► Vauxhall’s new Astra hatch and estate
► Plug-in hybrid variant, EV details, new interior tech
► Hatch on sale now, Sports Tourer due in early 2022
Vauxhall’s new Astra has spawned a Sports Tourer estate version to sit alongside the hatchback, after the hatchback version recently went on sale in the UK. The new version promises to be much more interesting than its dull-but-worthy predecessor. Well, more interesting to look at, at least.
With Vauxhall now under the stewardship of Franco-Italian outfit Stellantis (see also: Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat), the family hatchback has had a reboot. As well as sharing a platform with the striking new Peugeot 308, the newcomer has also pinched its French cousin’s attitude to exterior design, with more modern lines and a cleaner overall shape.
It looks… different
It does indeed. Vauxhall’s new Vizor design language looks far better on the Astra than it does on, say, the Crossland, and it fits well with the more futuristic shape. Inside, the new Astra has a cleaner, more upmarket-looking cabin with lots of shiny piano black plastic and huge screens across the driver’s side of the dash. Automatic models also get the funny little gear selector switch found in the Peugeot 308 and Citroen C4.
Specific to the Sports Tourer estate, Vauxhall says it’s actually 60mm shorter end-to-end than the previous-generation Astra estate. Vauxhall says it’s managed the car’s packaging far better than before and has, instead, stretched the wheelbase for better interior space.
But the styling isn’t all that’s changed. Vauxhall has also introduced a new, simplified, three-tier range that makes it much easier to pick the Astra that’s right for you. Basically, you get to choose whether you want the basic one, the sporty one or the upmarket one.
How handy is that new Astra estate?
Well, there’s a 608-litre luggage area with the seats up; the same as the Ford Focus Estate, slightly more than a VW Golf Estate and around 30 litres smaller than a Skoda Octavia Estate for comparison.
Vauxhall has tried to focus our attention on the new ‘Intelli-Space’ function in the boot. It’s essentially a movable boot floor to allow for more luggage space, or the opportunity to hide small items underneath it. This only extends to the petrol and diesel versions, though; the PHEV’s battery pack is located under the boot floor, which gets rid of this handy feature.
So what does the Astra come with?
If you choose the base model, dubbed Design, you get a surprising amount of kit thrown in. Alongside 16-inch alloy wheels, there’s a 10-inch touchscreen and a digital instrument display, as well as the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity systems. LED headlights, push-button ignition and climate control also feature, as do parking sensors at the front and rear.
If you spend a little more on the GS Line version, you can add some black exterior features such as the roof, badge and wheels. The latter are 17-inch alloys and there’s a 360-degree camera, too. Adaptive cruise control, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel round out the highlights.
Top-of-the-range Ultimate versions get all the features of the GS Line, plus 18-inch wheels, a head-up display and wireless phone charging, not to mention Alcantara seat trim and some extra safety tech.
What about engines?
Yep, there’s a choice of those, too. The bulk of the range uses the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine that’s powering pretty much everything in the Stellantis stable these days. The cheapest engine is the 109bhp version, but you can have it with 128bhp, too. And going for the more powerful engine gives you the chance to pick an automatic gearbox.
Otherwise, you can have the 1.5-litre diesel, which produces 128bhp, or you can have a 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid petrol powertrain. With up to 178bhp, that system brings CO2 emissions down to just 24g/km and officially lets you cover up to 35 miles on electricity alone. If you can wait a while, there’s also a 222bhp version of that system on the way, and a fully electric Astra is expected in 2023.
What will it cost me?
Prices start at £23,275 for the entry-level hatchback, which gets you the basic Design model. If you want the GS Line – and we suspect most customers will – it’ll set you back at least £26,170. The Ultimate comes in at just over £29,000, while the hybrids start at £32,200, even in GS Line trim.
On the plus side, you can order the new Astra now, with the first deliveries arriving early 2022. Unless, of course, you want the 222bhp hybrid or the EV. You’ll have to wait a little longer to order one of those.
As for the Sports Tourer estate, Vauxhall says orders will open in early 2022 with the first deliveries coming in the summer.
Read our Vauxhall reviews