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In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Astra review - Interior & comfort

Shared dashboard parts with Vauxhall Mokka mean the Astra now has a more modern interior

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

4.0 out of 5

There was nothing particularly wrong with the old Astra’s dashboard, apart from a slightly askew infotainment screen and somewhat dated looks. It certainly wasn’t exciting, but was fine to use. For the latest model, Vauxhall has replaced the entire dashboard; now the Astra has a stylish interior to take on its rivals, even if it isn’t without fault. It even looks similar to more expensive premium hatchbacks like the Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series.

Vauxhall Astra dashboard

Vauxhall’s ‘PurePanel’ displays made their debut in the Vauxhall Mokka, and are now being rolled out across Vauxhall’s range. The setup consists of two 10-inch screens, with the one behind the steering wheel housing a digital dial cluster. This shows all the relevant driving information, while the infotainment touchscreen next to it is used to control media and navigation functions and the whole setup is easy to operate. Thankfully, Vauxhall has not committed the seemingly industry-wide offence of burying the climate controls within the infotainment screen; a series of toggle switches below are able to adjust the temperature and are much easier to use than the touch-sensitive sliders in the Volkswagen Golf.

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The quality of the materials isn’t quite at the same level as what you’d find in an A-Class or 1 Series, though; everything feels reasonably decent quality, in line with the average for this class of car. However, there are a few scratchy plastics and gloss black trim pieces throughout the cabin, and not too many soft-touch areas, but the Golf is no longer so strong in this area either. The cover for the cup holders in particular seems to have an odd texture to it that scuffs easily. In an attempt to spruce up the interior, GS cars get some rather cheap-feeling red accents which inadvertently have made the car feel less premium; a Peugeot 308 feels much more upmarket inside. The GSe remedies this somewhat with a new steering wheel and Alcantara sports seats, along with some splashes of carbon fibre-look trim and high-gloss surfaces.

Equipment

The Astra introduces Vauxhall’s new simplified trim level line-up, which consists of Design, GS and Ultimate models. Design effectively replaces SE, and features a good amount of standard equipment. The head, tail and foglights are all bright LEDs, with high-beam assist for the headlights. You also get cruise control, automatic wipers, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless start and a leather-covered steering wheel. The touchscreen includes sat nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Stepping up to GS brings a black roof, black-painted 17-inch alloys, a sportier body kit and extra equipment. With two-zone air conditioning, adaptive cruise control, heated sports seats and ambient lighting, it’s our pick of the range. On a monthly finance deal, it shouldn’t work out much more expensive than the base Design trim.

Ultimate keeps the sporty looks but adds extra technology like a head-up display, wireless phone charging and adaptive LED pixel headlights. It also gets an air quality sensor and a heated soundproof windscreen. The top-spec GSe model is the pick for keen drivers, and it gets sports front seats to complement this. It also boasts adaptive LED headlights, a 360-degree parking camera view and a unique design of 18-inch alloy wheels.

Options

Metallic paint costs up to £700, while you can add bigger wheels with red inserts on GS models for £300. Provision for a spare wheel costs £20, but you’ll need to buy a spare wheel from your dealer.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo Design 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,970

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 Plug-in Hybrid GS 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £37,935

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6 Plug-in Hybrid GSe 5dr Auto [Pan roof]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £41,800

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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