A new model joins the Vauxhall Astra range today, which squarely targets similarly-priced five-door hatch rivals from Ford and Volkswagen by offering levels of standard equipment and trim not usually seen outside the options list.
Starting at just £18,110 for the 140PS 1.4-litre Turbo model, the ES Tech comes as standard with a CD500 Satnav system (including CD player, MP3, USB, iPod control, seven speakers and aux-in socket), Bluetooth, a DAB radio, 17-inch alloy wheels and aircon. This complements the already generous level of standard equipment found in most Vauxhall Astra models, such as curtain airbags, ESP, daytime running lights, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Which is bad news for the Vauxhall Astra's rivals. Compared with the £800 more expensive Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI (122PS) Match, the Vauxhall Astra ES Tech 1.4 Turbo gains satnav, in addition to offering an extra 18PS of power from its 140PS engine. The Vauxhall Astra's benchmark performance figures also beat the Volkswagen Golf's, with a 0-60mph time of 9.0 seconds and top speed of 126mph. Game, set and match to the Vauxhall Astra?
For diesel buyers, the Vauxhall Astra ES Tech is available with the 125PS 1.7 CDTi engine, and with sub-120g/km emissions this version is one of Vauxhall's growing range of ecoFLEX models. At £19,530, the ES Tech ecoFLEX gains key items of standard kit over Ford's new challenger including satnav and cruise control. Performance is still exceptional (0-60mph in 10.7 seconds, top speed of 122mph), but with a combined fuel consumption of 62.8mpg, this Vauxhall Astra ES Tech is one of the most efficient cars in its class.
"We know that the competition is fierce in the compact class, so the Astra needs to deliver." said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall's Managing Director. "The new ES Tech models now raise the bar for value and equipment levels in the class and should make buyers think twice before putting their hard-earned cash down on a Ford or VW."
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