Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi
WHY oh why can’t some drivers cope with a little snow?
During my time with this week’s test car I had to go to another new car launch in the East Midlands, which coincided with the recent snowfall.
My transport was the latest Vauxhall Astra, the very capable 1.6 CDTi five door ecoFLEX diesel – and it proved much more up to the job than many of my fellow travellers.
Many years ago I was the proud owner of a 1986 Astra GTE. It was very quick and very white with great big alloys, a big rear spoiler and a digital dash – very cutting edge for the 1980s – and I loved it.
Back then almost every other car seemed to be a (more basic) Astra or Escort and I am sure Vauxhall would love to get back to such a big market share. Good cars like the latest Astra are a step in the right direction as it looks great, is comfortable, well-equipped and fun to drive – 136bhp with a 0-62 time of 9.7 seconds and 125mph top speed.
It’s frugal too with more than 74mpg claimed for a long run and 59 around town (67 combined). There’s lots of space as well and good luggage capacity.
Standard features include air con, ESP, daytime running lights, CD/MP3 CD player, cruise control, smart 17in alloys, sports suspension and ambient lighting.
But – and it’s quite a big but – the on-the-road price of our test car was £26,125… for an Astra!
I seem to remember there were so many Astras on the roads a decade or two ago because it was so affordable.
Now there were a few expensive extras (including a pricey sat nav upgrade at £1,200) and the basic price is £22,335 but I think Vauxhall may have strayed a bit too far ‘north’ with this one.
However, all is not lost if you do want an Astra as the range starts at a much more reasonable £15,409 for the almost as good 1.4i Design.
●» The latest Astra looks great, is comfortable, well-equipped and fun to drive