The Vauxhall Astra
"There’s a staggering 44 versions of the new Astra available, leaving no stone unturned for the retail or fleet buyer"
Vauxhall’s new Astra has raised its game
While sitting on an equal starting line to its main challengers the VW Golf and the Ford Focus, the Astra is keenly priced below their comparable retail figures, and is set to ruffle their feathers this time good and proper.
The Astra already ranks high as one of the best family hatchbacks on the market and now its complete design workover, resulting in cleaner more flowing external lines, it is set to build on its popularity.
Whilst shorter than the previous model by some five centimetres, it sits lower and is lighter. Yet the cabin is very comfortable with more rear legroom than its predecessor. Cabin quality is enhanced too; it feels ‘premium’ inside, and switchgear and controls are both user friendly and naturally intuitive. The dash is aesthetically appealing, adding to the overall feel good factor behind the wheel. Boot space is more than adequate for a family sized vehicle and split-folding rear seats add to the Astra’s versatility.
There’s a staggering 44 versions of the new Astra available, leaving no stone unturned for the retail or fleet buyer. Keeping it simple, engine variants range from 1.0 litre and 1.4 litre with Turbo charged power hikes on each. Diesel comes in the form of the 1.6 CDTi at the top of the range.
You can choose from a range of engines; Design, Ecoflex, Techline, Energy, SRi, and SRi Nav. Tech Line is recommended for the company car driver, whilst SRi or SRi Nav specs come with good finance deals for the private buyer.
Whilst we at OX have yet to drive the car, driver impressions to date site refined and pleasurable long distance cruising ability and agile yet safe handling. On the safety side, all models come with stability control as well as side and curtain airbags. Tyre pressure monitoring is also standard, and higher spec models come with automatic emergency braking, although this is a cost option on lower spec cars. Engine immobilisers are fitted across the range, and the SRi comes with an alarm.
Whilst it’s still early days, the prospects for this popular family saloon becoming even more popular are high. As Vauxhall steadily chip away at building on brand values, the Astra gets better all the time.
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