Vauxhall Astra Hatchback 2004 - 2010

Vauxhall Astra Hatchback 2004 - 2010

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Good handling
  • Wide variety of engines to choose from
  • It is cheap to buy and run

Cons:

  • Rear view is restricted in the estate
  • 1.7-litre diesel engine is noisy
  • Poor dash layout

Overview

This new generation of Astra's is proving to be just as popular and reliable as past models and it handles surprisingly well. There are two models to choose from, the estate or hatchback with the additional option of being either a three or five door on the hatchback. Either way they offer great space and practicality with a wide range of engines that should cater to most peoples needs.

Exterior and Interior

The hatchback comes in the form of either a five or three door and is nicely styled making it easy to live with. The estate is just as nice to look at and comes with more room in the back for passengers than the hatchback. The interior isn't as well made and thought out as we would like it to be, but it is a lot better than the previous Astra with there being enough space in the back for three passengers. The seats are comfortable and supportive making them good for even the longest of journeys. The boot space of the hatchback isn't as big as some of its rivals, but it is still big enough to accommodate a weekly shop. However, the awkward shape of the boot opening and high lip limits the size of items that you can get in. The rear seats do fold down however they don't fold completely flat and there isn't much space in the cabin for smaller pieces of luggage. The boot on the estate is obviously bigger obviously, but it isn't as big as some of its rivals with 1550litres of space. It also comes with an optional FlexOrganiser pack which is a set of dividing bars that fit into points on the floor of the boot and work a lot more effectively at keeping luggage separate and secure than a simple net. The quality of the dash is impressive, but the buttons are awkwardly laid out and the air-con is difficult to understand at first. Trim wise, there are several options to choose from with the entry level being labeled 'Life' which comes with central locking, ABS, electric front windows, air-con, CD stereo, four airbags, 15-inch wheels and split folding rear seats. The next level up is the Club which has proven to be the most popular and comes with curtain airbags, FlexOrganiser rails for the estates boot and adjustable door mirrors. The Design trim comes with leather seats, rain sensitive wipers, electric rear windows and 16-inch alloys. There are two sporty trims, the SXi which comes with aluminium pedals, lowered suspension and five spoke alloys, and the SRi that comes with 17-inch wheels, a trip computer, tinted rear windows and an alarm.

Performance and Economy

The wide array of engines that come with the Astra should be able to fulfill anyone's needs and range from the small 1.4-litre petrol that offers good fuel economy, to the more power orientated engines such as the 2.0-litre 200bhp petrol or 1.9-litre 150bhp diesel engines. The 1.4-litre petrol is great for driving around town and achieves 46mpg, however, it is found to be lacking when used on the motorways. The 1.6-litre is better on the motorways and is only slightly worse fuel economy wise, but the 1.8-litre should satisfy most drivers with 123bhp going from 0-60mph in 10.2 seconds and manages 36mpg. The two 2.0-litre engines are great and will rival that of hot hatches. The more powerful 200bhp version travels from 0-60mph in just 7.7 seconds. The fuel economy does suffer though with both coming in around 30mpg. The best all round engine in the petrol range would have to be the turbocharged 1.6-litre with its 180bhp enabling it to go from 0-60mph in just 7.9 seconds. This is just 0.2 splits behind the larger 2.0-litre, but with the same fuel efficiency of the 1.8-litres at 36mpg. The diesel engines offer the same wide range and fill different niches as well with the small 1.3-litre handling most situations well, if feeling a little pushed at times, and returns 58mpg. The smaller of the two 1.7-litres with 80bhp isn't really worth considering as it's even slower than the 1.4-litre with poorer fuel efficiency. The other 1.7-litre fares slightly better, but both of them aren't particularly refined and the other engines are better. The 1.9-litres are great feeling powerful and smooth with the larger 150bhp being the favourite as it is quicker going from 0-60mph in just 8.6 seconds, but returns the same 50mpg as the less powerful engine. The best of the diesels though, if not all the engines, has to be the 1.7-litre ecoFLEX if you are looking for a combination of power and efficiency as it manages 0-60mph in 12.3 seconds, but it returns an impressive 63mpg which is better than any of the other engines across the range. Most of the engines fall into categories 4-6 for insurance purposes but the 1.9-litre diesels falls into groups 11 or 12 and the 2.0-litre petrol's into groups 13 or 14.

Like to Drive

The driving position does feel slightly cramped, but you should be able to find a comfortable driving position thanks to the adjustable seat and steering wheel. The hatchback handles extremely well feeling safe and predictable with a supple ride, although the steering does lack feeling. The sportier versions the SXi and SRi come with lowered suspension and quicker steering which does help to improve things slightly. The estate handles almost as well as the smaller hatchback with accurate steering and always feels composed. There is some body roll in the corners, but this is a heavy car so that is to be expected and it is only minimal. The sporty estate models also come with the same lowered suspension and quickened steering which does help. The rear pillars are quite thick though and do prevent some rear visibility in both models.

Faults and Repairs

Astra's have proven to be very reliable over the years and these two models are no different. There have been a few glitches with the electrics, but these are usually easy to fix. Repair costs are also fairly cheap as are services with any good mechanic being able to tackle most problems the car may have.


Overall Rating:
Review by ronisdui
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"The big long car "

Exterior and Interior

Great looking car with nice curves. Cuts the wind with no hassle. The inside offers a lot of room, but not as much as you can imagine as the roof is low. 5 people can fit in and enjoy a long trip with loads of extra luggage, as the boot is huge.

