Of Voxal The Astra is one of those cars that seems to have always existed.
Like everywhere Volkswagen Golf is a name that has been in the forefront of the family hatchback segment for over 40 years.
In recent years, however, it seems to have fallen into the shadow of golf. Ford Focus, Seth Leon, Mazda 3 And even Did As these models were modernized and attempted to move forward while Austra was abandoned.
This was partly due to the fact that Astra was in the middle of its life cycle when Voxal switched from GM to PSA (now Stellanis). This meant that other Vauxhall models – CourseGrandland, Opportunity – Previously benefited from our parent group’s shared platforms and technology.
But now it’s Austra’s turn. So with the slightest adjustment to the last feelift and some new GM engines, it’s brand new from the eight-generation Earth, something that’s evident from the moment you look at it.
Immediately, the new car Blend Blaby is a breath of fresh air compared to the seventh generation. This is the latest model of Vauxhall’s visor front-end acquisition with wide glossy black panels and thin LED headlights sitting under a wide, flat bonnet. This creates a bold and instantly recognizable “face” for the car. Elsewhere, the rest of the exterior design is clean, simple and modern. There are two sharp creeks at the bottom of the doors and at the top of the arches and the C-pillar is angled forward to create a false coop profile but otherwise it is quite a traditional five-door design with more VW golf than indications. About the rear end.
For now, the Astra is only available as a five-door hatch, but a sports tour estate with a 608-liter boot will join the lineup this summer.
According to the relatively awkward exterior style, the interior has undergone a “visual detox” and the emphasis is on simplification and cleanup.
This means that Vauxhall has removed unnecessary or annoying elements while thankfully maintaining physical control for essential functions.
That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. Dashboard and center consoles are neat and tidy, and things like heater controls and menu shortcuts still have easy-to-use buttons. Most other functions are controlled by a custom 10-inch touch screen, which is one step ahead in terms of functionality and ease of use. That screen bleeds into a 10-inch digital instrument display as part of a standard foot-purification panel that first appeared on Moka last year. High-end cars come with the Pure Panel Pro, which is completely glossy and features metal enclosures for a more premium appearance.
The other elements are more of a mixed bag. Some materials, such as dash tops for storage and rubber roller caps are of high quality but elsewhere the Astra can be compared to the average quality of the Ford Focus and lags behind rivals such as the Golf, Lyon or Mazda 3. ۔ Lots of black, cheap looking plastic.
The new car is wider but only partially longer than the old model, meaning the passenger’s legroom is more than enough, but the extra width makes it feel more spacious. Choose a model with a panoramic sunroof and enhance the feel. Most versions can also be customized with seats approved by the German Campaign for Health Backs (AGR), which are designed to provide better support and comfort on long journeys.
Vauxhall aims to be an all-electric brand by 2028, and the new car is the first Astra to be electrified. An introduction of an all-electric model will be seen in 2023, but with the launch there is the option of plug-in hybrid setup.
It uses a 1.6-liter turbo petrol engine in partnership with an 80kW motor and 12.4kWh battery. Early models offer the official WLTP all-electric range of 178bhp and 43 miles, which Voxal says should be translated to 37 miles in real-world driving. A 222bhp variant will join the lineup later this year, offering the same EV range.
Like many PHEVs, Astra works best when you’re walking together. It can be reasonably fast but the transition from EV to petrol shocks and there is a slight hesitation under heavy throttle. A slightly lighter right foot allows smooth switching between modes and creates a more responsive EV function. The state economy is a ridiculous 256mpg but with some fairly hilly roads running 50 miles, I got an impressive 120mpg average.
With PHEV, the 108 or 128bhp 1.2 petrol is mixed with the 128bhp 1.5-liter diesel which promises 64mpg. All models come with a six-speed manual as standard, but an eight-speed auto 128bhp is an option on petrol and diesel.
More powerful petrol is expected to be the best seller. This is the same engine that serves a large number of Stellantis cars and, as with most of them, is a reasonable choice. Strength is enough instead of generosity but when you are in high gears it feels lively and flexible at low speeds.
Astra has always lagged behind its main rival Focus when it comes to driving fun and this new model is no different. The physical control and grip is good and the steering is straight and accurate but there is a complete lack of feeling. If you want driver engagement, check out the Focus or Mazda3.
However, Astra has them and almost every other competitor is defeated for the comfort and refinement of the ride. Each version has a slightly different suspension setup but offers the same composition on all the knots and fragments that you normally associate with. Citroen. Noise from outside is effectively suppressed, even at motorway speeds, and only occasionally engine noise enters a very peaceful cabin.
Like any new model, Astra squeezes into some shiny new technology to keep users away from competitors, including the latest version of Vauhall’s best-adapted IntelliLux LED Pixel headlights. An updated Driver Assistance Suite helps reduce normal collisions and lanes, but also enhances semi-autonomous lane changes. Connectivity has been enhanced with a new MyVauxhall mobile app and more informati
ve entertainment services, while wireless phone photography is standard across the range.
Price and details
The new Astra is the first Vauxhall model to adopt a new range of structures aimed at simplifying shopping options. There are only three trim lines – Design, GS Line and Ultimate – and two tech packages focused on driver assistance or comfort and connectivity, as well as an easy price increase between drive trains.
The range starts at £ 23,275 per design, the only trim line to get 108bhp petrol.
All models include Alloy Wheel, Pure Panel Display, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Auto Dipping LED Lights, Cruise Control, Basic Collision Detection and Lane Assist.
The GS line is expected to be the best-selling, starting at £ 26,700 for the 128bhp petrol, up to £ 32,200 for the PHEV version.
Additional features on the design include a 17-inch alloy, a black visor grille and roof, dual zone climate, adaptive cruise control, heated seats and a steering wheel and AGR-approved driver’s seat. Traffic signal identification and high speed collision alerts have also been issued.
Range topping Ultimate models start at £ 29,185 for 128bhp petrol and go up to £ 35,315 for hybrid. Major upgrades to the GS line include full matrix headlights, semi-independent lane replacement and lane positioning, 360-degree parking camera and head-up display. A panoramic sunroof, warm windscreen, AGR passenger seat and wireless phone charging are also standard.
Astra’s latest generation is a bit of a jack of all trades. Its ride comfort and refinement is the best in the class, and the new design is bold but not over the top. However, it still occupies a middle ground elsewhere, with better cars to drive, better interior cars and better engine cars. It is definitely more demanding than the car that came before but in a crowded arena it still blends in instead of standing out.
Price: 26,700; engine: 1.2 liter, three cylinder, turbo, petrol; power: 128bhp Torque: 170lb ft Transfer: Six speed manual; Top speed: 130 mph; 0-62 mph: 9.7 seconds Livelihood: 51.3 MPa CO2 emissions: 124 grams per kilometer