“I’m doing it. The fact that so many of us have sampled an Astra might be an interesting stat but it disguises the fact that despite Vauxhall's best efforts over six different generations and nearly four decades, their family hatchback contender has rarely been the one its users would ideally have chosen to own. Which was hard because a) I didn’t have any and b) on my laptop screen iTunes had just flashed up a message saying it had suffered a “catastrophic” failure and was closing, which meant the sync with my phone wasn’t working.This happened six times. What was missing was that 'want one' factor. The original version of this MK7 model sold until mid-2019, when it was lightly facelifted and significantly updated with a fresh range of three cylinder engines. First of all, I can’t think of anything interesting to say about the Astra, and, second, I have spent the past two days with a mobile telephone that works perfectly, except the screen, which doesn’t work at all.I spent most of yesterday morning holding down various buttons for various periods of time until I realised that, of course, it’s electronic, which means its problems can be resolved by turning it off and then on again.But this made everything worse, because when an iPhone has been turned off, you can’t use a thumbprint to bring it to life: you must put in your passcode. Read ourContactless Click & Collect or Home Delivery now available.This seventh generation Vauxhall Astra, launched in 2015, was smarter, lighter, cleverer and more efficient. The centrepiece of the dash is a beautifully-integrated Intellilink infotainment screen which incorporates the usual DAB stereo, Bluetooth 'phone and informational functions. And half an hour later a man arrived to make everything better.I felt for him. Which I couldn’t do because the screen wasn’t working.I decided that all would be well if I plugged it into its home laptop and ordered a system restore.How foolish of me. Rear brake discs sits in the £70 bracket. It had a 4G wi-fi hotspot facility, which would have been useful if my phone had been working”They say a Dutch bargee can swear without hesitation, repetition or deviation for two minutes and that no other language offers such a rich vein of opportunity for fans of the expletive. Which I couldn’t do.That meant I had to find someone else with an iPhone 6 and copy his screen onto a piece of tracing paper, which I then laid over my own, dead screen. One owner had both the clutch and the gearbox fil within 10,000 miles; look out for brake grinding noises too. 2011 (11 reg) | 134,000 miles. 5 door Manual Petrol Hatchback. ** Depending on the age of the vehicle, MPG and CO2 may be quoted using either NEDC or WLTP testing standards. I was supposed to have taken it to the country at the weekend, but on Friday night Richard Hammond announced that he didn’t like the colour of the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante he was supposed to be driving and went home in his own car.I did like the colour — it was a sort of pearly metallic white — and I much preferred the idea of tooling around in a convertible Aston for the weekend to bumbling about in a mildly speedy Vauxhall. One owner experienced problems with the ECU unit failing.

Can a classic Aston pique his interest? But then I discovered I’d already reviewed the Vanquish Volante and had said much the same sort of thing. The computer hooked up with the phone, and I was about to press the Restore button when the friend whose iPhone I’d borrowed to use as a map said: “You know if you do that you’ll lose everything on your phone, don’t you?”Actually, I’d only lose everything since the last backup, which I noticed had been in February.

I need a screensaver — and this ain’t it: Jeremy Clarkson was asked to review the 2016 Vauxhall Astra SRi, but with a broken smartphone he found it impossible.

I wanted to use a cocktail stick.However, the seventh attempt was at least successful. A far-reaching efficiency programme delivered us a shape that sees this hatch version 5cm shorter and 2.5cm lower than its predecessor, with shorter front and rear overhangs and the option of smaller wheels.
Figures are provided for comparison purposes.

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