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Vauxhall Astra H (MK5) Best Interior Mods & Upgrades

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Table of Contents


Manufactured from 2004 until 2010,  this model range—also known as the Opel Astra H in many places—is the fourth generation of the Astra family.

It has been a popular choice among many car owners through the years for it’s practicality, affordability and robustness.

While the interior is starting to look a bit outdated now, there are still a few mods and upgrades available that can make it all that more pleasing. 

Not only this, but we will also go over mods that can boost the interior’s functionality and even your Astra’s performance!

Let’s take a look at those now.

Ambient Lighting Kit

An ambient lighting kit is a great way to modernise and add a lovely atmosphere to the Astra’s interior.

By integrating customisable LED lights throughout strategic interior areas such as the footwells, door cards, and dashboard, you can create a high-end look within the cabin. 

Consider placing the lights in locations that accentuate the interior’s lines.

The specific installation process varies from kit to kit, but the process is usually very similar.

Generally, you’ll need to first prep your work area by cleaning it thoroughly and drying it. This ensures better adhesion for the LED strips.

Pay attention to wire length when placing them and arrange it in a way that it can reach the power source without stretching or being too loose.

Keep the wires tidy by using zip ties or adhesive clips to secure them and prevent tangling or loose wires. Also ensure wires aren’t placed in areas where they could interfere with your driving such as around the pedals.

You can get a high quality ambient lighting kit that you can control from your smartphone below.

Ambient Lighting Kit

Ambient Lighting Kit

Fits the Astra H (MK5)

Short Shifter

Interior mods don’t all have to be about cosmetics, certain ones can actually have an impact on performance!

One of those mods is a short shifter.

One of the primary benefits of a short shifter is the improved shift speeds it provides.

This type of shifter shortens the distance the gear stick has to travel, allowing for quicker gear changes.

By reducing the time spent on shifting, you’re able to enhance the overall performance of your Astra H, making it ideal for spirited driving and track days.

A short shifter not only improves shift speeds, but it also provides a more precise and engaging gear change experience.

The likelihood of mis-shifting or crunching gears is also reduced, as the gear stick’s shorter travel distance allows for a more direct and accurate gear selection. 

You can get an affordable and high quality short shifter made specifally for the MK5 Astra below.

Short Shifter

For the Astra H (MK5)

High Quality Floor Mats

High quality floor mats are an essential yet often overlooked addition to the interior. 

With a variety of designs and styles available, you can find one that can seamlessly integrate with the interior. 

High quality floor mats are excellent at trapping dirt, dust, spills, and other debris, thereby helping keep the Astra’s carpet clean and tidy.

This can really help preserve the interior and help maintain the car’s resale value.

In addition to standard floor mats, you can also purchase all weather mats.

All-weather mats are made to face every circumstance. They can handle snow, rain, dirt, and dust equally well.

These mats are usually made from rubber or similar materials that are waterproof, and are very easy to clean.

Tailored Floor Mats

For the Astra H (MK5)


Adding an aftermarket armrest to your Astra H interior comes with several benefits improving both comfort and functionality.

Aftermarket armrests are typically padded and offer a comfortable place to rest your arm during long drives. This reduces the risk of arm fatigue and increases overall driving comfort.

Most aftermarket armrests like the one at the bottom of this section also come with built-in storage compartments.

These can serve as additional storage spaces for small items like mobile phones, wallets, and sunglasses, helping keep your Astra’s interior clean and organized.

Armrest Holder With Storage

For the Astra H (MK5)

Interior Trim Wrapping

Wrapping interior trim elements can be a fantastic way to add some personalisation and elegance to the interior.

Carbon fibre wrap which is available on eBay is a popular choice among owners and adds a lovely contrasting sleek look to the interior. 

Trim items you can wrap include the dashboard, buttons, steering wheel and pretty much anything else you can think of!

This is something you can do yourself with a little bit of time and patience, and can be very rewarding when done right. 

The first step is selecting what kind of wrapping material and style you want. Carbon fibre is a very popular option but you can also go for vinyl colours too or even a material like suede!

Once you have the material and tools, it’s time to get started.

It is critical to thoroughly clean and prep the trim surfaces, removing dirt and debris while ensuring a smooth surface for the wrap to adhere to.

To begin wrapping, carefully cut the material with precision to ensure it matches the dimensions of the trim pieces. For the sake of accuracy, it’s essential to leave a little extra material that can be trimmed away later.

A heat gun can then used to warm and soften the material, allowing it to contour and stretch over the trim, eliminating any wrinkles or bubbles.

During this step, a squeegee is an invaluable tool for ensuring an even and bubble-free finish.

Take your time with the process and you will be very satisfied with the results.

Bucket Seats

This mod is most popular with owners of the performance-focused variants such as the VXR but can be installed on any model of Astra.

The primary advantage of bucket seats lies in their ergonomic design, which is formed to cradle the body, particularly during high-speed turns.

As a result, drivers and passengers experience increased lateral support, enabling better stability and control on curvy roads or on the track.

In addition to this, performance-oriented bucket seats are often lighter than their factory-installed counterparts. By reducing the interior weight, drivers can enjoy improved acceleration, handling, and braking capabilities.

If you are considering doing any track days in your Astra, then definitely consider them. 

Something to keep in mind though, is their comfort for daily driving.

Due to their design, they don’t offer as much padding and support as the standard seats do. As such, some drivers may find them uncomfortable during long periods of driving. 

SMD Conversion

This conversion refers to the process of swapping out standard filament bulbs in your Astra’s instrument cluster and other interior lights.

Such lights include the dashboard and centre console, for brighter and more efficient Surface Mount Device (SMD) LED bulbs.

These lighting elements provide illumination to speedometer, tachometer, temperature and fuel gauges. An SMD conversion replaces existing bulbs with SMD LED to improve brightness and change their colour.

While this mod is cheap to do and can look great,  it’s important to note that an SMD conversion is a technical process that requires some knowledge and skill like soldering. 


Installing aftermarket gauges available on eBay, such as boost and oil pressure gauges, provides numerous advantages for enthusiast owners. 

Aftermarket gauges offer early warning signs by quickly detecting irregularities in system performance.

For instance, a sudden drop in oil pressure or an unusual boost spike could signify potential mechanical issues. Addressing these problems promptly can help prevent severe damage and costly repairs.

By keeping an eye on these parameters, you can spot problems ahead of time.

Plus, gauges also look pretty neat!

You can mount gauges in a variety of locations including along the A-pillar or integrated into the air vents.

You can also purchase a digital multi-gauge on eBay which can monitor a variety of parameters through the OBD port. This is a great piece of kit that can measure dozens of engine parameters as well as give you information on your fuel economy and driving.

Finishing Thoughts

The pleasure of transforming your Astra MK5 isn’t solely about enhancing speed or the exterior aesthetics.

The magic can also be in redefining the interior space, as this is where you and your passengers spend the most time in after all.

From simple visual upgrades like an SMD conversion and ambient lighting kit to functional performance upgrades like bucket seats and gauges, there are numerous options out there.

Happy modding!