VAUXHALL has taken the wraps off its stylish new Astra ahead of a UK launch later this year.
The five-door hatchback adopts Vauxhall’s attractive new “Vizor” design first seen on the Mokka crossover and will be the first Astra to come with hybrid power.
Stylistically, the new Astra features a distinctive black section at the front that takes in the sharp new LED headlights and the Vauxhall Griffin badge. There’s a distinct point at its centre that lines up with a dramatic ridge down the middle of the sculpted bonnet.
An optional two-tone colour scheme highlights the striking C-pillar design on the side profile, while LED lights are also standard at the back. They’re particularly slender, drawing attention to the sporty looking rear bumper.
Although the new Astra is only 4mm longer than before, the distance between the front and rear axles has been increased by 13mm and the new car is a full 51mm wider. These increases should mean noticeably more passenger space inside. Vauxhall says that the boot volume has increased by 52 litres to an above average 422 litres.
Buyers may approve of that, but it’s the style of the cabin that will grab their attention in the showroom. It comes with a fully digital dashboard across the range, with two 10in displays mounted side-by-side and a particularly smooth centre console.
A stylish new range of steering wheels allow control of the car’s sub-systems and wireless connectivity for Apple and Android smartphones is standard across the Astra line-up.
Vauxhall will offer a wide range of technology for the first time ever on the Astra, too, much of it usually found on larger cars. New driver assistance systems make use of an extensive suite of five cameras, five radar sensors and ultrasonic sensors.
Some of the high-end technology options include adaptive cruise control, head-up display, long-range blind spot assistance and Vauxhall’s Intelli-Lux LED Pixel Light headlamps, which use 84 LEDs in each light to automatically alter the headlight pattern for maximum illumination without dazzling other road users.
Vauxhall will continue to offer petrol and diesel engines for the Astra, with power outputs between 108bhp and 129bhp. Six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions are available, depending on engine choice.
It’s expected that the line-up will be similar to that available in the new Peugeot 308, which is built on the same platform from fellow parent company Stellantis. The 308 is expected to go on sale in the UK in hatchback form in August, with deliveries later in the year.
For the first time in eight generations of the Astra, Vauxhall is offering plug-in hybrid power. Two different levels of output will be available. The most powerful uses the 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor currently offered in the Grandland for maximum output of 221bhp. It’s expected that the Astra will exceed that car’s electric range of 34 miles.
Vauxhall will release UK pricing for the new Astra closer to its on-sale date this autumn, with a small increase over the outgoing model expected. That suggests a starting price of about £22,000.
- After reading about the 2021 Vauxhall Astra, you might be interested to read how Vauxhall is going all-electric by 2028
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