Vauxhall Astra: Frugal vs Fast

  • Astra proves to be a good mix of frugal and fast
  • Returns more than 44mpg, but does 0-60mph in 8.5s
  • However, 2.0-litre diesel engine can prove noisy

I haven’t driven my Astra much of late for a variety of reasons. I’ve been on holiday, had other cars to drive and have been out of the office on business a fair bit too.

One thing I have noticed after a few weeks of driving other cars though, is just how good a compromise the engine is from an efficiency point of view.

Recently it has been returning a smidge over 36mpg during normal driving (although the computer claims 44mpg), and that’s a fairly impressive number in anyone’s book (and especially for me since I’m not exactly known for my relaxed right foot).

Although I can appreciate a frugal car with good fuel economy, I’m equally enamoured by cars with a bit of ‘get up and go’. That’s why the Astra works well for me. Just switch it out of the default ‘eco’ mode and the full 160bhp is there to play with when you need it. The 0-60mph sprint takes a reasonable 8.5 seconds, and thanks to the 2.0-litre diesel engine there’s a decent amount of shove when you put your foot down.

This compromise does come at a slight cost though. The Astra’s engine is very loud. Even on idle it sounds noisy, but there’s a serious amount of volume produced when you start to accelerate. It affects the refinement of the car, which seems a shame as the rest of it is of a fairly high quality. Good job I went for a higher-level stereo system.

Current mileage: 2,680

Average mpg: 36.4