Fleet News

Vauxhall Astra Convertible 2.2



LUCKY old me. I seem to have been loaned the Vauxhall Astra Convertible at just the right time of year much to the annoyance, I suspect, of the rest of the Fleet News road testers who have driven the car over the winter months.

The recent spell of mild sunny weather has meant the roof has been down on several occasions - and there is nothing quite like it.

Fortunately our Astra has heated leather front seats (the leather pack is a £1,650 optional extra) which warm up remarkably quickly to counteract the cold when the roof is down.

Lowering and replacing the roof could not be easier - just press the button and electric motors take care of the rest, although the lowering action is rather stilted.

There is plenty of room inside, even in the rear with enough space for four (medium-sized) adults. I was surprised by the size of the boot, too, which doesn't suffer as much as I had expected from having to accommodate the roof when lowered.

However, I did have a problem when it came to transporting a new microwave - the boot space taken up by the folded hood makes it impossible to stow anything much deeper than a bulging shopping bag - so the microwave had to sit on the front seat.

The only criticism I have of the Astra Convertible is that visibility is obscured over the rear wings by the large expanse of the roof, with only a small rearview window. This is a particular problem on busy dual carriageways where overtaking vehicles disappear into your blindspot.

Our only expenditure so far on the Astra is £79.96 to replace one of the front fog lights which was damaged after what appears to have been a hefty blow to the bumper.

Other testers have complained about the distinct tobacco-gold colour of our Astra, but I have had quite a few compliments about it, although I think I would go for a more subtle colour scheme given a choice. I have always thought a convertible would be impractical and a summer-only vehicle but the Astra Convertible has changed my mind, despite the limited boot space.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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