Vauxhall Astra: New vs old

  • We take a closer look at the new Astra before it’s revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show
  • Find out how it compares for costs and practicality verses the old model
  • Is it worth waiting for, or should you look to grab a deal on the out-going car?

The Vauxhall Astra is one of the UK’s best-selling cars and has been making regular appearances on the top 10 lists since it first went on sale back in 1980. 

With the new seventh-generation Astra set to be revealed at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, we’re taking a closer look at the highlights for this new model, how it compares to the sixth-generation car, plus any possible savings that could be made on the current model.

Smaller and lighter

The new Astra has been on a bit of a diet and has shed up to 200kg over the current model, it’s also smaller on the outside yet roomier inside with 35mm extra legroom for rear passengers.

It's 5cm shorter and 2.6cm lower than its predecessor too, which means headroom may be slightly compromised. Vauxhall hasn’t revealed boot dimensions of the new car yet but the current model has a healthy 351 litres which, although smaller than the Ford Focus, is ample room for the weekly shop or a pushchair.

Substantial price cut

One of the biggest headlines for the new Astra is that it's up to £1,960 cheaper than the outgoing model with prices starting from £15,295.

Whereas before car buyers had a huge variety of trims and engine choices to compare and decide between, this time around picking an Astra will be much simpler – from launch it’ll be available in five trims; Design, Tech Line, Energy, SRi and Elite. As the name suggests, Nav versions of the SRi and Elite trims get sat-nav thrown in. 

Entry level models come much better equipped than before too with new kit highlights including Bluetooth, a USB port and digital radio now offered as standard on all Astras.

Efficient engines

The big news here is the introduction of a new ultra-efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine with either 108bhp or 148bhp which has an official fuel consumption figure as high as 91mpg combined and CO2 emissions of just 82g/km. That is seriously impressive and class-leading over rivals like the Ford Focus, Peugeot 308 and SEAT Leon and a massive improvement over the current models diesel with 97g/km of CO2 and an official fuel economy figure of 76.3mpg.

Petrol choices include a 1-litre and a new 1.4-litre 143bhp four-cylinder unit, both of which have been seen elsewhere in the Vauxhall family including in the Corsa and Adam.

Modern technology

Several new gadgets will be appearing in the new Astra including a whole new on-demand service called OnStar which will be making its range debut.

It’s standard on SRi trims and above and offers a broad range of safety and comfort services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It will also contact emergency responders to the location of your car if needed and will turn the new Astra into a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices including tablets.  

IntelliLink, Vauxhall's next-generation infotainment system, also makes a debut in the new Astra. It's compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems that mirror your smartphone screen into the car allowing drivers to make calls, access apps like Spotify and send and receive messages from the touchscreen or by voice control.

Another first for the new Astra is new optional glare-free IntelliLux LED Matrix Lights which automatically adapt the length and distribution of the light beam to various traffic situations.

As well as all the advanced connectivity kit on offer here, the new Astra also comes with a range of new safety kit, some of which may be available as standard depending on the model you choose. Systems like lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring are available as well as a rear view camera, lane keeping aid and a collision alert system if you get too close to the car in front.

For the ultimate luxury for those in the back, Elite trim also comes with heated rear seats as standard.

Old or new?

So the new Astra offers lower running costs courtesy of a very frugal diesel engine. It’s better equipped too with more room inside and a cheaper price tag, it sounds like a win-win situation really.

That said, the current generation (pictured above) will soon be on run-out and dealers will be keen to shift old stock. With that in mind, there should be plenty of good deals and discounts around on the current Astra so it’ll be worth looking for deals before the new car arrives in showrooms.

On Vauxhall's own site an Astra Excite can currently be picked up for just £12,595 which represents a significant cash saving. We're expecting these deals to become more frequent and perhaps even cheaper as we get closer to October.  

Make sure you check out the cars for sale section for more local deals and keep checking our Weekly Deal Watch too.

To read our full review of the current Vauxhall Astra click here.

We will be one of the first to drive the all-new Astra before it arrives here in the UK so make sure you keep checking back with is to read our full review.

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