The Eye-catching Vauxhall Astra 2022 | Rivervale Review

The Eye-catching Vauxhall Astra 2022 | Rivervale Review

The Vauxhall Astra has been available for a mammoth four decades now and for seven generations! Over that period, it’s been a pretty popular but not ultimately exciting Vauxhall model. The new mark 8, however, switches things up a little, injecting a little excitement into this well-established model.

Storage & Space

This dinky family hatchback has been slightly upscaled in the mark 8, but only by the tiniest amount when it comes to storage and space. It is 4mm longer than before, with a 13mm longer wheelbase.

It offers a decent 548 litres of storage in the boot with the seats up, but bear in mind that, with the PHEV model (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), there’ll be a big bag in there too to transport your charger around with you.

If space is at a real premium for you, it might be worth considering the petrol model. This car is comfy enough for those under six feet, but head and legroom become a little more compromised for those amongst us who are vertically blessed beyond that 6ft mark!

Equally, it’s a great little car for a small family, but for those looking to regularly and comfortably transport adult passengers in the rear, it might not be spacious enough.

The front of the car is well catered to for those useful little cubby holes and nooks, with two adjustable cup holders, a little keyspace, and a small central bin. There’s also a ‘secret’ compartment, perfect for storing stuff like your shades.

Looking for cars with space for the whole family and then some? Well we've curated a list of the most spacious family cars!


The real competition, or rival, to the Vauxhall Astra remains the Volkswagen Golf. The new model Astra wins out in many ways in terms of ride comfort, providing a gentle, smooth ride.


The new Astra is blessed with plenty of high-level tech, which you might not usually expect in such an economical model. As well as adapted cruise control and a voice assistant function, there are clever extras like the distinctive LED matrix headlights, which use 168 individual beams to light the road without dazzling oncoming traffic (an optional extra).

Vauxhall Astra Tech

This is likely the first time you’ll see tech of this quality in a car at this level. They even got a musician on board to compose the car’s sounds, such as the indicator noise (nothing strange, don’t worry - it still sounds like an indicator!) The 360-degree parking camera system is super-useful, especially with the relatively small rear window - it makes road safety and parking a doddle.

Aesthetics & design

The quality of the finish is pushed to the fore here, especially in the more tactile areas. Surfaces are well-chosen and of a quality feel, including squidgy trims on the dash, a high-shine piano black finish on the central console and different swatches of finish across the glove compartment.

Less obvious areas use a basic but perfectly reasonable plastic finish. Useful additions included in this model include the USB charging slots, wireless charging for even the bulkiest of phones, the Pure Panel (or optional Pure Panel Pro) display, which offers two display screens - one for driver information and one for the infotainment system. The front seats are heated, and there is even the option for heated seats in the back.

Vauxhall Astra Rear

It’s enjoyable to see physical buttons remaining on the dash so that the more simple commands can be easily carried out without trawling through onscreen navigation. The volume knob, heated steering control, and heated seat control all use physical buttons. For example, the home button should return to the nav home screen.

It’s all new - but the mark eight does pay homage to the original Astra subtly, with the inclusion of the fin on the rear, so Astra fans can feel the history of the model evolving. Wheels are offered as 16 inch or 18-inch alloys.

We recently did a review on the new Suzuki S-Cross. It's a family SUV with a lot to love, and it's definitely worth a consideration!

Fuel options

The PHEV model has much to commend it. With two refuelling ports (one for petro, one for the electric), this plug-in hybrid can deliver 256 miles per gallon and can undertake 37 miles of distance on electric power alone. This is pretty appealing, especially since UK drivers, on average, undertake only about 20 miles of driving on average daily. If this is going to be plenty for your commute and any pottering about around town, and you’re happy to recharge every night, you’ve basically got a fully electric vehicle on your hands, which has the capacity to tap into a petrol engine for days when you need a longer range. In addition, the E-save mode saves up 20km of range for you in the battery, so you can opt for electric power in more pollution-sensitive areas - for example, switching to electric when you’re in traffic near a school or playground.

Vauxhall Astra Display

Other models include the 1.2-litre petrol model, which delivers 110-130bhp, and the 1.5-litre diesel. An all-electric model is also on the horizon! The PHEV model uses a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine to deliver 150bhp, and the electric motor delivers 110bhp. In combination, they max out at 180bhp when used together.

Wondering which fuel option is right for you? Well look no further than our guide to choosing your fuel type!

The drive

The car delivers a great position for your view over the road ahead. What’s more, these seats are comfortable. Supported by AGR, a German organisation for back health, the Astra prioritises ride comfort and even provides lumbar support. The ride is perhaps even better than that of the Volkswagen Golf - especially if you suffer from any back pain.

This is a zippy car with 360 Newton Metres of torque. After an initial commitment to a corner with a degree of body roll, you feel safe and confident in the Astra as it holds its ground and corners nicely. An 8-speed gearbox comes as standard.

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra


  • Top Speed: 124 MPH
  • 0-62 MPH: 10.5 Seconds
  • CO2 (G/KM): 123
  • Luggage Capacity: 367 (Seats Up) - 1182 (Seats Down) Litres

Vauxhall Astra leasing prices start from £180.82 exc. VAT per month


The newest model in the Astra family has an awful lot going for it. The super-smooth ride it delivers makes this a really comfortable family car, and the mark 8 updates ensure that the level of quality and refinement, as well as equipment and tech, are high. If you’re looking for a family hatchback that does everything well, the Astra might be the best option for you!

Considering PHEV or electric, or still dedicated to the petrol or diesel engine for now? Whatever model you’re after, get in touch with Rivervale to see if we can find the best car, at the best value, for you to lease today. Call us on 01273 433 480, or request a callback.

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