01442 838195
Lowest Price Guaranteed
FREE 30-Day Returns
Trust pilot logo
Rated Excellent
Road Tax & Roadside Assistance Included
FREE & Fast Delivery
Lowest Price Guaranteed
FREE 30-Day Returns
Trust pilot logo
Rated Excellent
Road Tax & Roadside Assistance Included
FREE & Fast Delivery
Lowest Price Guaranteed
FREE 30-Day Returns
Trust pilot logo
Rated Excellent
Road Tax & Roadside Assistance Included
FREE & Fast Delivery

Vauxhall Astra Review 2022

Vauxhall astra review 2022

By Mark Nichol

What Is It?

The Vauxhall Astra is part of the furniture in the UK, providing transport for generations of families since the first model rolled out of the Ellesmere Port factory near Liverpool in 1981. Consistently popular, and more often than not a feature in the top ten best-selling cars in the UK, the latest Astra – the eighth model – represents Vauxhall's biggest ever step-change from one version to the next.

It remains a five-seat family hatchback in the vein of the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus, but for this generation it’s available as a fully electric model and a plug-in hybrid for the first time ever. There’s a five-door hatchback or an estate, the latter called Sports Tourer and featuring significantly improved boot space and increased rear legroom over the hatchback.

What’s Good About It?

Whatever you make of the styling, there’s no doubt that Vauxhall has made a bold visual statement with this Astra. It’s a real head-turner, thanks to a couple of eye-catching tricks like the so-called ‘Visor’ grille panel at the front and the ‘shark fin’ pillar at the side. It's available in 7 stylish colours, you can read our Vauxhall Astra colour guide for more details. The interior is similarly striking, dominated by a twin-screen display for the driver that gives a sense of modern minimalism. 

But the basics haven’t been forgotten, which is really what’s best about this Astra. The dashboard controls are not too reliant on touchscreen software so it’s all very easy to operate; the cabin is spacious front and rear; the ride quality is comfy; and the boot is on the bigger side for this sort of car, surpassing those in both the VW Golf and the Ford Focus. 

What Could Be Better?


The driving experience of the Astra has been engineered to make it feel as light and effort-free as possible, and while that makes it a very pleasant runabout, it also means it’s not the most fun-to-drive car in a class that features the Ford Focus, which is a hoot to drive.

And although the cabin has a look and overall feel that’s genuinely impressive, some of the material use is inconsistent. The gloss-black panelling near the gear selector is prone to scratching, so you’ll have to be careful with it, and some of the lower-level cabin plastic feels on the cheaper side.

What’s It Like To Drive?


Light, comfortable and relaxing. Vauxhall may have made the Astra look sportier than ever, but the reality of the driving experience is altogether softer and less sharp. This is a good thing, though, because it makes for a fantastically effortless day-to-day car. The steering rack is finger-light, the pedals are spaced out well and require minimal energy to use, and the gear selector in manual cars floats through the gate.

The way it moves over the road is generally spongy and calming, in terms of the way the suspension is set up and the comfort of seats themselves; Astras from mid-level GS Line trim upwards get seats approved by the German ‘aktion gesunder rücken’ group (‘action for healthy backs’), which is a high benchmark for long-distance ergonomics. 

None of this makes the Astra especially engaging in the spirit of some family hatchbacks – you’ll get more road feel, and therefore outright fun, from a Ford Focus, a SEAT Leon or a BMW 1 Series – but nonetheless the Astra still feels very ‘together’. Its body doesn’t sway too much around corners, the steering turns the front end in quite sharply, and the brakes are strong while being easy to modulate smoothly. Add to that a driving position that’s very adjustable, as well as good all-around visibility, and the Astra is just a very nice thing to drive. It really feels a whole league above the outgoing Astra, in every way.

There are three engines to choose from: a 1.2-litre turbo petrol with either 110- or 130hp; a 1.5-litre diesel with 130hp (and only available with an automatic gearbox); and a plug-in hybrid, which is both the most powerful (180hp) and the most efficient. It’s rare for a new car to offer a diesel these days, but actually it’s probably the best option for those doing lots of motorway miles because it’ll offer better long-distance efficiency than even the hybrid, and while it’s a little noisier than the other versions – always the case with a diesel – it doesn’t burst the bubble of general refinement in the car.

