Our long-term Astra last week passed the 7,000-mile mark, and it has done little to dent the positive impression it made in its first couple of months with us.
Its interior build quality has continued to meet our initial high expectations, with no squeaks or rattles developing, while the materials used continue to appear durable.
Since my last report, our web producer Christopher Smith has borrowed the car for a week, and his impressions backed mine up: it’s a vastly improved car in every aspect, when compared to its predecessor.
However, a couple of minor gripes have come to light. While the boot is a good size, its shape restricted its practicality due to the wheelarches and the sloping back of the rear seats.
The boot floor is also a considerable distance below the sill, which can make loading and unloading awkward – the provision of a false floor level with the opening would solve this.
The boot floor is also lined with a series of ridges. I’m not sure what the practical benefit of these are, but they didn’t provide a stable base for a couple of tins of fence preservative bought from a local DIY shop. Even when driving around a roundabout gently, the tins would fall over.
Christopher used the OnStar call centre facility to have a couple of destinations sent remotely to the car’s sat-nav, which he said worked well but took a little time.
I’ve preferred to use the My Vauxhall app which means I can find a location on my smartphone and send this directly to the car wherever I am, so it is ready to begin navigation when I get in it.
Either way is effective, while it is also straightforward to programme a destination directly into the sat-nav system.