Lat­est As­tra’s sporty side

The Chronicle - - Chronicle Motoring -

VAUX­HALL’S As­tra has been an in­te­gral part of the Bri­tish mo­tor­ing scene for as long as most of us can re­mem­ber, so it’s easy to think you know the model well.

But get be­hind the wheel of the lat­est SRI model with the 160bhp biturbo en­gine and you soon re­alise just how wrong you can be.

The most pow­er­ful diesel en­gine avail­able in the new As­tra, the biturbo, as its name sug­gests, uses two tur­bocharg­ers, with the sec­ond one cut­ting in as the revs get higher.

The re­sults is a very lively fam­ily hatch­back with a real kick when you hit the ac­cel­er­a­tor hard.

But this As­tra has an­other sur­prise up its sleeve in the shape of a tiny Sport but­ton just in front of the gear stick.

Push this and the bi-turbo re­ally does live up to its name, with even sharper per­for­mance and an even big­ger power boost as your right foot hits the metal.

But it’s all very well hav­ing plenty of ac­cel­er­a­tion if you don’t mind pay­ing the penalty of high fuel con­sump­tion. For most of us, how­ever, mpg is a vi­tal con­sid­er­a­tion when buy­ing a car.

And this is where this 1.6 diesel scores. Dur­ing a week of driv­ing some 300 miles the fuel con­sump­tion was never be­low 60mpg and my high­est recorded fig­ure was just over 64mpg. Not bad at all for a car that has sportscar-like zip.

The new As­tra is a bit lighter than pre­vi­ous ver­sions, which ob­vi­ously helps with both per­for­mance and econ­omy, and a re­designed in­te­rior

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.