Vauxhall Astra will be smaller and lighter than before

  • Seventh generation car is smaller and lighter than predecessor
  • Whisper Diesel engines should appeal to fleet drivers
  • Updated styling and technology available

The seventh generation Vauxhall Astra will be both smaller and lighter than its predecessor, yet offer more room inside when it goes into production later this year.

Updated styling including a floating roof design and tauter lines give the new car a more mature look.

New LED headlights and the ability to use your smartphone’s applications through the Astra’s screen will also be made available.

New engines include quiet diesel

A choice of units ranges from 99bhp to 197bhp, but the 1.6 CDTi ‘Whisper Diesel’ range is likely to appeal most to company car drivers.

Outputs for this engine range from 108bhp to 158bhp.

Petrol choices include a 1.0-litre and a new 1.4-litre four-cylinder unit derived from the same family as the one-litre, three-cylinder engine seen in the Corsa, Adam and Viva.

Depending on its emissions this engine could be a viable fleet alternative to the mainstay diesels.

Big changes at the rear of the car

Smaller outside, bigger inside

Weight-saving measures include using lighter and strong materials in the Astra’s architecture and chassis.

It is also 5cm shorter and 2.6cm lower than its predecessor, which help the new car’s aerodynamics and efficiency.

All of this adds up to a 200kg weight loss, depending on model and trim.

However, there is still room inside for the driver and passengers. The amount of space has increased thanks in part to newly-designed seats, giving rear passengers an additional 35mm of legroom.

On the outside the Astra has undergone some significant restyling, the most obvious being the divided C-pillar, which creates the impression of a floating roof.It's very similar to the Vauxhall Adam.

Smart new floating roof design

New tech includes wi-fi and glare-free headlights

Several gadgets debut on the new Astra, including OnStar and LED headlamps.

OnStar offers a range of safety and comfort services, including an automatic emergency alert if an airbag deploys.

It also turns the car into a 4G LTE mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, for up to seven devices.

The IntelliLink infotainment system brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the Astra, with functions controllable from the up to eight-inch touchscreen.

It is also the first Vauxhall to get glare-free IntelliLux LED Matrix headlights. Consisting of eight segments per lamp, the new lights monitor the traffic ahead of the car and automatically adapt the length and distribution of the beam, preventing other road users from being dazzled.

The new Vauxhall Astra will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. We will be among the first to drive the new car so check back later this year for our review.In the meantime check out Parkers full Vauxhall Astra review.

New LED lights an option