Vauxhall Astra: The Underdog

2015_Vauxhall_Astra_CDTI

From the year 1979, the Vauxhall Astra has always been a go-to car for families needing to get from A to B. We’re now approaching 2017 and the Astra is still as popular as ever and is always a best-seller in the UK – but why?

With its main competitors being the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and the Skoda Octavia, there must be a reason to why the Astra stands out a lot more. Is it the price? Or maybe the comfort? How about the drive? There must be something.

Drive & Performance
Vauxhall are generous when it comes to the amount of engines available for the Astra. Not all of them are incredible, but there’s one engine for every need.

To kick it off, the 104bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder petrol engine is the basic engine which offers a good enough performance, but unfortunately struggles when it comes to tricky terrain and it has to be forced. There’s a 99bhp 1.4-litre engine available, but in all honesty it’s best to avoid this. On the other hand, the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with the choice of 108bhp/134bhp, but if you’re looking for more power, there’s a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol available along with a selection of diesels.

In terms of how the Astra is to drive, it’s more than enough for the family. When catering for children as well as adults, the comfort levels need to be way higher than usual and the Astra definitely delivers. With its soft suspension, taking on bumps, potholes and uneven terrain is unnoticeable especially with the smaller wheels. The Vauxhall Astra is also an easy car to control as it’s surprisingly light, so when driving on twisty roads and completing manoeuvres, there’s less of a struggle.

If you’re looking for a more enjoyable and thrilling drive, check out the car leasing deals for the Astra’s rivals: Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and the Volkswagen Golf.

Design
The Vauxhall Astra has always been an appealing design, but with its being more modern and fresh, it attracts more than just families. Its larger and wider front grille actually gives the exterior a sense of style in comparison to its rivals. The Astra may be a tad smaller than previously, but still expect a spacious interior.

Cabin & Style
In comparison to its rivals, the Vauxhall Astra actually offers an interesting interior which has been improved constantly over the years in order to reach the standard it’s reached in 2016. The cabin of the Astra is made up of high quality materials, including soft touch plastic in order to keep the good name it’s received over the years in terms of comfort.

The Vauxhall Astra’s interior on a whole is impressive, but it’s the dashboard which really stands out. The best thing about the dashboard has to be the lack of buttons, which means there’s no clutter and only the buttons which are necessary are present. As well as this, depending on the trim level, a responsive 7-inch or 8-inch is featured with Apple CarPlay and a system which enables the driver/passenger to mirror their iPhone/Android device.

There are 7 different trim levels available, which the entry level, Design, offering more than enough. The Design trim offers 16-inch alloys, cruise control, LED running lights, air-con, a DAB digital radio, colour touchscreen along with Bluetooth connectivity and electric front & rear windows. The next level ‘Tech Line’ is a bit more expensive, but if you’re looking to add a sat-nav and a larger touchscreen, then it’s well worth it.

Verdict
Overall, the Vauxhall Astra is a capable family car, a good day-to-day car, an ideal car for pleasure and a brilliant choice for business. With it featuring all of the entertainment systems it does for its low price, it’s a given that the Astra isn’t going to break the bank, but there are a range of personal car leasing deals available to make the process more affordable. In 2016, the Vauxhall Astra was given the title of the ‘European Car of the Year’ and this review has proved it.


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