Vauxhall Astra (2009–2015)
- October 2008: Astra revealed
- July 2009: First technical details revealed
- August 2009: Production version to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Show
- September 2009: Vauxhall Astra prices revealed
- January 2010: Astra Ecoflex announced
- February 2011: ES Tech model added to the range
- April 2011: New emissions tech added
- August 2012: Astra BiTurbo added to the range
- February 2014: New 1.6 CDTi engine introduced
On sale UK from late 2009. Wider track front and rear, new rear axle design, to improve stability, and comfort. Optional FlexRide system offers drivers three unique damper settings - standard, sport and tour - while being adaptive to changes in driving style and cornering speed.
Optional, latest generation AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting), which features bi-xenon lighting that changes its intensity and reach to suit prevailing road conditions. All-new, 140PS turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol unit, which builds on Vauxhall's commitment to engine downsizing and reduced emissions/fuel consumption, while retaining the performance of a larger capacity vehicle. The 1.4T joins three further petrol engines, which range from 100PS to 180PS, and four diesel engines ranging from 95PS to 160PS. All engines are Euro 5 compliant.
Inside, the feeling of cabin space and depth is augmented by a centre panel mounted at a shallow 30-degree angle that sweeps down from the top of the instrument panel to the centre console, creating a flowing surface that incorporates the gearshift. Like the Insignia, the Astra's main clocks and gauges are ringed with chrome, with the speedometer and tachometer pods angled inwards towards the driver.
Special emphasis has gone into the design and engineering of the Astra's seats that now have industry-leading levels of adjustment. Their height can be raised by up to 65mm, while their fore and aft range extends to 280mm, allowing all drivers and passengers to find their ideal seating position. In addition, the Ergonomic Sports Seats (standard in all Elite models) have improved tilt adjustment, four-way power lumbar support, superior side support and supporting foam pads.
First technical details revealed
The new Astra's front and rear tracks have been increased by 56mm and 70mm respectively, while its wheelbase has been increased by 71mm, the cumulative effect being improved handling and ride quality, as well as more space and comfort for occupants.
GM engineers have combined the size, weight and efficiency of a compound crank rear axle layout with a cleverly positioned Watts link, which supports lateral forces during cornering. A FlexRide adaptive damping system adjusts the suspension character automatically depending on drivers' needs, while also offering three programmable damper settings. Finally a stiffer core body structure, enhances the new Astra's ride and handling while also reducing noise and vibration inside the cabin.
The Astra's new suspension layout combines MacPherson strut front suspension with a clever, newly developed compound crank rear axle with a Watts link. This set-up has many advantages over a multi-link design, including improved packaging, greater wheel camber stiffness and less lower suspension friction. It also creates less camber loss due to body roll, while the Watts link ensures that lateral stability is maintained.
Production version to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Show
Vauxhall's all new Astra will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15 with a highly competitive line-up of petrol and diesel engines boasting reductions in CO2 over almost all equivalent models in the current Astra range.
The new model, which will be produced at the UK's Ellesmere Port plant for all markets across Europe, will have an eight-engine range that promises to reduce combined CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by around 10 per cent overall.
Highlighting Vauxhall's continued strategy of reducing CO2 emissions through engine capacity downsizing, an all-new 1.4-litre Turbo engine will join the range from launch, producing 140hp and 200Nm of torque between 1,850 and 4,900rpm. This engine replaces the naturally aspirated 1.8-litre from the current range, yet features lower emissions, equal power and 15 per cent more torque.
Completing the petrol line-up for the new Astra is a normally aspirated 1.4-litre unit emitting just 129g/km of CO2, and two 1.6-litre engines - one turbocharged, producing 180hp and the other an un-blown unit with 115hp.
The Astra's diesel range comprises 1.3-, 1.7- and 2.0-litre units, all of which feature common rail fuel injection and produce combined CO2 emissions of no more than 129g/km* (with manual transmission). Despite this, their power will range from 95hp to 160hp, allowing generous performance with optimum frugality.
As with the Insignia, all Astra powerplants meet stringent Euro 5 emissions standards, and at a later stage an ecoFLEX model will be added to the range, achieving 109g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle*.
All Astras will be equipped with six-speed gearboxes, with the exception of normally aspirated 1.4- and 1.6-litre models and the 1.3-litre CDTi which employ a five-speed manual gearbox. A new, compact automatic transmission will be available for all petrol models.
