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Vauxhall Astra (2004-11)

Overall Rating

5 stars

The current Astra is the best yet to drive, and the most up-market. Its distinctive looks and classy Germanic cabins bring it closer to Golf than it has ever been. And it's great value.

For
  • The best Astra yet to look at
  • And the best to drive
  • Good value and generously equipped
Against
  • Vauxhall badge lacks prestige of Golf
  • New Focus is seen as class benchmark
  • Slightly confusing model naming
Road Test

The 2004 Astra is every inch a German Opel, rather than a Vauxhall. It has been designed, inside and out, to take on the class-leading Golf Mk 5, yet it's competitively priced against Focus or 307. And it feels resolutely and reassuringly Germanic in character. Equipment levels are high, making Astra great value. Vauxhall/Opel has achieved a large step up in quality, producing a small family car that's dynamic and rewarding to drive as well as being sturdy and safe. There's a wide choice of engines, from willing 1.4 and 1.6 petrol units to a 2.0-litre 168bhp turbo, with even sportier models to follow. And there are also excellent modern CDTI diesels. Five-door hatchbacks will be joined by three-door and estate versions; coupe-cabriolet models are expected at a later date. With a complete range - and unless new Focus is a knock-out rival - Vauxhall should have a winner here.

Need To Know

JD Power stars: 3

NCAP: 5

Best Models: 1.9 CDTi

Worst Models: 1.6 petrol

Replacement: 2009


Alternatives
Vauxhall Astra (2004-11)
Star Ratings

Handling

5 stars

Comfort

4 stars

Quality & Reliability

4 stars

Performance

5 stars

Roominess

4 stars

Running Costs

5 stars

Value for Money

5 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

4 stars
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