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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my Astra 1.4T Sri Nav for nearly a fortnight now and just completed my first long journey - 200 miles, half as the driver and half as passenger. I love the car - it's very nice to drive, the controls are well laid out and the features work really well. I ordered lots of options including Intellilux matrix LED headlights, Parking Pack, Climate Control, Winter Pack, sunroof, Powerflex bar and phone holder so there's a lot to try out. I paid just £17,550 - saving more than £5,200 off the list price thanks to £2,000 scrappage allowance, Partner Discount, £250 web voucher, £750 finance allowance (no finance deal) and generous dealer discount. I suspect ordering on New Year's Eve might have helped too if the dealer was trying to reach a target.

My Bury St Edmunds dealer said he'd never seen an invoice extend on to two pages before - thanks to not just the number of options but also the numerous itemised discounts...

I love the bright red colour and might even argue it's the safest colour option being bright and very visible. It was my favourite colour by far but I confess I haven't seen any others and I hear what people are saying about the inaccurate colour rendition in the brochure - I do like some of the photos that have been uploaded.

Features and Handling
Apple CarPlay, the DAB/FM Tuner, OnStar, WiFi, climate control, SatNav, reversing camera, parking sensors and Advanced Park Assist all work beautifully and are all exceptionally easy to use. The sheer number of features on the standard SRi model is phenomenal and, with all the extras I added, I'm still discovering new things it can do. I haven't read the whole manual yet, but most of it is pretty straightforward. The controls are a delight - really well laid out and obvious.

The integration between features is superb: rear wipers come on when reversing (if front wipers are on); audio volume is reduced when navigation instructions are spoken; hazards detected by the parking sensors are shown graphically on the reversing camera view; OnStar SOS is called automatically if airbags inflate; parking sensors beep from the appropriate speaker(s) with different tones fore and aft etc etc.

Driving is great - the 1.4 Turbo (150ps) engine is powerful but quiet and it's lovely to drive. Navigating some twisty winding roads in the Peak District was a real pleasure and all round visibility is pretty good. The headlights are excellent and very bright - even without using the Intellilux high beam matrix LED lights (certainly compared with my old Vectra).

Everything is well thought out and works perfectly, from the rain sensing wipers and automatic anti-dazzle rear view mirror to the sensible cruise controls and steering wheel buttons. Tyre pressure sensors provide additional safety, displaying each tyre's pressure, via the info display or the App.

Advanced Park Assist worked exceptionally well at parallel parking in a very tight space with the minimum number of shuffles - probably quite a lot better than I could achieve but I did position it as best I could beforehand to give it a good chance.

The Info Display is really useful and flexible with over a dozen different screen modes that can be selected (speed, trip, audio, navigation prompts, tyre pressure etc). In addition it shows the cruise control settings and current speed limit all the time.

The display prompts for gear changes with a small green triangle indicating up or down and the suggested gear to be in (seemingly allowing for inclination and load). The display even shows which of the three rear seat belts are fastened up - useful when our three kids are in the back.

Opt for the Nav version and as well as increasing the main display from 7" to 8", the smaller driver's Info display is also upgraded to colour which makes it a bit nicer - the speed limits signs use a red outer circle and the seat belt icons turn green to show which of the three rear seats belts are fastened.

There are plenty of configurations to control how long the interior lights stay on after exiting, auto-locking, set the preferred units or Intellilux light modes etc.

Being able to locate the car from an iPhone or Web app is nice if it is ever stolen (or you forget where it is or want to know your other half is safe).

The electrically folding mirrors are a nice bonus and easy to use (set the mirror rocker switch to the centre position and press down) - only available on SRi with Parking Pack or Elite though.

The sunroof works well and is easy to use, offering tilt and slide and, like the windows, closable by holding the lock button on the key - handy if you notice it left open after getting out. The sunroof option also replaces the SRi's dark roof headliner with a light 'titanium' grey one which I much prefer to the SRi's standard interior which feels a bit too gloomy for my tastes but ideal for goths, no doubt.

With so much to play with, I've not even pressed the Sport button, preferring to get used to the car in standard mode, but perhaps tomorrow I'll dare try it on some twisty Peak District tracks. If you don't hear from me again you should assume it was a step too far, with little help from OnStar SOS thanks to sparse Vodafone coverage in the valleys...

Fuel consumption appears very good if the 45mpg measurement is to be believed (mix of urban, A roads, B roads and some motorway driving). I'll check it when I fill up.

Driver Assistance Pack One
This is standard on the SRi and available as a £565 option for the Elite or £795 for other models.