Vauxhall Astra prices revealed
Entry level Exclusiv 1.4i (87PS) £15,675, £270 more than outgoing equivalent model, yet now offers as standard air conditioning, electronic stability control, 16-inch wheels and an MP3-format radio/CD player with aux-in.
The SRi 1.4i Turbo, with its new-to-range engine at £18,845 is £10 more than the old SRi 1.8-litre petrol, yet retains its 140PS output, reduces CO2 emissions by 18 per cent to 139g/km and Benefit in Kind tax by seven bands. Equipment levels rise too, with an electronic parking brake, centre armrest and active head restraints all standard.
The lead-in diesel-powered model's price is £18,015. Compared with the current Life 1.7 CDTi 100PS, the new and more powerful Exclusiv 1.7 CDTi 110PS drops a VED band, thanks to a 11g/km reduction in CO2, has even more standard equipment, yet costs just £15 more.
Helping reduce the cost of Astra ownership still further has resulted in lower insurance group ratings. For example, an Exclusiv 1.4i (100PS) drops from a 5E/10E rating for the old model to a 3E/9E for the equivalent car in the new range. Similarly, an outgoing SE 1.6-litre (115PS) slides from 7E/13E (current) to 4E/12E (new), and an SRi 1.7 CDTi (125PS) from 12E/21E (current) to 5E/15E (new).
Prices and CO2
Exclusiv 1.4i 16v VVT 87PS £15,675 (N/A at launch) (129g/km)
Exclusiv 1.4i 16v VVT 100PS £16,010 (129g/km)
Exclusiv 1.6i 16v VVT £16,650 (147g/km)
Exclusiv 1.6i 16v VVT auto £17,825 (167g/km)
Exclusiv 1.4i 16v VVT turbo £17,290 (139g/km)
Exclusiv 1.4i 16v VVT turbo auto £18,465 (164g/km)
Exclusiv 1.7CDTi 16v (110PS) £18,015 (124g/km)
S 1.4i 16v VVT 100PS £16,450 (129g/km)
S 1.6i 16v VVT £17,090 (147g/km)
S 1.6i 16v VVT auto £18,265 (167g/km)
S 1.7CDTi 16v (110PS) £18,605 (124g/km)
SRi 1.4i 16v VVT 100PS £17,565 (129g/km)
SRi 1.6i 16v VVT £18,205 (147g/km)
SRi 1.6i 16v VVT auto £19,380 (167g/km)
SRi 1.4i 16v VVT turbo £18,845 (139g/km)
SRi 1.4i 16v VVT turbo auto £19,170 (164g/km)
SRi 1.6i 16v VVT turbo £20,555 (159g/km)
SRi 1.7CDTi 16v (110PS) £19,970 (124g/km)
SRi 1.7CDTi 16v (125PS) £20,560 (124g/km)
SRi 2.0CDTi 16v £21,145 (129g/km)
SRi 2.0CDTi 16v auto £22,320 (154g/km)
SE 1.6i 16v VVT £18,850 (147g/km)
SE 1.6i 16v VVT auto £20,025 (167g/km)
SE 1.4i 16v VVT turbo £19,490 (139g/km)
SE 1.4i 16v VVT turbo auto £20,665 (164g/km)
SE 1.6i 16v VVT turbo £21,200 (159g/km)
SE 1.7CDTi 16v (110PS) £20,365 (124g/km)
SE 1.7CDTi 16v (125PS) £20,955 (124g/km)
SE 2.0CDTi 16v £21,540 (129g/km)
SE 2.0CDTi 16v auto £22,715 (154g/km)
Elite 1.6i 16v VVT £19,830 (147g/km)
Elite 1.6i 16v VVT auto £21,005 (167g/km)
Elite 1.4i 16v VVT turbo £20,470 (139g/km)
Elite 1.4i 16v VVT turbo auto £21,645 (164g/km)
Elite 1.7CDTi 16v (125PS) £21,935 (124g/km)
Elite 2.0CDTi 16v £22,520 (129g/km)
Elite 2.0CDTi 16v auto £23,695 (154g/km)
Astra Ecoflex announced
New Astra 1.3 ecoFLEX announced. 95PS 1.3 CDTi diesel with particulate filter. 5-speed gearbox. 109g/km CO2. 67.3mpg combined. £35/£30 VED. 13% BIK from April 2010.
