My spell with the Vauxhall Astra has now entered its second month, and the honeymoon period shows no sign of ending.
Away from my normal commute, a work event in the Cotswolds gave the Astra the chance to stretch its legs with a 200-mile round-trip: a task it took comfortably in its stride. The whole process was painless from start to finish.
As standard, the SRi Nav trim of our test model is fitted with Vauxhall’s Navi 900 Intellilink multimedia system, which includes a straightforward sat-nav that records a list of previously-entered destinations which can prove useful if a driver needs to reach the same location on multiple occasions.
On the road, the Astra also continues to impress. There’s a pleasing solidity about how the car feels, from its build quality and touchpoints such as the steering wheel and gear stick, through to the way it drives.
Its steering is well-weighted and it feels settled on the road. The ride is firm but comfortable, even though our test car is fitted with optional 18-inch bi-colour alloy wheels (£395), which replace the model’s standard 17-inch rims.
Refinement is good too, while fuel economy is averaging a real-world 55.4mpg – around 10mpg less than reported by the car’s trip computer. The official combined fuel economy is 72.4mpg.