Performance and Economy

It performs great, but more for long trips. On the motorway. As it's long, it's hard to deal with in the city. But in both cases the consumption is about 1 gallon/ 35miles. Cheap to run as low road tax and also low insurance. Great family car.

Like to Drive

I would say you will feel like the captain of a cruise ship, which is great if you are a more laid back driver. If your style is sporty move on, this is not a car for you. As a result of the 6 gears you will enjoy driving it on the motorway but be careful as it likes to speed. If you don't pay attention you'll end up paying a few speed fines :) <

Faults and Repairs

Can't fault this car from point of view of mechanics. Had it for 14 months, taking it over 120000miles and not even one problem. As long as you service it on time and don't bump the wheels you will enjoy it!
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value

Overall Rating:
Review by Colin from Bolton
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"My Astra Diesel"

Exterior and Interior

Good body styling, with the exterior pack and 19 inch alloys mine looks good in black. Poor cabin extra's, this came with no cruise control which my Vectra had with the same engine. Poor rear view visibility when looking in the rear view mirror.

Performance and Economy

Excellent performance, economy has been brilliant averaging 50 mpg. Excellent power especially when you put the car in sport mode.

Like to Drive

Excellent drive and good performance from a diesel car for this make and model. I would have another Vauxhall Astra, but a new model with a different engine. I have enjoyed driving this car and will continue to even now it’s paid for. <

Faults and Repairs

There have been hardly any repairs on the car. I had injector problems when I first got it but this was covered under warranty. Usual front tyre wear and reasonable to replace. I have full service history and have done 78,000 miles on an 07 plate.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value

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Review by johnnyb
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"Lovely car"

Exterior and Interior

All was nice except a few stains on the seats but all is nice now. I've added my own personal touch to it now. Seating was comfortable, however for a man of my height it is a very small car and impossible for someone to sit behind me.

Performance and Economy

The car is very good perfomance-wise and economical, £25 of petrol lasts me 135 miles, and when the car is needed to put a bit of power it does.

Like to Drive

The car is a dream to drive, couldn't be happier with the comfort. Excellent room for driver and passenger however if somebody sits behind me (6ft5) tall the there will be no space for that person behind me as the space is very limited <

Faults and Repairs

Well i've had to do a few repairs. It also looks like the engine may be on it's way out, but other then those the car is lovely.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value

Overall Rating:
Review by KWB
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"A Joy To Drive"

Exterior and Interior

I absolutely love the look and feel of this car. It comes with leather interior, heated seats, on board computer and all the extras. It is very comfortable and is very roomy both front and back. I have 3 kids and use it as a family car and it fits us all in comfortable. Boot space was important for me because of shopping and travelling and this car doesn't disappoint unlike many hatchbacks. The overall look of the car is what attracted to me as I think it looks sporty, mine is a metallic gold and because I had the elite versions and it had been well cared for by it's previous owner, it looks terrific. I'm pleased I paid extra for the elite.

Performance and Economy

It's a great car and as you would expect on petrol for a 1.8, 'm starting to travel more for work so I'm glad I got the 1.8 for motorway driving. I feel that possibly next time I buy a car I'd probally consider the cost of fuel a bit more than I did before I bought the Astra, because of the increasing costs, I didn't really look at the figures this time.

Like to Drive

The car is bliss to drive, I have a bad back and I struggled with my old car but this is easy to drive and get and out of. It's a smooth drive and it comes with a sport drive option if I want an extra bit of oomph! <

Faults and Repairs

I have had my astra 6 months and so far it hasn't cost anything but my father persuaded me to buy a Vauxhall for this reason as parts and repairs are cheaper. I had an Audi A6 before the Astra and it cost me dearly. I lost alot of money on it so this was the paramount factor before I bought the Astra.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value

Overall Rating:
Review by bdoli
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"Middle of the road motoring"

Exterior and Interior

My Astra doesn't have the 'Exterior Pack' body kit, but I prefer it this way as its more of a sleeper. Looks good in black, not too overstyled and is ageing gracefully, I think. The 17' wheels look just right and small boot spoiler is just sporty enough. Inside its still smart and neat with a well laid out dash. The seats aren't the worlds comfiest, but long journeys are done with relative ease. There's enough room for four people on a long journey. The boot is a decent size.

Performance and Economy

Performance is good, with the Sport button off the 180bhp turbo engine is quick enough off the line and in overtaking, as long as the revs aren't below about 1700rpm. With the sport button on, everything feels much sharper, the throttle response is quick and the steering and suspension firmer. Overall if you're in a rush you can make good progress and dart in and out of gaps in traffic. Economy isn't great. With mostly careful motorway driving commuting to work I can average 38mpg. with town driving or in heavy traffic or with spirited driving the average is below 30mpg. With fuel prices today (March 2013) about £1.359, it costs about £67 to fill the tank and I usually get 370-400 miles to a tank.

Like to Drive

The 1.6 Turbo engine is known for being quite jerky and difficult to drive smoothly at least until you have gotten used to it. Especially when setting off and at very low speeds, its not very smooth. Once above 10-15mph its fine. Performance is good. Wind and road noise are acceptable for a smallish hatchback. The brakes are effective (larger front discs for this model over the standard). Handling and steering are great, its very easy to drive enthusiastically. <

Faults and Repairs

Over the three years I have owned the vehicle, I have had only a few faults: Misfiring and jerky acceleration - solved by full service inc. replacing spark plugs. Engine thermostat stopped working meaning engine failed to get up to temperature and fuel economy suffered - replaced thermostat. Hole developed in rocker cover causing engine warning light to come on - whole rocker cover replaced. Fortunately I purchased a three year warranty when I bought the vehicle, so none of these problems cost me anything.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value