A price sur­prise

Vaux­hall cut the cost of As­tra mo­tor­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - Drivetime Extra - Sev­enth gen­er­a­tion

In a bold move from Vaux­hall, the new gen­er­a­tion As­tra model due to ar­rive in Oc­to­ber will cost up to £2,200 less than the out­go­ing ver­sion.

It means the sev­enth in­car­na­tion of the pop­u­lar fam­ily hatch­back, soon to go into pro­duc­tion at the com­pany’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, will be priced from £15,295.

A sim­pli­fied line-up means the range will com­prise of De­sign, Tech Line, Energy, SRi and Elite trim grades, with Nav ver­sions of the SRi and Elite spec also avail­able.

Range high­lights in­clude the 1.0-litre three- cylin­der Turbo Start/ Stop ecoFLEX model priced from £ 15,995. With an Easytronic five-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, the same model achieves a CO2 emis­sions of just 96g/km.

The flag­ship 1.6- litre 200PS model is avail­able in SRi trim cost­ing from £20,435 and there’s also a 1.6-litre ‘Whis­per Diesel’ 110PS Start/Stop ecoFLEX model from £17,495 with the po­ten­tial for 91.1mpg and emis­sions of 82g/km.

As one of Bri­tain’s best-loved cars, the As­tra has be­come a house­hold name with more than 2.9 mil­lion sold in the UK over the last 36 years with over 50,000 last year.

And the model, due to re­ceive its world de­but at the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber, is smaller out­side but big­ger in­side and up to 200kg lighter than the out­go­ing ver­sion.

Inspired by the Monza con­cept of 2013, the As­tra has been given a more lean and ath­letic ap­peal by Bri­tish de­signer Mark Adams, pos­si­bly the most strik­ing part be­ing the di­vided C-pil­lar which cre­ates the im­pres­sion of a float­ing roof.

While the wheel­base has been re­duced by 2cm the amount of space in­side the car has ac­tu­ally in­creased, to the point that rear pas­sen­gers can en­joy an ex­tra 35mm of legroom.

And the dis­tance be­tween the front and rear seats has also in­creased for added com­fort and space.

Mean­while, Vaux­hall says the new As­tra will be the com­pany’s first new model to be avail­able with the per­sonal con­nec­tiv­ity and ser­vice as­sis­tant OnS­tar - which of­fers buy­ers safety and com­fort ser­vices – from its launch.

For in­stance if an airbag de­ploys, OnS­tar will be au­to­mat­i­cally alerted, an ad­viser will con­tact the ve­hi­cle and if there’s no re­sponse, emer­gency ser­vices will be sent to the ve­hi­cle.

Another first for As­tra will be glare-free In­tel­liLux LED Ma­trix Light to im­prove safety at night.

As­tra the new model looks great and will be even bet­ter value

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