It uses the front facing camera to read speed signs and also, on the Nav version, map data. The speed limit display works phenomenally well - I've never seen it fail to update or show the wrong speed limit. It changes the second I pass a speed sign and is 100% accurate, even when turning into roads without speed signs, thanks to the link with the Nav system. I've not noticed any other road signs displayed except "national speed limit" appearing briefly before reverting to the actual speed limit.

The Automatic lane assist is very good - I was a bit dubious at first but after several hundred miles and two weeks driving a mix of urban, motorway and twisty country lanes I think it's excellent. It even works on some country roads (with clear road markings), not just motorways and A roads.

When clear lane markings are detected it senses if you're drifting out of the lane and gently nudges the steering wheel to guide you back in. The nudge effect is just right - subtle but effective, typically nudging the car back into lane before the wheels touch the lane markings. It's a gentle, but effective nudge and easily overridden (and not active when indicating). I've not dared try to see how well it can steer itself by following the lane - that's certainly not its purpose. I'm a little worried that drivers testing the safety features in their new Astras are probably significantly less safe than drivers without the safety features! I've tried driving closer than I would otherwise to parked cars and the heads-up LED warning and loud audible alarm couldn't possibly be missed but don't try this at home!

The collision warning and auto braking I've hardly seen operate but I think they could be really useful in an emergency.

Update: Intellilux Lights
I drove my SRi round some dark roads and country lanes last night to try out the Intellilux matrix LED headlights - WOW! When Intellilux is enabled the car just switches to high beam when I leave the street lights behind and turns off when re-entering a built up area. The brightness and effectiveness is superb. When turning, the direction I'm turning into has extra illumination, just as claimed. Following a car in front and the high beam is turned off just for that segment but the rest remains. I've read the description and seen some videos but they don't really do it justice. It works so well and I'm glad I paid the extra £995 for it. I love it!

Intellilux headlights for the Elite cost a whopping £1560 but that's because they also add the £565 Driver Assistance Pack One with front camera which is needed for the Intellilux lights. This isn't explained in the Price List but can be seen in the Astra Online Configrator. The SRi has Driver Assistance as standard, hence the difference, and I'd recommend both.

I did notice the car did switch on the high beams in a village when going from white to neon street lights. The light level was quite poor so it seems perfectly reasonable and the local dipping still worked if other traffic was around.

Cabin and Boot Space
The interior feels quite spacious with ample legroom and headroom - very similar to our old Vectra with room for our three kids (12, 10 and 7) sitting in the back. The door pockets are smaller but even the rear ones have room for a couple of water bottles. Note the storage pockets on the front seat backs are only available on the SRi and Elite though - Vauxhall stingily omit them on lower trims.

A week's holiday in the Peak District seemed like a good test and although my wife was a little sceptical, with some careful packing I got all of our luggage into the boot - bags of clothes, two laptops, a small library of books, games, swimming stuff, a sleeping bag, two pillows, some food and even our coats leaving the cabin completely uncluttered, except for a multitude of iPads, iPhones and iPods that happily shared the car's Vodafone 4G connection via WiFi. We had to use a dual charger with long leads to power the devices in the back as the SRi has no option for the rear dual USB sockets that come with the Elite. My iPhone sat in the storage compartment plugged into its USB socket for CarPlay and we still had another USB port on the Power Flexbar but can't use it yet as I need to buy a suitable micro USB to lightning short cable (if they exist?) or adapter

The Astra is probably fine for a family of four, if you're happy to use a roof box for the odd camping trip or extended holiday. For our family of five I'd think twice if this was our only car but we've got a 7-seater Zafira which can carry three bikes and all of our luggage just in the boot so the Astra works well for us. I'd be very happy to use it for a week's holiday again as its much nicer to drive and easier to park than the monstrous Zafira, and has much better fuel economy too.

Disappointingly, the rear door child locks are rather blatant and easily operated by our kids who spotted them instantly. There is an option to auto-lock all the doors when the car drives off and the doors remain locked until the key is removed. This might work well for us.

Complaints
I have a few niggles:

The glovebox is rather small - definitely avoid the old-fashioned CD player option which will fill the small glove box.

There's no lumber adjustment on standard SRi sport passenger seat and my wife, who has back problems, complains that it's a bit uncomfortable, especially on bumpy roads. I ordered AGR ergonomic driver's seat but there's no passenger equivalent unless you step up to the Elite. My better half asked to drive a few times, supposedly for the better lumber support, but perhaps she just doesn't like my driving...

The speedometer has no 30 or 70 mark but goes up to 180mph which is a bit ridiculous - I'd much prefer it to go from 0-100mph with clear, large numbers. The selectable digital mph display is handy though.

The rear windows are quite high so our 7-year old complains she can't see out of them but our 12 year old can.

The ride feels a bit too firm (with 17" tyres at 34psi) despite the SRi having the same suspension as other trims unlike earlier models.

