Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra Motability car
The Astra has always found competition tough, the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf have always appeared one step ahead. This, the seventh Vauxhall Astra, is right up there with the very best in the small family hatchback class; good to drive, practical and well equipped. It also looks great, inside and out, while there’s more space inside than in the old car, even though the new model is smaller on the outside. The new Astra’s weight loss of up to 200kg makes for a more engaging drive, the new Astra sits nicely between the sportiness of the Ford Focus and the comfort of the VW Golf. The Late 2019 facelift has seen new engines, improved efficiency and updated infotainment.

 

Vauxhall Astra Motability car dashThe new Astra looks great; sharp creases along the sides and a delicate flick to the window line behind the rear door. Inside the dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen surrounded by piano-black trim that stretches right the way across the dash, underlined by a slim line of chrome. It’s very uncluttered with just six physical buttons on the infotainment system. Space is excellent rear passengers have 35mm more knee room than in the previous car and there’s plenty of headroom despite the car’s sloping coupe-like roofline. Boot space is unchanged at 370 litres which is 54 more than a Focus and 10 less than the Golf.

 

Vauxhall Astra Motability car rear

Trim levels for the Astra are no less confusing and lengthy, SE, Business Edition Nav, Sri, Sri Nav, Sri VX Line Nav, Elite Nav and Ultimate Na, Don’t ask why the Ultimate has to be suffixed with nav, it makes no sense to us. SE cars have 16 inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Bluetooth and USB compatibility, and DAB radio. Business Edition Nav cars add leather interior upholstery and a built in sat nav. SRi cars add 17 inch alloys, sports seats, LED headlights and an Ergonomic Active driver’s seat, which has motorised lumbar support. Elite cars have 17 inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with satnav, and an 8.0-inch digital dial cluster, electronic climate control, and heated front and rear leather seats. SRi VX-Line Nav cars get gloss black exterior trim and tinted rear windows. The Ultimate has 18-inch alloy wheels, four heated Ergonomi Active seats, heated windscreen, a BOSE sound system and wireless phone charging.

 

Vauxhall Astra Motability car front

The Engines are all new and unique to the Astra, apparently the Peugeot engines would not fit, The new 1.2-litre turbo petrol will make up the bulk of cars, available in 108bhp, 128bhp and 145bhp forms. The lowest-powered option is also the cleanest, returning up to 54.3mpg on the WLTP tests. At the top of the petrol range is a new 145bhp 1.4-litre turbo engine that comes exclusively with a CVT automatic gearbox, rather than the six-speed manual that you get as standard elsewhere. Drivers covering enough miles to justify a diesel engine have two 1.5-litre engines to choose from: one making 104bhp, the other 120bhp, with the latter also available with a new nine-speed automatic gearbox.

The Astra prices are crazy this quarter, starting at £999 AP and rising to an eye watering £3449 AP, Automatic cars start at £3099 AP making the Ford Focus look even more attractive.

Autumn Best Buy – Vauxhall Astra Elite Nav 1.2 petrol 145 bhp Manual  –  £1099 Advance Payment (£68.35 + £259.47 wpms)