2013 Vauxhall Astra fighting off the rivals
The Astra was the fifth most popular new car sold in the UK in 2012, but the relaunched model hopes to push the boundaries further, with an aim to finally dethrone Ford as the kings of the small family car market. Vauxhall has revised the look of the Astra's front, with a new grille and headlights, and added many modern technological options, as fitting a 2013 model. The Driver Assistance Pack gives features such as Traffic Sign Recognition, Forward Collision Alerts and Lane Departure Warnings.
The Astra has always offered a decent drive quality, indeed as used cheap motors they are always in demand. The 2013 model features a sharper suspension, which improves the handling without the ride quality suffering. Movement around town is agile, with a relatively quiet engine, and minimal wind noise except at higher speeds. Smartly designed in the interior, the build quality is great, without the horrible plastic materials of old. The dash may prove a little overwhelming at first for some, with numerous similar looking buttons, but as with anything, you get used to it quickly enough.
Astras are very popular as company cars, and make popular purchases on the second hand market. The 2013 model is available now, with prices starting at £12,995. However, for private buyers, it makes a lot of sense to opt for an older model. The 2010 model, which was the second best selling new car in that year, is readily available as a used vehicle for prices from around £9,000 upwards, depending on trim and engine, and gives a cracking drive. Hatchback and Estate models also provide you with plenty of interior space too, and fuel consumption figures are on par with similar vehicles of it's class.