Vauxhall Astra hatchback - Practicality & boot space
The Vauxhall Astra is slightly more practical than its closest rivals
Family hatchbacks used to serve people’s needs pretty well, but now you can get more practical SUVs for a similar price. Families perusing their local Vauxhall dealer stock may wonder if an Astra will be too cramped, so could end up in a Vauxhall Grandland instead. There is also a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer estate on the way, which promises to be far more capacious than the outgoing version. It too will be available as a plug-in hybrid.
Vauxhall Astra interior space & storage
The Vauxhall Astra offers plenty of space for those in the front, but the rear seats feel a little tight. A six-foot-tall adult will likely find their knees squashed against the front seat. It’s by no means the only hatchback that feels like this - it’s probably more spacious in the back than the Mazda3 - but equally some rivals allow rear-seat occupants to stretch out more. A Skoda Octavia is huge by comparison. Speccing the Ultimate trim and its standard sunroof will make the cabin feel more airy, but bear in mind that it’s likely to cut into headroom even more.
At 422 litres, the new Astra’s boot is noticeably bigger than the old car, and is around 40 litres more than the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and Ford Focus. Adding a spare wheel will impact boot space slightly, while the plug-in hybrid gets a smaller 352-litre boot because of the battery’s placement under the floor of the car. With the split-folding rear seats down, the hatchback offers 1,339 litres of space when measured to the roof (1,268 for the hybrid). The tailgate looks nice and wide, which should make it easy to load bulky items.
The diesel engine is the best tow car in the range, being capable of towing a braked trailer weighing up to 1,550kg, or an unbraked one weighing up to 710kg. Manual petrol engines can tow 1,250kg braked or 660kg unbraked, while it may surprise you to find out that the plug-in hybrid can manage 1,450kg and 750kg respectively. Often hybrid cars have a much lower towing capacity than petrol and diesel engines.