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Vauxhall Astra (2010 - 2012)

CLASS WARRIOR (some text hidden)

By Andy Enright

Introductionword count: 112

The Astra used to be the bluest of blue collar vehicles, the choice of the terminally unadventurous customer looking for something inexpensive to buy and run that wasn't intimidatingly foreign. Back in the Eighties, the Astra's heartland was the sort of guy who liked beer and football but would be intimidated by a curry house menu. How things change. It's now become massively more sophisticated. Its old clientele has shifted its loyalty to Korean badges and it now campaigns to a far more informed buyer profile. The latest model has found a ready market and deservedly so, as it's superbly built and attractively styled. Here's how to find a decent used buy.

Modelsword count: 23

5dr hatch, 5dr Sports Tourer estate (1.4, 1.6 petrol, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0 diesel [Expression, S, ES, ES Tech, Exclusiv, SRi, SE and Elite)

Historyword count: 170

It's rare that a car has the capacity to stun seasoned motoring journalists but the launch of the Vauxhall Astra in 2010 did exactly that. How could an Astra - an Astra! - feel quite so well screwed together? Yes, the last version had upped its game in that regard but the sixth generation model's materials quality felt on a par with the premium hatches in its class; cars like the BMW 1 Series or the Audi A3. It was as if the Astra had taken a leap forward by two generations instead. It needed to be good though, as all-new Ford Focus and Citroen C4 models were due to appear shortly thereafter and much improved Peugeot 308 and Toyota Auris versions were also waiting in the wings. A five-door model and Sports Tourer estate made it to dealerships in 2010, with existing fifth generation TwinTop convertible models continuing. A value-packed ES Tech trim level was introduced in 2011 and engines across the range were also tweaked to improve efficiency.

What You Getword count: 275

It's no surprise to see the Astra borrowing heavily from the pool of styling devices employed by the well received Insignia. The L-shape cut into the car's flanks is a reverse of the Insignia's but the lights, grille and bonnet bear marked similarities. Inside, it's a similar story, with the steering wheel, gear lever and centre console design lifted directly from the larger car. The dash itself curves around the front seat occupants integrating cleanly with the doors and while the centre console does host a plethora of buttons, they're clearly marked and experience with the Insignia has proved them easy enough to use. This Astra is significantly bigger than the model that preceded it. There's been an 18cm increase in length, 7cm more wheelbase and the track is 6cm wider. It gives rise to good space for three adults to occupy the rear bench and a boot of 370 litres, which is equal to the previous generation car. Vauxhall is particularly pleased with the array of storage options it has installed around the cabin, designing purpose-built receptacles for cups, sunglasses, coins, CDs and the other paraphernalia that people tend to have cluttering up their cars. Most buyers opt for the five-door hatch but there's also a Sports Tourer estate. Buyers can expect the usual wide range of engine options and trim levels, not to mention a bulging options list. The Astra range comprises seven models - Expression, S, SE Tech, Exclusiv, SRi, SE and Elite - each of which comes with high levels of equipment as standard, including ESP, six airbags, air conditioning, daytime running lights and electric windows. What To Look For (used_look)

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Compact Family Cars

Performance
80%
Handling
70%
Comfort
80%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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