Vauxhall Astra

The new Vauxhall Astra features a quality and solidity that's right up there with the Volkswagen Golf, especially in its impressive interior. On the road it's comfortable, and even rivals the Ford Focus. As a range, the Vauxhall Astra will be a very strong contender in the family hatchback segment - there is a huge amount of choice. The practical estate and sporty three-door GTC coupe model help to extend the appeal of Vauxhall's latest family hatcback.

Vauxhall Astra hatchback

Price 
£12,995 - £25,285
5 Doors
3.2 / 5
Pros
  • Good quality interior
  • Very comfortable
  • Great petrol engines
Cons
  • Poor resale values
  • Lacklustre steering
  • Mid and high-spec models expensive

Good looks, an upmarket interior and a class-leading smooth suspension make the Astra five-door a great family hatchback. Add Vauxhall's aggressive pricing strategy, and it's not surprising that the car is consistently placed at the top of the UK's sales charts. New in 2009, it still looks fresh, drives well and is comfortable, but it's a common sight on UK roads. That counts against it, as it won’t be worth very much when you come to sell on.

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer estate

Price 
£16,400 - £26,305
5 Doors
3.8 / 5
Pros
  • Versatile seating arrangement
  • Elegant, stylish looks
  • Large boot
Cons
  • Not best driver’s car
  • Diesels noisy if pushed
  • Not all models get one-touch folding seats

The Sports Tourer is the more practical brother of the Astra hatchback, offering 188 litres extra boot space when compared to the smaller car. The good news is that in the conversion to an estate bodystyle, the Astra has lost none of its impressive driving characteristics and is still a very polished on-road performer.

Vauxhall Astra GTC hatchback

Price 
£18,995 - £24,660
3 Doors
4.0 / 5
Pros
  • Great to look at
  • Even better to drive
  • Spacious and comfortable, and well built too
Cons
  • Interior is drab
  • Resale values likely to be low
  • Lacks desirability compared to rivals

According to its maker, the Vauxhall Astra GTC won’t just be the best looking car on the road, but also the most exciting to drive. It's aimed at the likes of the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupé, and there's no doubt it can match its rivals in the style stakes. The Astra's swoopy bodywork and swept back, LED-equipped headlamps help it stand out from the crowd. Entry-level models offer 18-inch wheels, while larger 19-inch wheels are standard on higher-spec cars. Drivers after more road presence can plump for massive 20-inchers – a unique offering compared to its rivals.

Vauxhall Astra VXR hatchback

Price 
£27,270
3 Doors
3.0 / 5
Pros
  • Blisteringly quick
  • Stunning looks
  • Comfortable for this class
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Expensive to run
  • RS Megane is marginally sharper

The Vauxhall Astra VXR sits at the very top of the Astra range and is focused on delivering driver thrills from its focused design and hugely powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. With 276bhp it's the most powerful car in its class and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds. The handling has been tweaked through firming up the suspension to give the VXR as much traction and grip as possible. Despite its extreme nature the VXR does work as an every day car too, the only problem will be the firm ride, which will cause a bit of discomfort over long journeys.