Currently reading: Vauxhall Astra long-term test review: badge snobbery
We recommend it as family transport but its keeper has a vital question for you

As my year in the Vauxhall Astra edges towards a conclusion, I need to ask you a question – the answer to which will pretty much define whether this test has been in any way worthwhile. The short, very simple, version is this: would you buy a Vauxhall Astra?

Sounds daft to ask, of course. After all, that’s why I’ve been running the car: to answer the question for you. Regular readers will know that my views broadly mirror that of the original four-star road test verdict. Here is a car that is vastly better than its predecessor, is generally pleasing and practical to travel in, includes some ground-breaking connectivity tech and delivers some head-turning economy figures but is fractionally uninspiring to drive. Overall, though, I’d recommend the Astra as family transport.

But, but, but… already I reckon I’ve lost nine out of 10 of you, because nobody – and I mean nobody – I’ve met aspires to own a Vauxhall Astra. Previously, I’ve pondered the power of badge snobbery, but never have I felt its effects so powerfully.

My wife drives a Renault, which, with all due respect, is hardly a powerhouse badge. Yet she loves it. The Astra, in contrast, is greeted with disdain. Neighbours, who know my job and see a variety of cars parked nearby, make enquiries as to whether I’m “in the doghouse again at work” when I park up in the Astra. If I don’t take the Astra home in the evening, there is no queue of colleagues wanting to borrow it.

Why is this? I fear the Vauxhall badge and the Astra name conjure up nothing more than images of a repdriven car that many are forced to drive but few choose to. It’s a crying shame, because today’s car is so much more than that, but I fear the vast majority of you who respond will simply say you wouldn’t consider one. 


Price new £21,480 Price as tested £23,800 Economy 58.4mpg Faults Tyre pressure warning lights Expenses None Last seen 19.10.16

Read our previous reports here: 

First report

Battling badge snobbery

Technology test 

The pros of OnStar connectivity


Read our review

Car review

The British-built Vauxhall Astra reaches its seventh generation, but faces strong competition from recently-updated hatchbacks like the Ford Focus

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Lovema75 20 November 2018

Well I like mine!

I've had everything over the years from Jaguars to the petrol-heads requirement, the Alfa Romeo! But I declare myself quite fond of my £300 Vectra C - over thousands of miles it's been quietly competent and reliable. There's no point me spending much money on this one since you can buy much better condition ones for not a lot of money, so when my current one goes bang, I might just do that! After all, some glamorous model might be exciting, but when I've just finished a night shift, I just want to get home without fuss, and for most daily life, the car is a tool, so unremarkable is absolutely fine. Plus, ignore the "expert hacks," the Vectra is a fine car to drive anyway.
PAA 27 December 2016

Vauxhall vs Opel

Since Vauxhall has such a poor image perhaps the HQ brains could finally decide to introduce new models as Opels to get rid of the past. After all, the last actual Vauxhall was probably built some 30 years ago.
antwan 21 December 2016

They're okay

I had a 2003 diesel Astra until 2013 when the gearbox died at 178k miles on the clock (with a three month old clutch in it - d'oh).

It was ok although it had been in limp home mode for the last two years - no Vauxhall in Northern England knew how to fix it). Other than that the dealer was ok. We paid £650 to have all of the injectors replaced in 2010. We were shocked until my friend had to have his Passat's injectors replaced for £2200. Maybe Vauxhall dealers aren't too bad after all.

I don't aspire to own another Vauxhall because I am painfully predictably joining the majority and saving up for a German car. I've become a snob and I hate myself for it! Running a Jazzfor now - cheap and reliable. But oh so dull.