Astra offers solid crash protection and accident prevention technologies
The Vauxhall Astra got its five star rating back in 2009 and the latest model still uses the same body structure and safety concept. Things have moved on since then. Euro NCAP has toughened up some of its testing criteria, making it harder to get top marks.
If the Astra’s 2009 tests were re-scored using the current grading system, the car would get just three stars because of its relatively poor pedestrian protection. Should that rule it out for buyers? I don’t think so: the Astra offers some very good accident prevention technologies as options. The Astra is a solid car that scored maximum points for its protection of the front passengers in the frontal impact. Chest protection in the side impact test was good and in the much nastier car-meets-pole side impact, chest protection was marginal. Not perfect, but as good as most five star cars out there. Whiplash protection is also good.
The Astra scored maximum points for protection of the three-year-old dummy and the infant did very well also. You can disable the front airbag, but you need to be careful as it’s not necessarily very clear to the driver whether it’s on or off.
Vauxhall has a couple of useful technology upgrades that either give you an extra pair of eyes on the road or improve the driver’s visibility. The Driver Assistance Pack uses a camera in the windscreen to monitor in front of the car, looking at signs and road markings. It uses the information to keep you aware of the speed limit and at speeds about 36mph it detects if you’re drifting out of your lane by mistake. You get a warning but it doesn’t assist your steering.
Adaptive Forward Lighting is available as an option on the more expensive models and is worth considering. The technology allows the car to illuminate corners putting light where you need to see at night. You get more time to react and it’s useful for spotting joggers and cyclists without lights on bends.
- Astra prices start from £12,995. The main optional safety packs are available on the more expensive SRi (£18,635), SE (£20,105), Elite (£21,130) and BiTurbo (£24,095) models
- On the SE and Elite, the Premium Forward Lighting Pack is available as a £790 option. It gives you intelligent adaptive forward lighting. This is also available on the SRi and BiTurbo, but you’ll also need to fit a £230 Sight and Light Pack
- The Driver Assistance Pack costs £750 and includes the Sight and Light Pack as well as Forward Collision Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning and a Following Distance Indicator. It’s only available on the SE, SRi, BiTurbo and Elite models
- Also consider: Ford Focus, Honda Civic