New lev­els of power

The Chronicle - - Motors -

means there will be no com­plaints when it comes to legroom in the rear.

There are some nice piano black in­serts in the dash­board and doors, which make it feel more up­mar­ket, and this model comes with sports-style front seats to hold you in firmly place on tight cor­ners.

An 8in colour touch­screen gives you easy ac­cess to most on-board fea­tures as well as satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and this car comes with Vaux­hall’s OnS­tar sys­tem so ev­ery­one on board has ac­cess to Wi-Fi on the move.

Sur­pris­ingly, though, there are no cup hold­ers in the rear, which will prob­a­bly an­noy a few mem­bers of the fam­ily.

Ex­ter­nally, the As­tra now has a sleek, fu­tur­is­tic look to it which def­i­nitely dates its pre­de­ces­sor.

It’s a car which is well equipped with fea­tures like air con­di­tion­ing, hill-start as­sist and a spe­cial driv­ing as­sis­tance pack which uses a for­ward cam­era sys­tem to give you for­ward col­li­sion alert, traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion and lane de­par­ture warn­ing.

You can even use a voice recog­ni­tion sys­tem to op­er­ate var­i­ous sys­tems, al­though, oddly, with the ra­dio you have to know and say the fre­quency of the chan­nel you want rather than just say­ing ‘Tune to Ra­dio 4.’

This car was also fit­ted with the Lu­ton car maker’s In­tellilux LED ma­trix head­lights, an ex­pen­sive op­tional ex­tra at £1,250, but well worth it if you do a lot of night driv­ing.

The sys­tem clev­erly lights the road ahead bril­liantly with­out daz­zling on­com­ing driv­ers thanks to 32 LEDs, some of which can be switched off when nec­es­sary.

If you haven’t driven an As­tra for a while it’s well worth check­ing out the bi-turbo. It im­pressed me and I’m sure it will im­press you too.

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