Each version has a slightly different suspension set-up depending on the engine, so you’ll find the plug-in hybrid slightly firmer through the tyres. Not enough to change the car’s fundamental character, though, and actually the plug-in hybrid offers the quietest overall experience. The Astra’s petrol engines are generally very quiet, but the plug-in model has a very good electric-only range – a quoted 43 miles – so a lot of the time you’ll be driving without hearing any internal combustion noise at all.  

How Practical Is It?


Of the two versions of the Astra – the hatchback and the Sports Tourer – it is of course the latter you’ll want if outright flexibility is a priority. Not only is the boot significantly bigger in the Sports Tourer, the car itself is almost 6cm longer between the wheels, meaning noticeably more rear leg space. The hatchback has a slightly larger than average boot space, though, at 422 litres, making it bigger than both the Volkswagen Golf’s (381 litres) and the Ford Focus’ (375 litres). The plug-in hybrid loses some boot space, reducing to 352 litres, and it also does without the twin-floor arrangement, a feature of mid-spec GS Line cars and above.

A 60/40 split-folding rear bench is standard in the hatchback, but the Sports Tourer gets a more useful 40/20/40 split, as well as having more luggage capacity in general: 608 litres. The luggage floor also folds entirely flat in the Sports Tourer when the rear bench is dropped, sitting flush with the tailgate lip, making it easier to slide bulky things in – a washing machine will fit, for instance. Up front storage in both versions is the same, which is to say very thoughtful, including an especially large glovebox, hideaway storage for a mobile phone, and in higher-spec versions, a specific sunglasses holder.

How Much Will It Cost Me?


Astra leasing prices begin at around the £300 per month mark for the hatchback and only a few quid more for the estate, which means either are very good value indeed, especially considering the space, refinement and level of standard equipment. The wide choice of powertrains, including a full-electric version and a plug-in hybrid, means you can keep your running costs right down too, and pick the version that will suit you best.

If you can make an EV work then the electric Astra-e version (coming early 2023) will be cheapest to run, but if your daily commute is short then the 256mpg plug-in hybrid will be very cost-effective too, thanks to its impressive electric-only range. The 59mpg diesel is the most efficient of the ‘traditional’ engine choices, but the petrol models are good too, with the 110hp 1.2 turbo model returning 52.3mpg.

Anything Else I Should Know?

Vauxhall has pared back the trim choice compared to the huge and often confusing array that was available with the outgoing car. There are now just three: Design, GS Line and Ultimate. All the basics are covered in a Design car – alloy wheels, air conditioning, twin digital displays and keyless entry – but a GS Line Astra is a better looking one, thanks to its contrasting black roof and bigger black alloy wheels. It also gets a parking camera system and keyless start, while an Ultimate model, as the name suggests, is absolutely packed out. A head-up display, bum warming (heated seats), hand warming (heated steering wheel) and larger display screens in front of you are all part of the kit list.

The Astra was awarded a four-star safety score out of five from Euro NCAP in 2022, with good results for adult and child occupants in the crash tests. 

What Alternatives Should I Look At?

Ford Focus Leasing

The benchmark for handling fun in a family hatchback, and with an interior that feels very high quality.

Volkswagen Golf Leasing

Classy, understated and very refined, the Golf is still the go-to family hatchback.  

Nissan Qashqai Leasing

Loads of space but still a manageable size, the latest Qashqai is a phenomenally versatile and high-quality family runabout.

The Vanarama Verdict: 8/10

The new Vauxhall Astra is a massive step change for the model, with a lovely blend of high-tech looks, fundamental comfort and a spacious, flexible cabin. The Sports Tourer in particular is one of the most practical family wagons around. Add to that the wide variety of powertrains, including a full EV, and the Astra is now one of the very best family hatchbacks on the market.

Three Things To Remember About The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer:

Everything about the drive is light and comfortable

The Sports Tourer has more boot space and extra legroom

Wider range of powertrains including petrol, diesel, PHEV and electric

More On The Astra

Vauxhall astra colour guide
Vauxhall Astra Colour Guide
Here’s a detailed look at the paint palette available on the Vauxhall Astra 5-seater midsized family hatchback, and its estate derivative known as the Sports Tourer, which we hope will help you choose your perfect new car colour...Read Guide
How does car leasing work?
How Does Car Leasing Work?
Learn more about the simple steps to leasing your dream car with fixed monthly rentals.How Does Car Leasing Work?
Latest car leasing deals
Latest Car Leasing Deals
Take a look at our latest leasing hot offersView Offers