Not every hatchback of this size can house four adults in comfort, but there shouldn’t be any such issues with the Astra, with plenty of head and legroom in the back. The middle seat is cramped, but that’s the same with almost any car of this size. The boot, at 370 litres, is bigger than the Focus and close in size to cars like the Golf and the Kia Ceed
. However, it does have a big lip at the boot entrance that you’ll have to lug stuff over.
It’s rather nice inside the Astra, with the dashboard hosting a 7.0-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, depending on which model you get. Both get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
. Elite and Ultimate models also get an 8.0-inch digital display in place of the traditional instrument dials, which look rather snazzy. The seats are comfortable, with a driving position that has plenty of adjustment. SRi models get different sports seats, which we’ve not tried yet. The materials used around the cabin feel very nice: not quite as premium as something like a (more expensive) Volkswagen Golf
, but a bit nicer than in a Ford Focus
You’ll find that the Astra’s suspension is impressively comfortable and supple over 95% of road surfaces. Things do start to feel a little bobbly over particularly gnarled B-roads, but it deals with these surfaces better than most. The car has the added bonus of being engaging behind the wheel, too. The steering is nicely weighted and communicative, and the Astra feels nimble and confidence-inspiring when changing direction. If it wasn’t for the Ford Focus, which in our book is the driver’s hatchback of choice, this would be right up there.