ES Tech model added to the range
A new model joins Vauxhall’s Astra range which squarely targets similarly-priced five-door hatch rivals from Ford and VW by offering levels of standard equipment and trim not usually seen outside the options list.
Starting at just £18,110 for the 140PS 1.4-litre Turbo model, the ES Tech comes as standard with a CD500 Satnav system (including CD player, MP3, USB, iPod control, seven speakers and aux-in socket), Bluetooth, a DAB radio, 17-inch alloy wheels and aircon. This complements the already generous level of standard equipment found in most Astra models, such as curtain airbags, ESP, daytime running lights, cruise control and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
For diesel buyers, the Astra ES Tech is available with the 125PS 1.7 CDTi engine, and with sub-120g/km emissions this version is one of Vauxhall’s growing range of ecoFLEX models. At £19,530, the ES Tech ecoFLEX gains key items of standard kit over Ford’s new challenger including satnav and cruise control. Performance is 0-60mph in 10.7 seconds, top speed of 122mph, but with a combined fuel consumption of 62.8mpg.
New emissions tech added
Astra 2.0 CDTi gets Stop/Start, reducing certificated fuel consumption to 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions to 119g/km (£30 VED) without affecting its 0-60 in 8.5 seconds performance. 119g/km drops BIK 5% to 13%.
Start/Stop is also available on the latest addition to the Astra range, the Sports Tourer, which benefits from an equally impressive 4.7mpg rise on the combined cycle, from 55.4 to 60.1mpg, though this doesn't quite squeak into the £30 VED bracket.
The Astra 2.0 CDTi Start/Stop also incorporates Vauxhall’s CleanTech Combustion Technology, which guarantees exceptionally clean combustion and reduces engine noise, too. CleanTech is a closed-loop system which adjusts fuel injection to the combustion process in real time. Combined with reduced friction camshaft bearings, the system ensures that the engine runs more quietly and efficiently.
Vauxhall’s automatic Start/Stop system reduces the engine’s time spent idling, and therefore the car’s overall emissions and fuel consumption, especially during town driving. The engine automatically stops when the driver engages neutral and releases the clutch pedal, sending it into ‘Autostop’ mode. When the vehicle needs to move away again, the driver simply presses the clutch to re-start the engine and engages first gear.
The Astra 2.0 CDTi Start/Stop 5-dr Hatch and Sports Tourer are available to order now. The model replaces the outgoing Astra 2.0 CDTi and is only available with manual transmission (a 2.0 CDTi auto model is also available without Start/Stop).
List pricing for the 5-door Hatch starts at £22,410 for the SRi model, and £23,430 for the Sports Tourer SRi. The 2.0 CDTi Start/Stop can also be ordered in SE and Elite trims (Hatch) and SE (Sports Tourer).
Astra BiTurbo added to the range
Vauxhall added two more high performance diesels with 195PS and 400Nm torque to its Astra range. The British-built Astra BiTurbo 5-door Hatch and Sports Tourer – which becomes the most powerful estate in its class – offer blistering performance, high levels of practicality and impressive frugality.
Both models have a top speed in excess of 135mph and can achieve 0-60mph in under eight seconds. The boost in performance does not compromise economy either, with low CO2 emissions of 134g/km and a combined 55.4mpg. Both models also benefit from Start/Stop technology.
Built at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, the new derivatives benefit from the recent styling refresh that can be found across the Astra range. The aggressive new look includes a revised front grille, new front indicators and fog lamps, and refreshed rear-panel styling. Both BiTurbo models come with an array of unique features including 18” alloy wheels, twin rear exhausts, exterior styling pack and alloy sports pedals. Prices start from £24,095 for the Hatch and from £25,110 for the Sports Tourer.
New 1.6 CDTi engine introduced
Previously only available on the Zafira Tourer and the Meriva, the new 1.6 chain cam, exhaust manifold in head CDTi engine is now in the Astra. It is available in two power outputs. The 110PS version achieves 76.3mpg combined with emission of just 97g/km while the 136PS model averages 72.4mpg combined and 104g/km. The Astra with the 1.6 CDTi is available to order now with first deliveries expected from April 2014.