2016 Vauxhall Astra review – new Astra is best yet, but can it excite? - Prices and rivals

With an excellent engine and an outstanding ride the new Astra has some great attributes, but sadly it isn’t a drivers’ car

Evo rating
Price
from £15,295
  • Great engine, unexpectedly fast and feels well built
  • Overall, just not very exciting

Prices and rivals 

The Astra exists to challenge the Ford Focus and the VW Golf. There are plenty of hatchbacks of this sort of size, but the Ford and VW, like the Astra, are the big sellers. The 2016 Astra starts at £15,295, which is a just a bit cheaper than its European rivals.

The Golf feels the most premium of the three; it’s minimal and efficient interior looks and feels the most considered. The Ford can be packed with gadgets, including a heated front windscreen and door protectors. However, the Astra has the most comfortable ride and the 1.6ltr 197bhp, which starts at £21,855, is significantly more powerful and far quicker than anything Ford or VW offer for that money in this segment.  

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As well as the Astra’s typical rivals, the power and price of the 1.6 Astra puts it right in line with the Kia Proceed GT. The Kia may not be as practical as the Astra as it lacks two doors. The Kia is also down 26lb ft of torque, but it still feels sharper than the Astra. The Kia is alos much more engaging and lots of fun. The Kia’s engine isn’t as enjoyable to use as the Astra’s though, and it’s interior doesn’t feel quite as bright or as fresh.

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