The chunky steering wheel can obscure the displays at times, when turning, but this is outweighed by the abundance of easy to use, thumb-operated controls.

Rear air ducts are under the front seats rather than being mounted centrally so there's no direction control or adjustment on them.

In bright sunshine, or even daylight, the dash reflects in the windscreen, particularly the windscreen vent grill and around the heads-up LED area, which is annoying at first but not too noticeable after a while.

None of these complaints are too significant on a mid-sized family car at this price though.

Summary
I'm really delighted with my Astra SRi Nav and very glad I bought it. The comfort and features make it exceptional value. I expect to be keeping it for many years, so I'm really pleased I ordered as many options as I did.

Would I buy it again? Yes, definitely, but I'd probably upgrade to the Elite with the same options to get the passenger AGR ergonomic seat, heated rear seats, rear USB sockets and extra ambient lighting.

The additional cost of the Elite over the SRi isn't as high as it might appear as the Elite effectively provides the Winter Pack, Dual Climate Control and Power Flex Bar as standard and the seemingly expensive Intellilux lights come with the Driver Assistance Pack for free (adding lane assist, road sign recognition, collision alert and auto-braking etc)

I was put off by the Elite's leather seats, preferring cloth but not wanting the light Athena cloth option which would soon show every icky fingerprint in the back. Also note the Elite's front seats are bizarrely downgraded from luxury AGR ergonomic Sports seats to bog-standard comfort seats with minimal adjustment when opting for Athena cloth. Why would anybody do that?

I skipped some options. I didn't order the 18" wheels which I thought might result in a firmer ride - the larger the wheel the thinner the tyre as the outer tyre diameter doesn't change. I might even have gone for 16" wheels had it been an option on the SRi.

I felt the electronic parking brake would have been too confusing as we both drive another car with standard handbrake - it sounded like recipe for disaster and probably divorce, but no doubt very nice if you only drive the one car.

Keyless entry, I wasn't quite sure I trusted, although I can see the attraction and I wonder if I should have given it a go.

I've never needed to change a wheel so didn't opt for the spare, preferring the extra boot space without it.

I'll post some muddy photos later - my beautiful shiny red Astra has been pretending to be a rally car driving round the Peak District under the influence of storm Katie so it has some good mud splatters...
 

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Great review. Picked our 1.4t Elite up yesterday and have only done just over 40 miles in it so far but have already noticed the reflection of the dash in the windscreen. Didn't notice that the parking sensors come out of different speakers depending on direction of obstruction but will listen out for that.
Love the onstar features and the phone app. I'm always paranoid I forgot to lock the car so nice to be able to lock it in my phone when I'm away from it.
Only thing I've found that feels cheap so far it the fuel filler cap and lack of sound deadening under the bonnet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all. I've updated the review and added a Cabin and Boot Space section.
 

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What great, well balanced review. Lots of nice detail that will help people make a decision on what car and options they should get. :)

Just picking up on a few things from your review:

UKtekkie said:
rear wipers come on when reversing (if front wipers are on)
If I remember rightly, this is a personalisation setting, so if you don't want this happening, you can turn the feature off.

UKtekkie said:
The ride feels a bit too firm (with 17" tyres at 34psi)
Have you tried lowering the pressure - I think you can drop it as low as 32 which you may find more comfortable.

UKtekkie said:
Rear air ducts are under the front seats rather than being mounted centrally so there's no direction control or adjustment on them)
If it is like my GTC, the rear ducts will only blow air when you have the "feet" option selected on the ventilation controls. This could explain why there isn't any adjustment.

UKtekkie said:
the dash reflects in the windscreen
This can happen if the dash is cleaned with a product that adds to much shine. My product of choice is Chemical Guys Inner Clean. I don't like the fragrance but it cleans well and doesn't make things shiny - it leaves a natural finish.
 

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James 33 said:
Didn't notice that the parking sensors come out of different speakers depending on direction of obstruction but will listen out for that.
I think you need to have the parking pack for that to happen and not just the parking sensors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Small door pockets in the back but the electric windows are nice. They're standard on all models and the driver can disable the rear window switches easily if young kids are in the back.
View attachment 74
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, after a few days driving in the Peak District I really love my Astra SRi 1.4T (150ps). The handling is fantastic and there is plenty of acceleration. It's a real pleasure to drive.

It handled the 1 in 5 climb up Winnats Pass without any problem and still had plenty of acceleration with 4 in the car. Handling and cornering are superb. Even on these roads, with relatively poor lane markings, the automatic lane assist (which I have permanently on) kicked in occasionally, always quite appropriately. I thought it might be a bit annoying or intrusive but the force feels just right - easy enough to override but forceful enough to be effective.

