New 2022 Vauxhall Astra review

Rory White

10 Feb 2022

1/8
The all-new Vauxhall Astra has been reinvented for 2022. Does it have what it takes to mix with the best family hatchbacks?

YesAuto Score:

82/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Comfy and quiet to drive

+ Impressive PHEV version

+ Generous standard equipment


CONS:

- A Ford Focus is more fun

- Average rear space

- Bland interior styling


Verdict: The Vauxhall Astra is the best it's ever been: it's comfy and quiet to drive, comes with solid engine options and lots of equipment thrown in for a sensible price. There are more spacious family hatchbacks, though, and ones that are more fun to drive.


2022 Vauxhall Astra: walking around it


This latest Vauxhall Astra is a massive departure from the last in the design department. It features Vauxhall's latest 'Vizor' design grille, which was introduced with the Mokka.


It gives the Astra a purposeful look, like it has wrap-around sunglasses on, and is joined by a dark lower grille section and the option of a black roof and thus a two-tone colour scheme on some models.


There are three trim levels available – Design, GS Line and Ultimate. Even entry-level Design comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, sharp LED headlights and a chrome grille surround and front badge, but GS Line is the sportiest of the bunch with black 17-inch alloys and more black exterior accents including the entire grille, badge and that black roof.


At the top sits the Ultimate, which gets silver 18-inch diamond-cut alloys and Vauxhall's most advanced LED pixel headlights that get a unique look.


Whichever trim you go for, there's no doubt the Astra now stands out next to other family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus, VW Golf, Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon.


2022 Vauxhall Astra: sitting inside it


The new Astra is a far more minimalist car inside than it ever has been, with lots of flat surfaces and an infotainment 'wall' in front of the driver.


It all feels solid and the Astra's switches feel plush enough, but the overall design is fairly bland compared to cars like the 308 from sister brand Peugeot.


The interior look does change slightly depending on which model you buy. The entry-level Design model gets a grey and white theme inside, while the sportier GS Line swaps the white for red on the doors and dashboard.


The range-topping Ultimate brings a silver theme inside instead, plus part-Alcantara seats as standard. You can upgrade these to full leather for around £2000.


Thankfully Vauxhall has chosen to keep the Astra's climate controls among other buttons separate from the touchscreen system, placed on the dash just below the infotainment screen. This makes it much easier and quicker to operate, especially when driving.


2022 Vauxhall Astra: using the tech


All Astras come with twin 10-inch screens, the right (on UK cars) dealing with the driver's digital dials and the left with the infotainment.


It's arranged in a sort of 'wall' in front of the driver, with entry-level Design models getting a more basic plastic surround to the screens and the GS Line and Ultimate model gets a more attractive glass and aluminium surround instead.


Overall the system works well, with decent response times to presses on the screen and a simple menu structure that's simple to get your head around.


The graphical design of the system isn't particularly easy on the eye though and while clear, the Astra's digital driver's dials aren't as configurable as the best dials from VW and Skoda.


Still, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard on every Astra, so if you don't like the look and feel of the system you can simply mirror your phone and make it look and work like that instead.


Wireless charging is reserved for the range-topping Ultimate trim and going for this top model gets you a better eight-speaker sound system rather than the standard six-speaker one too.


2022 Vauxhall Astra: getting stuff in it


There's plenty of space for a couple of tall adults in the front of the Astra and the driver gets a good amount of manual seat and wheel adjustment.


Stepping up from Design to GS Line and Ultimate gets you sculpted sports seats in the front too, and Vauxhall reckons there are some 30 litres of cubby space inside in all the usual places, which is a healthy amount.


In the back, the news isn't so good. Adults under six foot will be comfortable enough, but those over six-foot will find their knees against the front seatbacks. Headroom in the back is better.


The Astra has standard Isofix points on its outside rear seats and getting a bulky child seat in and positioned is easy enough, but like most family hatchbacks you'll need to shove a front seat forward first.


