Vauxhall Astra Electric Review 2023

Written by Andy Brady

heycar ratingAn electric Vauxhall Astra. Simple.
  • 2023
  • Family hatch
  • EV

Quick overview


  • No-nonsense family hatch
  • Easy to drive with lots of driver-assistance tech
  • Generously equipped as standard


  • Not as affordable as you might expect
  • Rivals are more practical
  • A Peugeot e-308 does a similar job with a bit more flair

Overall verdict on the Vauxhall Astra Electric

"While there are some weird and wonderful electric cars on the market, the new Vauxhall Astra Electric keeps things simple. It's just a Vauxhall Astra that happens to be powered by electricity - and, once you've driven it, you may never want to buy a petrol or diesel powered car ever again."

Vauxhall Astra Electric Review 2023: side profile

The electric car market is an interesting one. Some manufacturers are selling cars that are completely different from their combustion-engined models (and with strange names to boot) - examples include the Volkswagen ID.3, Toyota bZ4X and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Then you’ve got Vauxhall’s approach. It simply sells electric versions of its existing models - so you’ve got the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, Vauxhall Mokka Electric and, as featured in this review, the Vauxhall Astra Electric.

Such models don’t make quite the same statement as, say, the Cupra Born or MG4, but they’re also much easier to get your head around. The Vauxhall Astra nameplate has been around for more than 30 years, and there’s something comforting about visiting a Vauxhall dealer and driving away in a known entity.

So what powers the Vauxhall Astra Electric? Well, you get a 54kWh battery and a single electric motor driving the front wheels. And it drives exactly as you’d expect - like a regular Astra, but more refined and with a bit more shove when you want it.

It’s far from the quickest electric car, but nor would you expect that. It’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds while top speed is a fairly conservative 106mph. Perhaps more importantly, Vauxhall says it can travel up to 258 miles between charges.

There are just two models available: the Vauxhall Astra Electric GS and the Astra Electric Ultimate. The GS is comprehensively equipped - you get things like 18-inch alloy wheels, a modern twin-screen digital display inside and heated seats as standard. The Astra Electric Ultimate adds a head-up display, panoramic sunroof and Vauxhall’s Intelli-Drive 2.0 advanced driver assistance pack.

Prices for the new Vauxhall Astra Electric start from around £40,000, while the top-spec Vauxhall Astra Electric Ultimate is more than £43,000. That’s a significant amount of wedge for a Vauxhall Astra, although we’re already seeing deals being offered on nearly-new examples.

If you're in the market for a no-nonsense electric car, the Vauxhall Astra Electric is a great choice. It’s not the quickest, sexiest or even the cheapest electric car on sale, but it’s a very competent all-rounder.

Unlike you can get an enviable deal on a nearly-new Vauxhall Astra Electric, we’d go for the entry-level GS. It’s got everything most buyers would want without a £40,000-plus price tag.

Competition comes in the form of the Volkswagen ID.3, Cupra Born and MG4, as well as the new Peugeot e-308 and Citroen e-C4. The Vauxhall Astra Electric's bold price tag puts it in the same market as the Tesla Model 3, too. If you’re looking for an electric family car, we’d also point you towards electric SUV alternatives such as the Renault Megane E-Tech, Kia Niro EV and Skoda Enyaq iV.

Not sure if an electric car is right for you? You may also want to consider the regular Vauxhall Astra, which is available with petrol or plug-in hybrid power. Otherwise, we’d recommend a Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf or Skoda Octavia.

Comfort and design: Vauxhall Astra Electric interior

“Inside, you’ll struggle to tell the difference between a regular Vauxhall Astra and the Vauxhall Astra Electric. You get the same comfortable seats, user-friendly infotainment system and a mixture of materials - from hard plastics to sporty Alcantara.”

Vauxhall Astra Electric Review 2023: interior

Much like its exterior, the Vauxhall Astra Electric’s cabin is quite blocky and bold in its design - you certainly couldn’t describe it as drab. A highlight is the twin-screen Pure Panel display, combining the large central infotainment screen with an eye-catching digital instrument cluster.

While you sit lower than you would in electric SUVs (such as the Skoda Enyaq iV), the seating position in the Astra still feels a tad higher than normal for a family hatch. And the seats themselves are extremely comfortable - in fact, they’ve been approved by AGR, Germany’s campaign for healthier backs.

We get the sense that the latest Vauxhall Astra has been built to a price - maybe to differentiate it from the slightly upmarket Peugeot 308 (with which it shares a platform). The interior is a wide mixture of materials - from hard plastics that'll no doubt stand the test of time to slightly nicer, plusher finishes.

