It looks like the new Vauxhall Astra will prove to be as popular as the MK5 version
Not all of the engines are available in every trim level, so it's a case of mix'n'match. The engine in the Vauxhall Astra test car was the 1.7CDTi with the higher outputs of 125PS at 4,000rpm and 280Nm peaking at 2,500rpm. I'm a big fan of diesels and those that Vauxhall use rarely disappoint but the one in the test car just didn't seem to have the expected oomph. Despite having Variable Geometry Turbo-charging it still took 10.7seconds to reach 62mph from a standing start and the top speed is 122mph. The Vauxhall Astra I drove made all the right noises and the feel of the car promised good things, but seemed a little reluctant to deliver. That said, 280Nm is not to be sniffed at, if torque is your thing.
Of course, the main benefits of a diesel engine can be felt at the pumps. The Vauxhall Astra test car had official fuel consumption figures of 49.6-, 68.9- and 60.1mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined respectively, which is very good. On top of that, the CO2 emissions are rated at 124g/km putting the 1.7CDTi in VED Band D (£120) and that also, is not so bad.
These figures are with the standard 6-speed, manual gearbox. Only the petrol engines can be mated to the all-new 6-speed automatic transmission.
With the new Vauxhall Astra, GM has adopted a new suspension setup, which combines McPherson struts at the front and Watts linkage at the rear. As we haven't room to go into the detail of these two systems, we'll simply point out that it is the first time this system has been used and it does, indeed offer enhanced handling and improved ride comfort.
As well as the extra length, the new Vauxhall Astra also has increase front and rear track; 56mm and 70mm respectively and that also helps with stability and agility. FlexRide, first seen on the Vauxhall Insignia, adjusts the suspension continuously to suit the demands of driver and terrain but it also has specific settings: Standard, Town and Sport. It is available as an option on SE, Elite and Sri models, except where they house the 1.4 non-turbo engine.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a standard feature across the range, as is Traction Control and ABS with EBD. In the new Vauxhall Astra, ESC also encompasses Cornering Brake Control, Cornering Torque Control, Electronic Drag Torque Control, Brake Assist and Trailer Stability Assist. It is quite a list and I haven't even started on the Adaptive Forward Lighting functions!
With so many model options from, which to choose? It looks like the new Vauxhall Astra will prove to be as popular as the MK5 version, with both private and fleet sales. However, even the Vauxhall Astra, in all its forms, is a good package; I would have liked to have seen at least one level with sat-nav as standard rather than focus on storage, for instance.1 February 2010
Vauxhall Astra Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Astra 1.7CDTi|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.7 Seconds|
|Top Speed||122 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||68.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 01/02/10)||£22,408.04|