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Vauxhall Astra Electric review

Familiarity is one of the most underrated sensations in the motoring world.

With every car brand punting out a brand-new model every year, it can be hard to keep up. 

Thankfully, some brands such as Vauxhall are making electric versions of existing models, which makes the Astra Electric one of the most appealing hatchbacks you can buy – even if the price may startle you. 

Reasons to buy 

  • Built on the Astra’s trusted platform 

  • Electric range up to 258 miles  

  • Easy to drive in and out of cities


a black and grey vauxhall astra electric interiorOne of the reasons the standard Vauxhall Astra is so popular with the average motorist is because its design is familiar, which makes it the cottage pie of the car world – you know what you’re getting, and you probably like it. 

The main difference you’ll notice between the regular Astra and this swanky new electric one is the wheels, which are slightly more aerodynamic to give it a little extra range.

But move inside and you’ll feel right at home. 

It feels identical to the existing petrol models, and that’s no bad thing because it’s a really solid interior with unique design details and high-quality fit and finishes.  

Aside from the usual stuff you’d expect to find in a new electric car, the new Astra Electric gets masses of tech as standard, most notably the two large screens at the front as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  

a shot through the passenger window of a vauxhall astra electric's interiorYou also get a large crisp digital instrument cluster that displays all the relevant information you need while driving, but instead of a fuel gauge, you have a battery monitor to see how much range you have left. 

It’s also got a solid sound system, as you’d expect from a car of this value. It’s made up of six speakers and produces 100 watts of power, which is plenty to play all your favourite beats. 


a yellow/gold vauxhall astra electric driving on a roadWhen you get behind the wheel, it feels very similar to its petrol alternative, offering linear power delivery and a nippy driving feel.

The new Astra Electric is powered by a 54kWh battery that offers a claimed range of 258 miles, which, in our testing, is very accurate. 

When driving on country lanes and motorways with the A/C and radio on, the range estimation stayed bang on – when we drove 40 miles, we lost 40 miles of claimed range. 

Like most new electric cars, you get three drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport. You’re probably going to be using Eco or Normal mode most of the time because it saves range.

Eco mode does, however, feel a bit like there’s a volleyball placed behind the accelerator when you squeeze it – this means you won’t be accidentally wheel spinning any time soon.  

Whack it into Sport mode and this sharpens up the accelerator to help unleash the car’s full 154hp, which helps it get from 0-62mph in a claimed 8.5 seconds then onto a top speed of 106mph.

When this mode is activated, the Astra feels more like a nippy traditional hot hatch than a regular hatchback, which was rather fun on a country road but does eat into your overall range.  

One of the Astra’s best features to help eke out a bit more range is regenerative braking, which puts more energy back into the battery and will even bring the car to a complete stop at slower speeds, making it ideal for city driving

a yellow/gold vauxhall astra electric rear with black roofOn the road, it does feel really good. We were worried it would feel a little heavy because it has to piggyback off of its petrol cousin, but it feels agile and direct on bends.  

Despite being lighter than some of its rivals, it could have felt a little chubby over the bumps and tricky over undulations, but it doesn’t at all.

The petrol version feels lighter and the hybrid feels stiffer as a result of the added weight from the batteries in the boot.

This electric version sits somewhere in the middle, as you’d expect with the weight distribution being more even. 

The overall ride is smoother too, especially in Eco mode, which offers a smooth delivery of power while keeping road and wind noise to a minimum.

In fact, we were pleasantly surprised to see it ride so well. We thought the heavy battery might make it a bit stiff but it’s fine – even on UK roads. 

When you need to charge up, you can use a public 100kW charger that gets you from 10-80% in around 30 minutes, but most people will be overnight charging at home, where it takes longer but is cheaper. 

The overall ride is smoother too, especially in Eco mode which offers a smooth delivery of power while keeping road and wind noise to a minimum


a blue vauxhall astra electric boot spaceWith this being a small family hatchback, you can’t expect there to be loads of cabin and boot space, but because Vauxhall has spent years developing the Astra, it’s made as much space as possible. 

Initially, it doesn't feel any different in the back compared to the existing car, which is a good thing as there’s plenty of space back there for two passengers (a third for shorter journeys).

We say this because the middle seat isn’t the biggest or the widest, and having to share platforms with petrol versions means any passengers still have to straddle the transmission tunnel hump.

Therefore, it’s best to think of it as a comfortable four-seater with a fifth seat should you need it. 

Having said that, the seats in the back are very comfortable and the whole car is certified for having very high-standard comfort seats.

It isn’t hard to see why – you get plenty of back and shoulder support as well as access to a USB-C port under the central air vent. 

The 352-litre boot is where you’ll see the biggest difference between this electric car and its ICE-powered siblings because you get extra underfloor storage space to keep cables.

Other than that, it’s wide and high for a hatchback, so packing in your weekly food shop or some suitcases shouldn’t be a problem. 

If you’re one of those people who likes to check whether it’ll fit in your garage, then the Astra Electric’s external dimensions are the same as the regular car: 4,374mm long, 1,860mm wide (2,062mm including door mirrors) and 1,470mm high. 

Running costs

a front shot of a vauxhall astra electric charging on a roof top carparkSo, how much does it cost? Well, hatchbacks certainly aren’t as cheap as they once were, and the new Astra Electric is no different.

In standard GS trim, prices start from an eye-watering £40,145 and go up to £43,260 for Ultimate trim versions, such as the one we tested. 

When you get to the top-spec Astra, you’re entering Tesla Model 3 territory, and those are very high-end electric cars. Luckily, both the Astra’s looks and interior help to justify that price. Plus, if you look around at what else is out there, this is priced competitively.  

Aside from the initial purchase price – which can be spread out via car finance – you need to think about charging costs.

The Astra Electric can take up to 100kW rapid charging, which will cost you around 75p per kWh, but plug it into a home wall box charger and you can expect to pay in the region of 32p per kWh. 

For most people, letting it charge at home overnight will be the best (and cheapest) option, but if you’re out and about then a quick boost at a rapid charger will get you where you need to go much quicker.  

Written by Ben Welham

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After spending some time with the Vauxhall Astra Electric, we were very impressed with how it drives and how accurate the range dial is.  

It feels like the sort of car that you don’t have to think about too much, but since it looks good and has advanced onboard tech, there are many things to like about it. 

What matters most is that it looks great and that it’s a really nice place to be. It’s got just about enough range to be competitive in its class, and while the Tesla Model 3 is dangerously close in terms of pricing, this just kisses the £40,000 mark.  

As time goes on, more affordable options will start cropping up on the used market, and they will be the ones to snap up. 

Overall, it’s a great car that’s easy to love and even easier to live with. If you’re coming from a petrol-powered Astra or even a smaller Corsa, you’ll feel right at home. 

This review was