You should be able to get comfortable in the front of the Astra no matter what size you are. All models get a height adjustable driver’s seats and a steering wheel that moves for rake and reach.
Sporty SRi models, unsurprisingly, get sports front seats with extra side support to stop your body sliding about in corners.
Elite models add leather upholstery, electrical lumbar support for both front seats – for additional support on long journeys – and have a height adjustable passenger seat as standard – a £260 option on the rest of the range. Elites can also be specified with ventilated front seats that stop you sticking to the leather on a hot summer’s days. They cost £505 and include an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with a massage function – though you can expect a gentle nudging rather than a full on sports-massage walloping.
Space in the back of the Astra is alright. With an average-sized adult in front, someone behind of a similar size can put their feet under the front seats, there’s plenty of knee room and headroom is just about okay – the same as you get in a Ford Focus; a little less than is offered in a Volkswagen Golf.
Three up, it’s pretty impressive. The small hump in the floor means your middle passenger doesn’t have to play footsie with the other two and shoulder room is perfectly tolerable.
The Astra’s large rear doors mean you get better access for fitting a child seat than you do in the Ford Focus or the Volkswagen Golf, so manoeuvring in the base is easy and it slots simply into the Isofix points. Getting the seat in on top is as simple as you could expect it to be in a car of this size.
Vauxhall hasn’t messed about when it comes to kitting the Astra out with storage areas. The front door bins are huge enough to swallow a one-litre and a 1.5-litre bottle of water simultaneously and the rear door pockets can take a large bottle each. The glovebox is also pretty big, you get a hidden cubby under the front-centre armrest and two cupholders under a roll-back shutter behind the gearstick.
It’s also a pain to load because you don’t get a handy adjustable boot floor as you get in a VW Golf, so heavy items have to be lifted over the high load lip. You don’t get any smaller storage areas in the boot, or a 12V power socket for powering electricals and the ribbed floor doesn’t hold items in place like it is designed to. In fact, all you really do get are tie-down hooks for your luggage, which you’re unlikely to ever use.
The Astra’s boot is big enough for two large and two small suitcases, but loading them will be a pain if they’re heavy. A stroller and two soft bags also fit, but getting a set of golf clubs in requires wedging them against the tall load lip.
With the back seats folded down, you get a 1,210-litre capacity. Enough to get a bicycle in with both its wheels attached, although loading it into the boot of a VW Golf is much easier thanks to its flat floor and lack of a load lip.