Vauxhall Astra hatchback (2009-2015) - Interior & comfort
The Vauxhall Astra has a neatly styled interior and air-conditioning is standard on all models
One of the highlights of the Vauxhall Astra is its smartly designed interior. Packed with neat details, user-friendly touches and quality materials, the Vauxhall’s cabin still rivals some of the best cars in the class for style and finish.
Vauxhall Astra dashboard
The dashboard is attractively styled and features a wraparound design that integrates neatly into the front door trims. Yet while the major controls are well sited, the small buttons for the standard stereo and optional sat nav are a little fiddly to use. On the plus side, there are plenty of tactile surfaces and the fit and finish is excellent. On SRi models and above, you also get ambient interior lighting than bathes the cabin in a warm red glow at night.
Expression and Design models do without a leather-trimmed steering wheel, but all versions get a wide range of seat and wheel adjustment, so it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. Tech Line GT, SRi, BiTurbo and Elite models benefit from Vauxhall’s supremely supportive sports front seats.
The entry-level Expression is sparsely equipped, but still gets air-conditioning and central locking. Design models add cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel, while Energy and Excite models throw in a leather steering wheel and USB connection. Bizarrely, the Limited Edition is now a regular feature of the line-up, but you forgive this because it comes with Bluetooth, leather-trimmed heated seats and an iPod connection.
Tech Line and Tech Line GT models are the pick of the range, as they offer loads of kit for a decent price. The Tech Line includes sat nav and a DAB digital radio, while the GT adds sports suspension, which also features on the SRi. However, it’s worth noting that the sat-nav system isn’t the most advanced you can buy and the mapping now looks dated.
At the top of the range is the Elite, which packs plenty of executive-car kit such as leather trim and dual-zone climate control. The downside is that this luxury doesn’t come cheap, and you’ll struggle to justify the high list price.
There are plenty of options to choose from, including an upgraded Infinity stereo and even a heated steering wheel. However, given the Astra’s small rear window and shallow side glass, we’d recommend paying £395 for the front and rear parking sensors. Also worth considering on Tech Line GT models and above is the £750 Driving Assistance Pack, which adds traffic-sign recognition and lane-departure warning. SRi and Elite models can be fitted with adaptive cruise control for £795.