The British-built Vauxhall Astra has been with us in its current guise for four years now. It’s still a well-made and spacious family car, despite some rivals overtaking it in terms of driving pleasure and interior quality. It’s also the latest workhorse for Top Gear’s ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment, setting some dramatic laps around the Dunsfold Circuit, as well as being the UK’s most popular police car.
But what colour should you choose for your Astra? Vauxhall offers a confusing amount of different combinations of trim and colour options, so we’ve sifted through them to let you make an informed choice about what to go for.
Solid paint colours
Solid paint is (usually) a single coat of simple, non-metallic or pearlescent, plain paint. It does the job, but is usually only offered in a couple of colours by manufacturers, as they want you to upgrade to the ‘better’ paint options at an extra cost.
Royal Blue (£0)
For reasons we can’t fathom, this is the only colour offered on Expression-spec models. Presumably it’s a tactic to get you to shell out more cash for Design trim-level models. It’s a simple, pleasant enough no-cost colour which has been used by Vauxhall for years, but its status as a ‘base-model’ paint makes it more evident that you’ve saved money – if you care about such things.
Power Red (£0)
The only red available in the range is helpfully a two-coat solid colour, which should prevent it fading as easily as previous Vauxhall reds. It’s a striking, stylish colour that suits the more sporty SRi and VXR models well, and it certainly doesn’t give the impression of it being a no-cost colour at all.
Summit White (£275)
Described as a ‘Brilliant’ colour, we suspect this is Vauxhall simply differentiating it from the no-cost solid paints. However, it is a modern, fresh and bright white, which although overly common nowadays, suits the three-door GTC coupe models well. As with all whites, it will probably require a lot of hard graft to keep it clean and shiny.
Flaming Yellow (£275)
An option only available on the more youthful GTC coupe, and for good reason. A shockingly bright shade of yellow that certainly stands out from the crowd, and will draw comments from passers by (good or bad). For extroverts who like to express themselves in every way possible, and couldn’t care less what others think.
Metallic paint colours
Metallic paint contains small flakes of metal which are visible in sunlight, giving the car a deeper, more distinctive shine. Vauxhall offer seven metallic colours, all priced at £545, which is about average for the class.
Sovereign Silver (£545)
A standard issue light silver that, as usual, suits the Astra quite well but doesn’t stand out. Silver cars are so common these days that even the bold GTC coupe won’t stand out in it. For some this is perfect, because silver is not only smart enough for company car drivers, it is also easy to keep clean and hides marks well.
Silver Lake (£545)
Another silver (out of four), this is more of a light metallic grey. Again a perfectly classy, elegant colour, especially on the GTC, but it does little to differentiate the Astra from anything else on the road. But perhaps this is less important to an Astra buyer, compared to a SEAT Leon customer. A very common company/hire car colour.
Deep Sky Blue (£545)
A pleasant, if unexciting, shade of dark blue. It suits the five-door hatch and estate better than the GTC, where this shade seriously dulls the striking curves and shapes, making it look like just another three-door. It’s a slightly classier shade than the solid Royal Blue, however, and its metallic flakes should set it apart. It’s not available on the Limited Edition, TechLine GT or BiTurbo models.
Sculpture Bronze (£545)
One of the more interesting colours in the Astras’s conservative pallete. A similar shade to a one-pound coin, it’s a bit of a marmite colour, which explains why you see so few on the road. This is a good thing. Cars like the Astra are so common, it can be difficult to stand-out, and this colour actually suits all variants of the Astra well. It could possibly effect resale values, however. Not available on the Excite, Limited Edition, TechLine GT or BiTurbo models.
A fantastic mix of eggshell blue and white that is a great balance between looking smart and classy, and standing out just enough to make the Astra look fairly interesting. Works especially well on the GTC and even more so if the Xenons with daytime running lights are optioned. A great alternative to the vast amount of plain white cars about. Sadly not available on the Excite, Limited Edition, TechLine GT or BiTurbo models
Carbon Flash (£545)
A smart and stealthy black that suits the conservative styling of the Astra five-door, and actually works fairly well with the GTC and VXR models. It looks nicer if you spec larger and darker optional wheels. Not for extroverts, but suitable for business use or those who like their cars to be elegant rather than flashy.
Flip Chip Silver (£545)
Probably the most interesting silver on offer, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a very light blue because it seems to change between the two in certain lights. It also allows the GTC to show off its curves. A good choice and one that, once again, does well to get the balance of stylish and smart nailed very well.
Pearlescent paint colours
Unusually for a more mainstream car, the Astra is offered with a choice of four Pearlescent colours (one is only available on the VXR). This is a type of paint that has more reflective elements blended into it, so in certain lights it can give the illusion of appearing to be a different colour or shade. It used to be the reserve of custom paintjobs, but has been applied more subtly by some car manufacturers. They are the same price as the metallic paint offerings, which is a bonus.
Asteroid Grey (£545)
More interesting than your bog-standard grey because it is very reflective, and in some lights takes on a bronzer appearance. It’s subtle but looks smart, but it depends on different light reflections to much better than a normal grey. A good choice for someone dead set on a darker shade for the Astra, however.
A nice shade of brown which hints at very dark purple when seen from certain angles, and looks better in the flesh than you would expect. However, 0like most pearlescent colours, it relies on staying clean to reflect well and look its best. Hard work, but quite stylish.
Emerald Green (£545)
A quite vibrant green-with-a-hint-of blue, this colour is very rarely seen on Vauxhalls. This of course makes it exclusive, which is a good thing, because it’s actually quite a nice, refreshing colour. However it also makes it more difficult to sell when the time comes. So a good bold option for lease buyers, not so for those who buy outright and sell on.
Arden Blue (£545)
Our colour of choice for the hot VXR (the only model it is available on). the racy, bright Arden Blue has been a staple of fast Vauxhalls for years, and really makes the sportier models stand out. As it is the only VXR-specific colour, we’d choose this even over the Power Red, because it makes your more expensive turbocharged rocketship feel just that bit more special than the standard models.
Want to know more about the Astra?
Read our full Vauxhall Astra review section, which includes summaries of critics’ reviews, notes on each engine and far more.