Prices for the new Vauxhall Astra start at £15,295 – £150 less than the outgoing model – when it goes on sale in October.
Indeed prices are lower across the board, as much as £2,200 at the top of the range.
The new Astra is physically smaller than before, yet there is more interior space. New materials and construction methods have been used as well, contributing to weight savings up to 200kg.
Quality of the interior materials has improved and there is more kit for the money. Every models comes with alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, six airbags, touchscreen IntelliLink infotainment with DAB radio, Bluetooth and cruise control. Trim levels start at Design and pass through Tech Line, Energy, and SRi to Elite.
There’s a wide range of engines available. At launch petrol engines include a 99bhp 1.4; 104bhp 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo and a 124bhp 1.4 turbo. The ancient diesels have finally been ditched in favour of the new generation 1.6-litre ‘Whisper’ motor in 109bhp and 135bhp forms. Vauxhall claims the ecoFLEX version achieves claimed fuel economy of 91.1mpg with Co2 emissions of 82g/km.
A range-topping 1.6 turbo petrol and twin-turbo diesel will be added next year.
Equally importantly, there’s a new six-speed manual gearbox – the previous unit dated back to the Seventies. Some models will also be available with an automatic ‘box.
The Astra will continue to be built at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. It is expected to make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Five-door hatchback and Sports Tourer estate bodies will be available from launch; the GTC coupe will continue unchanged for the time being.
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By Only Motors