The Vauxhall Astra is one of the best selling family hatchbacks in the UK. It blends sporty looks, practicality, economy, and price to present a compelling package. As you move up the range, though, the Astra can start to get expensive. So, is a top of the line trim like SRI worth having?
The Vauxhall Astra comes well equipped in all specifications. SRI trim includes climate control, cruise control, heated electric mirrors, MP3 / iPod connectivity, alloy wheels, front fogs, and Bluetooth. You get sportier alloy wheels and a unique body kit which gifts the Astra with a little more street credibility.
Disappointingly, SRI trim does not include satellite navigation or parking sensors, which would have helped the Astra be seen as a truly practical family car.
The 1.6 CDTi engine is a step down from the 1.7 CDTi engine in power, but not in economy. The Astra equipped with this engine and a 6-speed manual gearbox will return a 72.4 miles per gallon combined with a CO2 rating of just 104 g/km – that means £20 annual road tax.
For those who want even more economy, there is a 108 bhp 1.6 CDTi that emits 94 g/km of CO2. This engine is being marketed as the ‘whisper diesel’.
Despite being economy orientated, the engine isn’t boring. Vauxhall have done a good job to ensure that it’s quiet at start up and on the move, and as the revs rise it sounds quite sweet. The only problem with the engine really is in its power delivery, which is a little flat… in most diesels, you get a shove of torque in the mid-range but in this it’s more of a light push. Surprisingly, the car churns out 236 lb /ft of torque, but it’s hindered by the gearing which is a little short.
Space and practicality is solid though. You get a 370-litre boot that can be extended to 1,235-litres by folding the rear seats and there are lots of cup holders and storage spaces in the cabin. From the driver’s seat, all controls are within easy reach and in terms of quality, the Astra is miles better than it has ever been inside. You now get more soft touch materials than ever before and these are placed in the driver’s view, which means the Astra feels like a more premium machine that it actually is to drive.
The driving position is good also, as there’s lots of seat and steering wheel adjustment.
With an on the road price of £21,640, Bristol Street Motors Vauxhall Astra is pretty good value for money. It comes well equipped, is spacious and practical, and looks great with more than enough style to stand out in the car park. Where the car lacks in quality (certain interior materials, residuals), it more than makes up for in comfort, economy, and refinement.
Overall, the Vauxhall Astra Sri 1.6 CDTi is a good buy. It will also make a very tempting used Vauxhall.