A smart move

Vauxhall’s package of smart styling revisions will keep its Astra family hatch competitive with tough competition in the Focus and Golf sector.

Add in the brand’s usual vast range of engines and trim levels and you have a family hatchback that continues to be difficult to ignore.

In the UK, the Astra brand carries plenty of weight with the public and Vauxhall has developed the current sixth generation version to hammer that advantage home. To achieve this, it has worked on enhancing quality, increasing space and taking the driving experience to the next level.

Both the dampers and the slightly vague electric power steering have been tuned specifically for British roads but if you’d to do some further fine tuning of your own, there’s the option of specifying the Flexride adaptive suspension with ‘normal’, softer ‘Tour’ or stiffer ‘Sport’ modes that’s standard on plusher models. Bottom line? Well this smarter sixth generation Astra must now be taken more seriously than before. It’s good to drive and great to ride in, with a large, classy cabin that will sell this car to many, the standard having been raised beyond what we’ve seen from Vauxhall.

Best of all, it’s mainly British, built at Ellesmere Port near Liverpool to a quality at least as high as anything the Japanese brands can manage.