Behind all that, the Astra's boot measures up at 422 litres, making it a good bit larger than a Golf or Leon's boot, but still much smaller than the class-best Skoda Octavia. In truth, the Skoda Octavia continues to outdo all its family hatchback competition on space full stop.


It's also worth keeping in mind that the plug-in hybrid Astra's boot is smaller than the standard car's, due to its battery placement beneath the boot floor.


2022 Vauxhall Astra: driving it


The Astra is available with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid power. Later down the line, there will be a fully-electric version too.


The petrols consist of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder with either 110 or 130hp, while the single diesel option is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 130hp.


The plug-in hybrid is called the Hybrid-e and pairs a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine with a battery and electric motor to produce 180hp, although a more powerful 225hp model will arrive later down the line.


The PHEV can go up to 37 miles on electricity a full charge and takes around four hours to charge fully from empty using a wall box. You can upgrade its charge speed to halve that time as an option though.


Vauxhall is yet to confirm the details for its Astra-e fully-electric model, but we can expect the usual punchy town acceleration and a range of between 250-300 miles.


The 130hp petrol makes the most sense for the majority of buyers. It feels eager, is smooth, quiet and will return 40mpg if driven carefully. The diesel is a better bet if you're often on the motorway though, where it'll manage nearly 60mpg, although it is noisier to drive at all speeds.


If you plan to run your Astra as a company car, the best choice is the PHEV. It has the lowest CO2 emissions and thus the lowest company car tax rates, plus is very relaxing to drive in silent EV mode with a generous range by the standards of plug-in family hatchbacks.


The Astra is comfy over bumps at all speeds and stays quiet from a road and wind noise perspective, even up at motorway speeds. It doesn't feel particularly agile though, and selecting 'Sport' driving mode (on auto models only) doesn't transform the experience. All told you'll have more fun on a country road in a Ford Focus.


2022 Vauxhall Astra: paying for it


For a full in-depth rundown on the Vauxhall Astra's prices, specs and YesAuto deals, click here.


The Vauxhall Astra starts at just under £24,000 for the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol with 110hp in design trim and tops out at just over £35,000 for the Ultimate plug-in hybrid model. With a more powerful PHEV and full EV to come, that top price will grow.


Nevertheless, the Astra is competitively priced, especially next to VW's Golf, and comes with a very generous amount of kit and safety equipment for the money.


Car companies often say their cars will hold more of their value than rivals when new, but we can believe this new-look Astra will perform well despite Vauxhall's generally poor residual value performance. That means a cheaper ownership proposition for private buyers and cheaper lease deals too.


All of the Astra's engines will prove cheap to fuel, but the PHEV is the stand-out choice for anybody running an Astra through work. A full charge at home should cost in the region of £2.50 and its 43-mile electric range is impressive at this price range.


2022 Vauxhall Astra: comparing it


The Volkswagen Golf is slightly plusher inside than the Astra and even more comfy and quiet to drive. It's more expensive to buy though, comes with a worse infotainment system and has a smaller boot.


The Seat Leon gives the Astra a run for its money in the looks department and feels more agile to drive, but it too has a smaller boot and is perhaps even blander inside.


The Skoda Octavia continues to be hard to beat when it comes to family hatchbacks. Its infotainment system isn't as good as the Astra's but it's simply huge inside and staggering value when considering its keen pricing.


Compare these cars with the Astra using YesAuto's car comparison tool here.


FAQs


Q: When can you buy the new Vauxhall Astra?

A: You can order an Astra now and the first deliveries will be later in 2022.


Q: How much will the new Vauxhall Astra cost?

A: The Vauxhall Astra starts at just under £24,000 for the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol with 110hp in design trim and tops out at just over £35,000 for the Ultimate plug-in hybrid model. With a more powerful PHEV and full EV to come, that top price will grow.


Q: Where will the new Vauxhall Astra be built?

A: The New Vauxhall Astra will be built in the UK at Elsmere Port.


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Rory White

10 Feb 2022