Poke some of the plastics around the dashboard and they'll noticeably flex, but that's soon avoided by simply not poking the dashboard. All Vauxhall Astra Electric models come with a perforated leather steering wheel, which looks and feels pretty swish, while the top-spec Vauxhall Astra Electric Ultimate adds Alcantara to the seats.

The Vauxhall Astra Electric comes with a 10-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, alongside a conventional 10-inch infotainment display.

It’s more user-friendly than many similar systems - thanks in part to the shortcut buttons below the screen, as well as a handy ledge to rest your fingers on. It is occasionally a bit laggy but generally it works well and looks pretty slick in the process.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to mirror apps from your phone, although you’ll need the top-spec Vauxhall Astra Electric Ultimate for wireless phone charging.

The external dimensions of the Vauxhall Astra Electric are exactly the same as the regular car: it measures 4374mm long, 1860mm wide (2062mm including door mirrors) and 1470mm high.

Its boot space is slightly down on the petrol model but it matches the plug-in hybrid for overall capacity. It can carry up to 352 litres of luggage, which is slightly less than a Volkswagen ID.3 and Citroen e-C4, and quite a bit less than the Renault Megane E-Tech. On the plus side, the boot is usefully square in shape, and you can always drop the rear seats if you need more room.

There's enough room for passengers, although adults in the rear might prefer to be in an SUV - the low roofline means it feels a bit claustrophobic for anyone more than six-feet tall. There's a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Electric estate car on its way - it could well be worth waiting for this if you're looking for a practical electric family car.

Handling and ride quality: What is the Vauxhall Astra Electric like to drive?

"Pleasingly, the Vauxhall Astra Electric feels just like a regular Astra to drive. There aren't any strange quirks to get your head around if it's your first electric car. It doesn't struggle with the weight of its batteries, either - and that's not something that can be said for all EVs."

Vauxhall Astra Electric Review 2023: rear dynamic

The Vauxhall Astra starts, stops and steers just like any other Astra - albeit one without the noise of a petrol engine, or a gearbox to get in the way of acceleration.

With the electric motor powering the front wheels, it feels reassuringly safe to drive. Enthusiastic drivers would prefer the sportier Cupra Born or MG4 but, what the Astra lacks in excitement, it makes up for in user-friendliness.

You get the usual mix of selectable drive modes (sport, normal and eco), although there's not a lot to be gained by flicking through them. You can increase the amount of regenerative braking using a little 'B' button on the centre console - doing so uses the Astra Electric's motor to slow down when you lift off the accelerator. It's not as noticeable as in other electric cars, though, and you can't adjust the level of regen braking (it's either on or off).

The petrol Vauxhall Astra is set up to feel a lot softer than other family hatchbacks. The electric version is noticeably firmer and it does struggle to deal with bumpy road surfaces, although it's no worse than most other EVs. If you're looking for a soft-riding electric car, we'd suggest looking at the Citroen e-C4 instead.

The Vauxhall Astra Electric comes with a 54kWh battery which powers a single electric motor (driving the front wheels). It produces a total of 156PS and 270Nm of torque - enough for 0-62mph acceleration in 9.2 seconds and a top-speed of 106mph.

It's not the fastest electric car on the market, but it feels swift enough. Switching through the drive modes to 'sport' improves throttle response, but it's never going to shove you back in your seat like a Tesla Model 3. The way it picks up speed without any lag means overtakes are pretty stress-free, although a Renault Megane E-Tech feels more urgent.

The Vauxhall Astra Electric has a WLTP range of up to 258 miles. This'll drop slightly in the real world, although our test drive showed an expected range of around 220 miles. That's a very useable figure, but long-distance drivers might want to consider alternative electric cars. The longest range Volkswagen ID.3 has a range of up to 340 miles (others are good for up to 264 miles), while a Kia Niro EV can cover up to 285 miles.

An obvious perk of an electric car such as the Astra Electric is the lack of a grumble from the engine compartment, while Vauxhall's added acoustic glass and additional door seals to improve interior noise levels. It's not entirely silent, though - there is an occasional whine from the electric motor, while we noticed more road noise than usual from the 18-inch alloy wheels which are standard on the Vauxhall Astra Electric.

The Vauxhall Astra was awarded four stars for safety when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2022. It missed out on a five-star safety rating for a number of factors, including a lack of centre air bag to prevent occupants from colliding with each other in a crash. The independent organisation also criticised the Astra's autonomous emergency braking system which it says performed only marginally in response to other vehicles.

