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Why there's no need to compromise on a family car

From commuting to days out at the park, can the new Vauxhall Astra hatchback meet the needs of an everyday family?

Whether it’s the work commute, the school run or weekend activities with the kids, finding a car that suits the entire family is no easy task.

While SUVs have become an increasingly popular choice for car buyers, there are plenty of other options on the market to suit the everyday demands of family life. One size doesn’t always fit all, and for those after a vehicle that ticks many of the right family car boxes, the hatchback is still a reliable choice. What better way to prove this than to hear from a real family on how they fared when putting the new Vauxhall Astra through its paces?

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The Hogans from Coventry need a new car to get them through their day-to-day activities, but each family member has very different priorities. For dad Dave, fuel-efficient engines, a choice of stylish colours and value for money are at the top of his wishlist. But for mum Joanne, ease of parking and comfort are key, because she’ll be predominantly using the car for commuting. The kids? They want street cred, phone connectivity for in-car entertainment and plenty of legroom in the back.

After picking up the keys to a new Vauxhall Astra for a week-long test drive, the Hogans easily integrated the car into their weekly routine – and managed to find everything they were looking for in the hatchback, with some bonus benefits for good measure.

“I was really surprised about the little amount of fuel used in the week we had the car,” says Dave. “The amount of money that we save we can put towards a holiday,” adds Joanne.

The new Vauxhall Astra starts from £18,885, and as well as the affordable price, Dave was impressed by the car’s tech capabilities. “For the price, the Astra has so much tech. Especially the Bluetooth, the navigation [system] and phone connectivity. It’s top notch stuff,” he says.

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The Hogans were also looking for a car that had enough space to keep both themselves and their kids happy. Joanne was particularly impressed by what the Astra had to offer in this regard. “[It] has so much space within the back of the boot. It’s even got some ridges so the shopping doesn’t fly around the place,” she enthuses. “In our previous car, there wasn’t enough [rear seat] space because the [front] seats were set back. On long journeys the children get bored and you often get a kick in the back.” Suffice to say there were no such issues with the Astra.

So, after putting the Astra through its paces, were there any unexpected highlights? A family day out at Coombe Country Park in Coventry offered a bonus on a chilly winter morning. “It was quite a cold day, we’d been out with the kids and then we got in the car and put the heated seats on. They just felt a bit more snug and warm, all of us did,” explains Dave, because the Astra is available with heated rear seats, as well as fronts.

After spending a week with the Vauxhall Astra, the Hogans found a car that kept every member of the family happy. Dad Dave sums it up best, telling us: “For us it’s the perfect family car. For our needs it’s got everything and more.”

Discover more about the new Vauxhall Astra at Vauxhall.co.uk.

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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