As I’m sure you know, the Vauxhall Astra is a staple of the British road. It’s the most popular hatchback in the country, and one of the most popular cars overall. Naturally, when a new model of the Astra comes out, it’s pretty big news in the UK. The latest version, released in July, is no exception! You may know all about the Astra’s status as a household name, but what is it that makes it such a great car? Read on to find out!
We’ll start this off with the thing that really matters; the car’s performance. The latest version of the Astra, unlike many of the ones that came before it, was built in the UK and also had its chassis tuned right there. Running up to its release, some people were worried that this would mean a sharp droop in the engineering that’s gone into the latest Astra. However, those people were pleasantly surprised! This new Astra seems to have drawn on the sportiness of its rival – the Ford Focus, as well as the comfort and interior design of the VW Golf. It’s changed the rear axle out for a novel torsion model, meaning that there’s less counterweight when you’re making tricky turns. However, this has made the rear a little bouncier than most other hatchbacks currently on the market. The engine’s the real highlight. The one-litre model itself is exceptionally punchy for its size, and the new “whisper” engines are far quieter than some of the rivals’. Steering is linear although not ultra-responsive, the gearbox is exceptionally smooth and the brakes get a nice amount of torque.
Next, the efficiency and running costs. For most cars in the Astra’s class, a CO2 emissions figure below 100g/km is pretty essential. Well, Vauxhall has completely blown that marker away with this model. Their new 1.6 has an emissions figure of 82g/km. That’s their own reported figure, anyway; real life performance may be a little different. What we definitely know is that the new Astra gets a fantastic 91.2 mpg. This, combined with its pretty impressive emissions, means that the only cars to beat the Astra on those two fronts would be the Peugeot 308 and Toyota Auris Hybrid. However, these smaller, more nimble hatches don’t give you nearly as much comfort and style as you get from an Astra. It’s this combination of great value and sheer attractiveness that’s been responsible for the Astra’s popularity at used lots such as Car Deal Warehouse. The only real drawback in terms of the value you’ll get out of the new Astra is its depreciation. You may know already that Astras have never been that great as investments. The older models weren’t leaders of their class, and with every new version that’s released the market becomes even more flooded with the things! Although the 2016 model has been performing slightly better than we expected, don’t expect things to stay this way forever!
Finally, the interior and tech available on this new model. The 2016 Astra has a seriously high-quality interior. The dash’s centrepiece is a seven to eight-inch touch screen, where you can control its highly functional infotainment system. Vauxhall’s interior design in general has been notably impressive in recent years. The acrylics used in their cheaper dashboards have been incredibly high-quality. Of course, this isn’t the big thing that made me so comfortable sitting in the new Astra’s driving seat? This touch screen in the centre is that controls all the tech that Vauxhall have loaded this car up with. A handy little information screen sits between the main instruments, with nice clear graphics. Somehow, Vauxhall managed to put this in, but completely neglected any obvious markings for 30 and 70 mph on the speedo! You’ll be using Apple’s CarPlay feature or Android Auto, depending on the kind of smartphone you use. As you can imagine, the differences in these two interfaces are fairly subtle, and depends on your personal preference. Some of the more premium-end models of this Astra come with an OnStar navigation system. The car’s able to create a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for your passengers to use, and will call the emergency services automatically if you have a crash. Though it may not be the most technologically advanced car in the world, you’ll definitely have some fun when you’re figuring out all the little features.
Evidently, Vauxhall has done it again! The Astra’s had quite the legacy as the UK’s favourite hatchback, and now that this last one has hit the market, that mantle’s only going to become stronger.
Featured Image Source: Wikimedia