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New low-tax Vauxhall Astra

  • New diesel engine will be available in hatchback and Sports Tourer models
  • Impressive CO2 and fuel economy should appeal to company car drivers
  • New engine helps to put the Astra back in line with the competition

Vauxhall has announced a new 1.6 CDTi diesel engine that will be joining the Astra range with first deliveries expected in April this year.

Previously only available in the Zafira Tourer and the Meriva, the new engine is expected to help drive more company car drivers towards the Astra by lowering monthly tax bills.

This new engine will be available with two power outputs - one with 108bhp and the other 132bhp.

The headline figures here are pretty impressive - the lower-powered engine emits 97g/km of CO2 with a claimed average fuel consumption figure of 76.3mpg. The bigger engine returns 72.4mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 104g/km.

This means company car drivers that opt for this Astra will benefit from a 15 percent BIK tax rate for the 2014/15 tax year for the lower-powered diesel and a 16 percent band for the higher.

“We are delighted to introduce the 1.6-litre ‘Whisper Diesel’ to the top-selling Astra range,” said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall’s head of Carline Brand. “The new 1.6-litre engine is Vauxhall’s cleanest ever mid-size diesel and is now available on Astra, as well as Meriva and Zafira Tourer.”

Set to be officially unveiled in the Astra at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, the new engine will be available across all Astra and Sports Tourer trim levels and prices start from £17,635.

Vauxhall has invested over €50 million in the development and optimisation of its new-generation powertrains, and each new engine and gearbox combination will now conform to the far more stringent Euro 6 emissions regulations set to come into play in September 2014.

That work involved refining the five- and six-speed gear boxes found in the Astra. The six-speed ‘box mated to the 1.6 CDTi features a revised gear change with improved shift quality that is said to be faster, too.

Despite the model range being launched back in 2009 - making the Astra one of the oldest hatchbacks on the market - sales are still high. This is especially obvious in the company car market, where the Astra is still the third biggest-selling car.

These lower emissions will also help the Astra to get back in line with its key competitors like the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Kia Ceed.

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