Vauxhall, or Opel in Continental Europe, or Holden in Australia and New Zealand, have, fairly recently, re-styled all of their vehicles to the point where they’re only recognisable by the badge on the back. In this review, I’m looking at the new shape offering of the Vauxhall Astra because you can, for some reason, still buy the old model new.
I preferred the exterior of the old car and, as I’ve already said, if I really wanted to, I could still buy it despite having the new shape model since 2009. This seems to show that Vauxhall knew some people would still prefer the old one, and there’s nothing wrong with trying to please everybody, but if they didn’t like the new design that much themselves, they should have designed it again until they did.
The appearance of the latest Astra is still somewhat appealing. It won’t offend anybody, yet there are still some good looking features, such as the nicely shaped panels on the front end, and the sloping, integrated headlights. I don’t like the day running lights on this car. It appears as though they’re, again, trying to please everyone: The lights being available will make people who like ‘day runners’ happy, but they are dim and insignificant enough to allow people who don’t to be happy as well.
The inside of the Vauxhall is closer to what you’d expect from a company trying to re-invent itself. Very modern and very nice (if you fit it with a few options), the interior is far better than some of its competitors. The contrasting stitching on the leather (and even on the fabric interiors) is something which you would expect on far more expensive cars. Combine that with some aluminium trim and it’s just the sort of thing we’d like at 0to60.
But nothing on the new Astra particularly blows me away. It doesn’t drive as well as the Focus, or look as striking as the Honda Civic. That’s what happens when a company tries to please everybody. In reality, one car that can please everybody isn’t going to be very good at pleasing anybody. Well, I say that, but the Astra outsold the mighty Ford Focus last year to become Britain’s most popular car – so I may be alone in my opinions. And with that, the specifications for the Astra 1.4 100 ES 5 door Hatchback – just one of the 41 different variants!
Power/Torque: 99bhp 96lb/ft
Max. Speed: 111mph
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph in 12.9 seconds
CO2 Emissions: 129g/km
Insurance Group: 9
VED Band: D
Some disappointing performance figures and rather expensive list price there, but fuel economy is decent, and you can choose to pay as little or as much as you’d like for this car from one of the variants available.
Phenomenally Average: 2.5 Stars