Find a car review

Make
Model

2016 Vauxhall Astra review – new Astra is best yet, but can it excite?

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

evo Verdict

It may well have been crowned European Car of the Year for 2016, but has the new Astra been designed to thrill or exhilarate? Sadly not, it lacks any real feedback and has very safe handling characteristics that don’t allow for any adjustability. However, the Astra has elements that do feel very well judged. The most powerful engine available not only makes the Astra surprisingly quick, but it’s also a pleasure to rev. It’s also very comfortable as the ride is exceptional, and the controls are well positioned to suit spirited driving, too.

Its attributes may not add up to make the new Astra the most exciting car, but it’s the best base Astra we’ve tried and it has certainly made us eagerly anticipate the VXR version.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

evo Tip

Don’t go for the optional 18” wheels. Stick with the smaller 17s as they help create the luxurious, comfortable ride. That may not sound particularly thrilling, but the Astra isn’t the most sporty or direct handling car so it might as well ride nicely instead.

evo Comment

‘The new Astra isn’t a bad car but it isn’t a particularly memorable car to drive either. What is encouraging is the feeling of lightness and compactness, which are excellent starting points for future hotter versions. Pop a sportier petrol engine under the bonnet, tweak the springs and dampers and you might have a rather good hot hatch.’ Henry Catchpole

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/abarth/201755/2020-abarth-595-pista-arrives-with-162bhp
Abarth 595

2020 Abarth 595 Pista arrives with 162bhp

The supermini has been given a new Garrett turbocharger, paint options and tweaks inside
13 Sep 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
Features

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22773/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-chosen-by-those-in-the-know-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - chosen by those in the know

The perfect choice for those looking to extract every last drop of performance, we run down Goodyear's Eagle F1 SuperSport range
12 Jun 2019