Price £12,995 - £25,175
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.
Price £17,275 - £25,170
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.
Price £19,040 - £24,400
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.
The Vauxhall Astra VXR sits at the very top of the Astra range and is focused on delivering driver thrills from its focused chassis 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 chassis has been tweaked through firming up the suspension and adding a limited slip differential to give the VXR the best traction and grip as possible. Despite its extreme nature the VXR does work as an everyday car too, the only problem will be the firm ride, which will cause a bit of discomfort over long journeys.
Despite a new Sport Hatch Astra due to go on sale in 2011, the current model is still going strong in Vauxhall's range. The reason is that the new shape Astra is still only available in five-door guise and that the old shape Astra was such a great success. Sporty handling, impressive standard equipment and styling that still looks fresh today means you can't go too far wrong with the Astra Sport Hatch.