The new Astra is now on sale, with first cars arriving in Perrys’ showrooms this month.
One of the UK’s top-selling and best-loved cars, the Astra is a household name for British car buyers with almost three million sold in the UK over the last 36 years, including 50,000 in the last 12 months. More than 25 per cent of British motorists have either owned or driven an Astra, so reaction to a new model will always be felt across the market. The car is built at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in Cheshire. It is the lead plant for the new model, and we were there at the new Astra launch before it hit our dealerships.
If you have kids, you’ll look at how easy it is to fit child seats in a car. As a father of three, I always check out if the boot will swallow a pushchair and a weekly shop, too. All sorts of boring, but important, things like that. And do you know what? Yes, the latest Astra would be great for strapping my nine year old, six year old and two year old into the back seat, and the load area is bang on for a buggy or the weekly shop.
Compared with its predecessor, this new five-door Astra is shorter, yet it offers more rear legroom. It drives well, too, and with its new ‘whisper’ 1.6 diesel engine, it has some nice low-down shove. Indeed, this version will be the fleet choice, allowing up to 91mpg and releasing just 85g/km of CO2 in its lowest 108bhp semblance. We got to drive the 134bhp version (76mpg), which still gives decent performance and is both effortless and hushed.
Hi-Tech Family Car
The new Astra is the first Vauxhall to feature OnStar. This ground-breaking connectivity technology includes high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery alert. Taken as a whole, the new Astra is a highly affable and spirited car. It feels solid, it has airbags everywhere, it’s comfortable, economical, spacious, has decent pulling power, and it even has a great sounding music system. For value for money, it’s a top family motor.