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17 Feb 2022

First drive: All-new Vauxhall Astra (2022-)

Popular since the late 1970s, the Astra is now in its eighth generation. But up against stiff competition, does it still have what it takes? We took it for a test drive
Vauxhall Astra side view

The Vauxhall Astra has never been what you'd call a head-turner. However, since its launch in the late 1970s, the Astra's no-nonsense, good value approach to family motoring and overall practicality has ensured continued popularity.

Seemingly fed up with the Astra being the boring-but-sensible choice, Vauxhall has decided to take quite a leap with this 2022 model. The all-new Astra has the 'Vizor' black-out front-end styling seen on other new Vauxhall models, along with chunkier proportions and a squatter stance for a much more sporty aesthetic.

You can read more about the new Astra below and discover some of the alternative models vying for your attention. As if that weren't enough, you'll also find links to full reviews of the cars that are fresh out of our labs, including one of the very few hydrogen-fuelled cars available in the UK.

Alternatively, head straight to our full Vauxhall Astra (2022-) First Look review.

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Vauxhall Astra 2022 front view

Petrol, diesel or PHEV

The petrol-powered Astra comes in the form of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo motor, available with either 110hp or 130hp. A 130hp 1.5-litre diesel is also offered.

This new model is the first Astra to be available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), largely due to an all-new platform that is mostly shared with the new Peugeot 3008 (both brands now fall under the same parent company, Stellantis).

The PHEV is offered in 180hp and 225hp versions. A claimed emissions-free driving range of up to 43 miles contributes to its astonishing 201-256mpg fuel economy claims. As we've seen from many PHEVs, though, fuel consumption can rise dramatically once the batteries are depleted. We'll report our fuel economy figures just as soon as the Astra has completed our stringent, independent lab tests

Looking for a new or used car? Our independent reviews will help you find your perfect model. Discover the best cars for 2022

If you want a full-electric Astra, you'll have to wait until next year, when the Astra-e joins the line-up. The petrol, diesel and PHEV models are available to order now, however, priced from £23,275.

For those wanting greater practicality, a 'Sports Tourer' (Vauxhall's way of saying 'estate') has also been announced and will start from £25,005. The first customer deliveries are expected in May and June respectively.

Want to know more? Read our full first impressions in the Vauxhall Astra (2022-) First Look review.

Astra alternatives

The new Astra is up against stiff competition, including these rivals from Ford and Toyota...

Ford Focus (2018-), £21,137

Ford Focus 2018

The latest Focus is loaded with tech and offers greater interior space than previous versions and its engines should be the cleanest and most economical yet. But does the overall package retain the appeal that saw previous generations top UK sales charts for years on end? And is it likely to let you down in terms of reliability?

Find out in our full Ford Focus (2018-) review.

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Toyota Corolla (2019-), £23,091

If your priorities lean more towards low running costs and effortless ease of use, the Toyota Corolla is worth a close look. It's now available solely as a full hybrid, but there's a choice of engines for those needing more power.

However, there are some notable downsides to the Corolla. Find out what they are in our Toyota Corolla (2019-) review.

Latest cars out of the Which? labs

Fancy something completely different? Check out our latest car reviews (there are two Best Buys in there somewhere - click through to the reviews to find out which):

BMW iX3 (2021-), £60,970
BMW's mid-size electric SUV doesn't have the radical looks of the brand's other zero-emissions models, instead being an electrified version of the popular X3. Read the full BMW iX3 review.

Toyota Mirai (2021-), £49,995
Hydrogen-fuelled vehicles remain on the periphery of the new car market, but Toyota wants to change this with its all-new second-generation Mirai. Read the full Toyota Mirai review.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake PHEV (2020-), £39,987
This sleekly styled large estate PHEV, which VW badges eHybrid, goes up against hybrid rivals such as the BW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60. Read the full VW Arteon Shooting Brake PHEV review.

Toyota Yaris Cross (2021-), £23,280
A compact SUV offered exclusively in hybrid form with a 116hp power system, the Yaris Cross is designed to compete with popular compact SUVs like the Ford Puma and Hyundai's Kona Hybrid. Read the full Toyota Yaris Cross review.

Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid (2021-), £21,915
Combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 9.8kWh battery pack, this car promises up to 188.3mpg. Find out whether this claim is fact or fiction in our full review. Read the full Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid review.