News : Vauxhall Astra crowned European Car of the Year 2016

Vauxhall Astra (2)

The seventh-generation Vauxhall Astra has been voted the European Car of the Year in a hard-fought competition that saw it fight off some tough challengers, including the Jaguar XE. The new family hatchback scored 309 points from the 58-strong Jury with the Volvo XC90 SUV in second place with 294 points and the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 in third with 202 points.

In the ceremony on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, Karl-Thomas Neumann, Chairman of Opel and General Motor’s President of Europe, received the trophy from Hakan Matson, the CotY Jury President. Neumann said: ‘You cannot believe how happy I am and for the team that created this car.’

The last Astra to win was the second-generation model, which took the spoils in 1985 – other generations finished second in 1980, 1992 and 1999 while the previous model was third in 2010.

Keith Adams


  1. A good award for the new Astra that will be a boost for the Ellesmere Port plant and UK car manufacturing in general. Personally I always preferred the look of the MK1 Astra to the MK2 and 3. The latest one does look totally up to date (despite similarities to the Hyundai i30.)

  2. I hope it does well for the sake of jobs at Ellesmere, but it’s is a pretty ugly look for me – prefer the more restrained style of it’s predecessor. What is it with loads of creases at the moment in car design? Designers seem to be putting them in just to break up a panel without actually looking at them and seeing if clashes with the rest of the car or making it look tinny. Mercedes A Class is a good example – the car is bloated but has some strange angle creases added to try and hide its girth but actually just accentuate it!

  3. Congratulations to Vauxhall on this award. I must admit to liking the styling of this seventh generation model compared to its predecessor (although I always liked the fifth generation model).

    The sharper lines certainly suit it and give it an increased air of confidence. Just offer some interesting exterior colours on it please. I remember when my parents briefly looked at the Mark 5 and then undecided on the exterior colour choice asked me: what colour would YOU choose? I studied the small colour choice and said that black was the only colour that was remotely interesting. My mother then said that she did not like black; something my father supported her on.

    Because of this they did not buy the Astra but instead bought something else.

    The Mark 7 Astra’s design is certainly confident enough to carry more bolder colours, so please let’s see fewer examples specified in silver, black or white on our roads please.

  4. Well deserved a cracking looking car. Best Astra since the MK1. The last generation looked heavy and bloated – a bit like how it drove. Good to see a generational change that involves some shrinkage for a change.

  5. Sorry, looks very bland Eurobox to me, is this really the pinnacle of automotive development? Good boost for UK car building, not that COTY guarantees success…Renault 9 anyone.

    Apologies for negativity but seems such a dreary choice.

  6. Don’t agree with bland. Looks about as interesting as a car of this class can be, given the constraints. There are a lot of creases, but they’re generally going in a direction that enhances the lines. The C-Class is pig-ugly in that respect.

  7. Could be any Hyundai/Kia. The C-Class is very colour sensitive though, not a fan of that either. Acknowledge restraints imposed by safety but the Focus, 1-series, A3, Mini all manage to be reasonably distinctive in my opinion.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though, I haven’t driven the new Astra (old one and Insignia though are very poor) so it may be a dynamic masterclass and I think the oncall system is a glimpse of the future worth noting.

    I would’ve voted XC90, but they seemed to forget to send my voting slip

  8. When you consider the competition even within its class, especially from the Ford Focus, this is a good sign for GM Europe, which has had some rough times in recent years. I wonder if the Astra is connected with any US/NA market GM models ?

    • Buick Verano is a rebadged Astra saloon. The Opel version, as sold in Ireland, was a nice looking car, almost a smaller Insignia.

      With the demise of Saturn, Buick seems to be aligned with GM Europe for US and Chinese model vehicles.
      Cascada is the convertible sold as such in Europe, Regal is an Insignia, LaCrosse is based on the Insignia platform (of which the Roewe 950 is heavily based!), Encore is a Mokka, Envision is going to be used to replace the Chevrolet based Antara, while Enclave is unique to the US and China markets.

      • I wonder if the Cascada is more successful in the US, as I’m struggling to remember the last time I saw one!
        Indeed that whole category of “non premium” mid sized convertibles seems to be dying

        • Certainly the US have a fondness to coupes, not sure if this extends to cabrios outside of the likes of California. A fixed head version could’ve been the new Calibra/Manta.

          It is a nice big car, actually saw one the other day, looks premium with the chrome detailing.

          Rumour is that it was intended to be the next Saab 9-3 cabrio, except the Swedish firm got spun off.

  9. I was at the COTY of the year and the word on the floor was the XC90 would scoop it, the GM press were quite surprised I believe. The speech was one of surprise!

  10. I have drive a lot of different cars recently and the new Astra has been the biggest surprise as its so good with a cabin better than my current company Mercedes and a relaxing and nice drive.

    Great car and well done to the guys at Ellesmere Port

  11. Saw a couple of the new, seventh generation, Astra today. First one was coming towards me on a 30mph stretch. Before I realised what it was I thought “what’s that? Looks rather good.” The next one was parked on a quiet residential road and I stopped briefly alongside for a look. Impressed.

    I imagine I’ll soon being be seeing loads with Ellesmere Port just down the road.

  12. I had one of these as a courtesy car whilst my Alfa was being repaired after being run into. Unremarkable would be the best way to describe it. It wasn’t a bad car, but there was just nothing special about it. Also for some peculiar reason the boot was very small. The Ford Focus is still a far superior car in my opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.