Currently reading: Nearly new buying guide: Vauxhall Astra
It looks just like the recently revised model, but the now-superseded Astra is better value

Prices start at £5000 for a high-mileage 2016- reg 1.6 CDTi, so a used Vauxhall Astra is a tempting proposition. It won’t look or feel as classy as a Volkswagen Golf but then you’ll pay £2500 more for the pleasure of owning that particular people’s car. The Ford Focus is closer in appearance and feel to the Astra but even that will set you back around £1000 more.

Of course, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and in the Astra’s case, what you get is a reputation for unreliability. 

The range of trims is a little baffling but, regardless, even basic Design is well equipped (7.0in colour touchscreen with Vauxhall’s IntelliLink phone connectivity, a digital radio, air-con and 16in alloy wheels). Our pick is SRi, the next up, but if you fancy more luxury, there’s Elite (leather-covered and powered sports seats, automatic lights and wipers, and lashings of chrome).

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The model was launched in 2015 and has just been facelifted. Actually, that’s underselling the changes since the latest Astra now features new Euro 6d- and RDE2-compliant engines plus improved suspension. What hasn’t changed is the model’s styling, which must say something about the rightness of the original, if not Vauxhall’s bank balance.

But more tax efficient and better to drive though it is, why spend £18,885 on the cheapest facelifted Astra, the 1.2 110 SE, when for £15,000 you could have a pre-facelift model in a high spec and with a strong engine? Something like a 2019/19-reg Astra 1.4T 150 Griffin. Specwise, this run-out special sits between Tech Line Nav and SRi and new, it cost around £19,950. Features include dual-zone climate control, 18in alloy wheels and a sat-nav. The 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine is a good performer and economical as well.

For even better economy, target the 1.6 CDTi diesel in 109bhp and 134bhp forms or, one of our favourites, the 104bhp 1.0T petrol. It’s among the best three-pots out there – all snarly and punchy but, thanks to its balancer shafts, smooth, too. For more power, try the 124bhp 1.4T.


Read our review

Car review

An all-new family of efficiency-enhanced engines, some mostly effective chassis mods and a few trim and equipment upgrades usefully sharpen the Astra’s appeal

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You’re still thinking about the Astra diesel’s poor reliability, right? Then go for that more reliable but still economical 104bhp 1.0T petrol and think what fun you’ll have.


Engine The 1.4 T engine can suffer piston problems, the main symptom being a misfire.

Transmission Even low-mileage cars can suffer with worn clutches. Elsewhere, check the clutch pedal rises since some 2017-reg cars experienced sticky pedals.

Suspension Listen for noisy front suspension, a problem even low-mileage Astras can suffer from.

Infotainment The Intellilink system can be troublesome so check you can connect your phone and that all the features work.

Body When parked uphill, and if it's raining, the doors bottoms can fill with water.


The Astra’s 1.6 CDTi ‘Whisper’ diesel motor is quieter than the engine it replaced but not as whisper quiet as Vauxhall claims. Still, it does have acoustic covers to muffle noise and vibration, as well as the lowest internal friction in its class. These facts, at least, should shock your dinner party guests into silence.

Although smaller and lower than the model it replaced, and with a shorter wheelbase, the Astra under the spotlight here is roomier. For example, rear-seat passengers enjoy 35mm of extra leg room.

Don’t buy a used Astra on the strength of its remote OnStar concierge service. The facility is being terminated in December 2020, and since January 2019, no new Astras have been fitted with the system.

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ULTIMATE - For once, a trim name that’s close to the truth. Heated and powered leather seats, climate control, LED matrix headlights, 18in alloys and multiple driver assist features — they’re all here.


Vauxhall Astra 1.0T 105 SRi - This little three-cylinder turbo petrol strikes just the right balance between fun and low running costs, and SRi trim brings a good sat-nav and a larger, 8.0in touchscreen.


Vauxhall Astra 1.6T 200 SRi - Understated looks meet a fire breather of an engine. The 1.6T can rattle off 0-62mph in just 6.6sec. Meanwhile, it handles and rides with aplomb. A Q-car to savour.


2016 Astra 1.6 CDTi Tech Line, 113,000 miles, £4990

2017 Astra 1.0T 105 Design, 14,000 miles, £7650

2018 Astra 1.4T 150 SRi, 4000 miles, £12,995

2019 Astra 1.4T 150 Elite Nav, 11,000 miles, £13,850


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Lovema75 10 October 2019

I really like this Astra

My current Vectra has been a brilliantly dependable car, and changed my perception of Vauxhalls- once these fall in price further I'll definitely be interested.
catnip 10 October 2019

I like the look of this model

I like the look of this model Astra, is it really any less "classy" looking than a Golf?

sabre 10 October 2019

Astra in What Car?

You actually sent me rushing to buy an Auris or a Civic some years older at the same price, but with a much better troublefree factor.