The Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus are two of the most iconic cars on the road today. They’re fantastic all-rounders and are ideal as first cars or family motors, great for modding, and just generally very reliable.
But which should you choose? It can be a tough decision, as to the untrained eye, they seem pretty similar, but there are some differences that might tip you towards one or the other.
Check out or Focus/Astra comparison to see which is the right car for you…
Looks & Design
This is all down to personal preference at the end of the day. Both of these cars have gone down the ‘evolution not revolution’ route, which has helped them become so easy to recognise on the road.
While both cars get almost annual facelifts, the Focus received more of a significant redesign in 2015 (although it’s still undeniably a Focus), but arguably the Astra is still the more pleasing on the eye.
If we go inside the car, the Astra probably edges it again. Both feature excellent driving positions, but the layout of the console and buttons just feels more intuitive and less cluttered than the Focus.
The Astra is also a bit roomier, particularly in the back, and features a larger 370 litre boot compared to the Focus’ 316 litres.
Of course we’re a big fan of headlights here at Ignitionline, and on looks alone, the Astra wins hands down in this respect. You can check out our ranges of Vauxhall Astra bulbs and Ford Focus bulbs if you’re even in need of replacements, whichever car you pick.
There’s not a huge amount to separate the two in terms of how they drive. The Focus is a steady drive, whilst the Astra feels that little bit sportier and nippier, generally providing that little bit of extra acceleration, which can be handy when overtaking. Whether you go for the 1.0L eco option or anything higher, the Astra gives you that little bit of extra oomph.
However, if you’re not that bothered about the speed, then both cars handle very well, with the Astra finally coming alongside the Focus which has been a consistently good drive over the years.
Economy & Environment
For the more environmentally-friendly drivers out there, both the Astra and the Focus come with ECO specs that reduce the amount of CO2 pumped out and improves fuel efficiency.
Both cars have a spec that comes in at under the 100g/km CO2 emission threshold meaning they’re free to tax. Other models that sit just over that threshold, so even then you’re not paying much in tax.
Read more: What will a car fail its MOT on?
The absolute best stats come from the Focus 103bhp 1.5litre TDCi, which gives out just 88g/km of CO2 and claims to be able to do 83.1mpg. The equivalent Astra has the same level of emissions, but can only do around 85.6mpg.
However, it’s worth pointing out that most vehicles rarely reach these levels of fuel economy, so such small differences are pretty negligible.
For quite a lot of people, the choice between the two cars is going to come down to cost. Obviously, the price you pay depends on a fair few different aspects, such as how much deposit you pay, your payment plan, optional extras, etc, but if we just take the base numbers, the Focus is from £16,245, whilst the Astra is from £15,445.
However, within that price, the Astra comes with a few extra features such as the R4.0 IntelliLink (which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and a 7 inch touchscreen, whereas you have to pay for that privilege in the Focus.
As we said earlier, personal preference can play a big part in which car you choose, but in this case, the Astra just pips the Focus on almost all fronts. The Focus has long been considered the benchmark for hatchbacks but that crown might now sit upon the Astra. Having said that, they’re both excellent cars and you can’t really go wrong with either.