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New Vauxhall Astra set to be a firm favourite

  • Class-leading economy and emissions from 1.6-litre diesel
  • Vauxhall claims it’s capable of 91.1mpg and 82g/km CO2
  • Three-cylinder 1-litre petrol also available; just 96g/km

Further details have emerged about the British-built seventh generation Vauxhall Astra hatchback, due in showrooms in October 2015. Company car drivers should rejoice too – not only does Vauxhall claim the latest Astra is better to drive, class leadingly-low emissions mean it’s going to cost you less each month too.

Does it appear to have what it takes to wrestle attention away from the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf?

More efficient engines

Vauxhall’s revealed a little more about the powertrains that will be fitted to the latest Astra, citing its 108bhp 1.6-litre ‘Whisper’ diesel as the one which boasts efficiency figures none of its rivals can match.

Fitted with stop/start function and other ecoFLEX fuel-saving measures, the entry-level edition of the 1.6-litre CDTi diesel has a claimed fuel consumption of 91.1mpg – very impressive for a non-hybrid car, although how closely it can match that in real world conditions will be clearer when we review the car in a few weeks’ time.

One advantage of the Astra’s lack of thirst for diesel is that it lowers CO2 emissions, directly impacting on its Benefit in Kind (BIK) banding. Quoted at 82g/km, this 1.6-litre diesel Astra falls into the 16 percent band for 2015/16 and drops to 15 percent in 2016/17 when the diesel surcharge is dropped.

If you’re unlikely to cover the kind of mileages to warrant a diesel engine, the 1-litre turbocharged petrol, as found in the Corsa, with 104bhp could tempt you. Paired with Vauxhall’s automatic Easytronic gearbox and ecoFLEX technology, emissions are pegged at 96g/km, equating to a 14 percent BIK rate for 2015/16 and 16 percent for 2016/17.

Other engines, including diesels up to 158bhp and a new 1.4-litre turbo petrol delivering 143bhp to the Astra’s front wheels, are also available.

Lower P11D values

Not only has Vauxhall shed a considerable amount of weight from the latest Astra, the new hatchback will also have a lighter impact on your wallet too.

Benefitting both company car drivers and retail customers alike, P11D values (and list prices) have been substantially reduced over the outgoing range of five-door Astras.

Depending on the trim level, the P11D value will have fallen from between £150 to £1,960 over the outgoing, sixth generation Vauxhall Astra. Those hunting out the popular Tech Line trim can expect a saving of around £775.

Combined with the reduced BIK bands thanks to greater efficiency and lower emissions, the latest Vauxhall Astra will be even cheaper to run than before.

Choice of five trim levels

Offering a broad choice to Vauxhall Astra buyers are five trim levels, all with names familiar from before and elsewhere in the firm’s range.

Entry-level Design comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED day running lights, a seven-inch colour touchscreen for the infotainment system, including Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and USB and AUX-in sockets, air-con and cruise control.

Progress up a level to the company car driver-focused Tech Line specification and your touchscreen grows a further inch and comes with sat-nav, plus there’s a front armrest and a leather wrapped steering wheel.

Mid-range Energy builds on the Design’s features adding 17-inch alloys and heated front seats, complemented by a heated steering wheel.

Sporty fans should take a close look at the Astra SRi, which also comes with 17-inch alloys, sports seats, front fog lights, a Driver Assistance Package with forward facing camera system and OnStar, Vauxhall’s new connected car telematics system.

Topping the range is the Elite specification, with multi-way adjustable ergonomic leather seats, electrically folding door mirrors, climate control and for rear seat passengers, two USB ports and heated outer seats.

Driving impressions

Parkers will be among the first to test the all-new Vauxhall Astra over the coming weeks, giving you our full, definitive verdict with an analytical review.

In the meantime you can read what we think of the outgoing model in the full Vauxhall Astra hatchback review.