any type of car once a week will cause any issues. The turbocharged does not require any oil circulation when the engine is not operating, and if at the end of your journey you wait two or three minutes with the engine running it can ensure the turbocharger is cooled down before you switch off.
Answered by David Ross

Does the 1.4T Vauxhall Astra have a timing belt or a chain?

"Does the 2014 1.4T Vauxhall Astra have a timing belt or a chain?"
The 1.4T has a timing chain.
Answered by Alan Ross

I replaced the battery in my car but it still says it's low. What's wrong?

"I have replaced the battery in my 2011 Vauxhall Astra (not a stop/start), but the battery saver active warning keeps appearing and shutting the car down when I try to use it. What’s wrong with it? It’s just had an MOT and I was told the battery was low."
You'll need to don your detective hat for this one. Perhaps the first thing to do is to check the battery level to see if it is actually low or if the system is giving you a false reading. My guess is that some kind of system reset needed to be performed when you swapped the battery. Have a look at an owners' manual if you've got one. If you find out the battery is low, then you need to look for something that could be causing it to drain - usual culprits are a boot light not going off properly (check by placing your phone in the boot and record a video to check it goes off) or look for an interior light that's staying on as well as any exterior lights not going out. Alarms and stereos can also drain the battery. What kind of driving are you doing? A battery needs 70-80% of its power to start a car on these cold winter mornings so if you're only driving a few miles (or under 30 minutes) then there's a good chance the system isn't able to recharge it. Try taking it out on a motorway. If all else fails, it could be a fault with the alternator - an auto electrician can help here.
Answered by Keith Moody

I need a reliable car for £5000. What's your advice?

"I'm looking at spending no more than £5000. I would like a Vauxhall Astra and it needs to be diesel. I'm hoping to get one that is around 5-7 years old with less than 60,000 miles with a good or full service history. I've just been made redundant and lost my company car so I'm using all my redundancy pay on getting me something reliable. Am I looking at the right car?"
You need to be careful about buying an older diesel. They can suffer from a wide range of issues and can be expensive to repair. This is especially true if you don't cover many miles, or use the car for a lot of short journeys. In this case, the diesel particulate filter (DPF) can get blocked. Even if you do cover high miles, you might find that a low-mileage example already has issues when you buy it. For that reason, you might be better looking for a higher mileage car - a used Astra diesel that's done 120k miles on the motorway will be a much better option than one that's done 60k of short journeys. If you're not covering lots of miles (more than 12k a year), you'd be better looking for a petrol or hybrid alternative. How about a Toyota Prius? They're popular with taxi drivers for good reason - they're extremely reliable and cheap to run. Alternatively, consider a more conventional petrol choice like a Honda Civic.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Vauxhall Astra (2009 – 2015) cost?