The controls and displays are excellent - I like the SatNav instructions that appear on the small Driver Information Screen and the voice directions are very clear. The Astra's speech recognition works well even navigating to place names. Having so many controls on the steering wheel is great too - I can change radio station or display mode without my hands leaving the wheel.

Integration with CarPlay is great and its still very easy to switch between the Astra's own radio/navigation screens to Apple CarPlay screens. I've used Apple Maps and the Astra's own Nav system for navigation and both work really well. The Astra's navigation system having the benefit that directions appear on the Driver Info screen and it works in areas without a mobile signal (which Apple Maps needs for planning routes)

This really is a fantastic car and I definitely made a good choice. I love all the extras I added too - dual climate control, reversing camera, parking assist etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: Intellilux Lights
I drove my SRi round some dark roads and country lanes last night to try out the Intellilux matrix LED headlights - WOW! When Intellilux is enabled the car just switches to high beam when I leave the street lights behind and turns off when re-entering a built up area. The brightness and effectiveness is superb. When turning, the direction I'm turning into has extra illumination, just as claimed. Following a car in front and the high beam is turned off just for that segment but the rest remains. I've read the description and seen some videos but they don't really do it justice. It works so well and I'm glad I paid the extra £995 for it. I love it!

Intellilux headlights for the Elite cost a whopping £1560 but that's because they also add the £565 Driver Assistance Pack One with front camera which is needed for the Intellilux lights. This isn't explained in the Price List but can be seen in the Astra Online Configrator. The SRi has Driver Assistance as standard, hence the difference, and I'd recommend both.

I did notice the car did switch on the high beams in a village when going from white to neon street lights. The light level was quite poor so it seems perfectly reasonable and the local dipping still worked if other traffic was around.

After two weeks I love this car more than ever and I'm still playing with the phenomenal range of features.

I've updated the review to include the Intellilux lights and Driver Assistance Pack now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
KevWak said:
How's the fuel economy doing now you've got a few miles under your belt?
Well, it's not bad. Ignoring the first tank full (not sure if dealer filled it completely), I calculated 38mpg for 342 miles. That included 170 miles of motorway/dual carriageway and the rest in the Peak District (steep hills, windy roads etc). The trip computer reads a bit higher at around 44mpg but I've not had the new software installed to fix the fuel measurement problem.

I'm fairly pleased with that although it's well short of Vauxhall's claimed 51.4mpg combined (38.7mpg urban). I'm a fairly careful driver and don't accelerate hard like some of my friends although it has plenty of acceleration if you put your foot down.
 

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Hmm slightly disappointing figures there. My current car a Volvo v50 2.4d (until next week) averages about 40mpg actual. I was hoping to save on fuel costs with the 1.4t Astra.
My daily commute is about 50/50 B roads and dual carriageway. No hills really though.

Great review by the way.
 

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KevWak said:
Hmm slightly disappointing figures there. My current car a Volvo v50 2.4d (until next week) averages about 40mpg actual. I was hoping to save on fuel costs with the 1.4t Astra.
My daily commute is about 50/50 B roads and dual carriageway. No hills really though.

Great review by the way.
Should have come over to the diesel dark side :lol:
 

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:lol: been there done that. Spent a fortune on dual mass flywheels!

Plus my daily commute is now only 30 miles a day. Don't really need a dirty derv anymore.
 
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I know you posted this almost a year ago now, @UKtekkie but your review in much more thorough than any which I have read on motoring websites and in magazines. I've already put my order in a few weeks ago and collect my 1.4 SRi nav Sports Tourer tomorrow, and so reading this has made me feel good. If it had been a damning review then I'd be bricking it by now but you evidently love your Astra.
I haven't gone for the options like you. Just the SRi nav as opposed to just the SRi and an auto as I've got 'manky knees'. I figured as I have been driving a 51 reg Peugeot 406 Estate for a good few months, admittedly it was of top spec but I thought that I don't really need my bum warming up. I don't need a camera to be able to park, nor the vehicle to actually park for me. Why anyone would need an electronic handbrake is beyond me and just something extra to go wrong, and I very much doubt I will need hill assist as when I lived in Nottinghamshire as a teenager, every driving lesson started off uphill and now I'm in Lincolnshire fenland, there are no hills. Cars seem almost too easy to drive these days, how will youngsters learn to REALLY drive when cars do the parking and put additional revs on for hill starts! Having said that, I'm getting on a bit at 46 now and need a bit of comfort and the automatic to give my 'clutch leg' a rest. I'm really excited and looking forward to picking my car up and also hoping we will have a good weekend, weatherwise so we can have a pleasant run out somewhere to get used to the gadgets n gizmos which the Astra has.
 
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