There is an extensive list of driver-assistance tech fitted as standard to the Vauxhall Astra Electric.  This includes the aforementioned automatic emergency braking system (with pedestrian detection), a lane departure warning system (with lane keep assist) and a 360-degree parking camera. For the full gamut, you'll need the Vauxhall Astra Electric Ultimate. The top-spec Astra adds Vauxhall's Intelli-Drive 2.0, which features semi-autonomous lane changing, advanced intelligent speed adaption, lane change assist with blind spot alert, lane positioning assist and rear cross traffic alert.

Charging times: How much does it cost to charge the Vauxhall Astra Electric?

"The Vauxhall Astra Electric's relatively small 54kWh battery pack will be fairly quick (and cheap) to charge."

Vauxhall Astra Electric Review 2023: charging

A 7kW home electric car charger will fully charge the Astra Electric in around eight hours - perfect for overnight top-ups. It can support rapid charging at up to 100kW, which means a suitable charger can boost the battery from 10 to 80% in just half an hour. That's quicker than a Kia Niro EV can manage; this tops out at just 72kW.

The cost of charging a Vauxhall Astra Electric depends on where you plug it in. Charging at home will be the most economical - depending on your tariff, you can expect to pay around £17 to fully charge an Astra Electric on your driveway. The fastest, most convenient public chargers will be more than double that.

With fewer mechanical parts than a petrol or diesel car, the Vauxhall Astra Electric ought to be a very reliable used car. All new Vauxhalls come with a standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, while the Astra Electric's battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles.

Both the Vauxhall Astra Electric GS and Ultimate sit in insurance group 26, which means they'll cost roughly the same to insure as a Volkswagen ID.3 or Renault Megane E-Tech. It should be slightly cheaper to insure than the Kia Niro EV, which tops out in insurance group 29.

You might find that the electric Vauxhall Astra is slightly more expensive to insure than petrol models. That's due to its extra value, as well as the extra complexity - it could cost more to fix if it's involved in a crash. We'd recommend searching for insurance quotes before leaving a deposit on an Astra Electric, particularly if you're a new driver.

Electric cars are currently exempt from road tax, which means you'll make a hefty saving each month (especially on cars with a list price of more than £40,000 - these are ordinarily hit with an extra premium car tax for five years).

That's set to change in 2025, though, when EVs are set to be taxed alongside petrol and diesel cars.

How much should you be paying for a used Vauxhall Astra Electric?

"On-the-road prices for a new Vauxhall Astra Electric start from around £40,000, while the range tops out at more than £43,000 for the Vauxhall Astra Electric Ultimate. That sounds like quite a lot of money..."

Vauxhall Approved Used Cars for Sale

Electric cars can be quite expensive to buy new, especially when you consider the petrol Vauxhall Astra's £27,000 starting price. You'll pay around £32,500 for a petrol Astra GS automatic, which means you're looking at a £7500 premium for a like-for-like Astra Electric. That buys you quite a lot of petrol.

There is a way to save money on a Vauxhall Astra Electric, though. Vauxhall dealers aren't shy of discounting nearly-new cars, and we've already seen savings of nearly £5000 off ex-demonstrator models. You can skip the waiting list by buying a used Vauxhall Astra Electric on heycar, too.

The Vauxhall Astra Electric is available in two trim levels - the sporty GS and top-of-the-range Ultimate.

The Vauxhall Astra Electric GS comes with 18-inch bi-colour black alloy wheels, black Vizor frame and detailing as well as a black roof and door mirrors. LED headlights with high beam assist are standard on GS models too.

Inside, all models come with Pure Panel Pro infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and voice activated navigation. Safety on board is improved via Intelli-Drive 2.0 featuring automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane change assist with blind side spot alert, forward collision alert and rear cross traffic alert.

The Vauxhall Astra Electric Ultimate adds IntelliLux Pixel Matrix LED headlights with 168 individual LED lights. Ultimate models also come with Intelli-Air climate control, Intelli-HUD head-up display and bi-colour alloy wheels. A panoramic roof brightens up the interior, while a heated steering wheel and Alcantara-covered heated seats improve comfort. Wireless smartphone charging is included, as is Intelli-Drive 2.0, featuring lane change and positioning assist with blind side spot alert, and rear cross traffic alert.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

You can buy the latest Vauxhall Astra with petrol, electric or plug-in hybrid power.
Prices for the new Vauxhall Astra Electric start from around £40,000 for the GS model, while the Ultimate is more than £43,000.
The cheapest electric Vauxhall is the Corsa Electric, which starts from around £32,500. You can buy a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric from as little as £12,000, which strikes us as an electric car bargain. Other electric Vauxhall models include the Mokka-e and Combo-e.

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