The brand new Vauxhall Astra has been unveiled with a bold new design and the promise of two plug-in hybrid powertrains alongside traditional petrol and diesel engines.
The eighth generation of the Ford Focus and VW Golf rival is all-new and based on the same platform as its Stellantis stablemate the Peugeot 308, allowing for the broader range of drivetrains.
Vauxhall has yet to confirm full details of the line-up but has said that the more powerful of the PHEV variants will offer 222bhp. The 308 also features a 178bhp hybrid variant, which is likely to be the second version used in the Astra.
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Petrol options will all be 1.2-litre three cylinder units, while it’s likely that a 1.5-litre four-pot will be the Astra’s only diesel option. Vauxhall has said that power for the petrol and diesel variants will range from 109bhp to 128bhp. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with an eight-speed auto an option on more powerful models and hybrids.
The reveal comes days after Vauxhall announced that all its passenger models will be electrified by 2024 and it will phase out petrol and diesel from its range by 2028.
As well as a move to electrification, the new Astra features a bold redesign. The company’s striking Vizor grille, first seen on the new Mokka, now features on the Astra with slimline LED headlights below a wide, flat bonnet designed to give the Astra a low-slung and dynamic look. Its designers say the Astra has been “detoxed of superfluous elements”, in other words there aren’t lots of unnecessary styling lines along the bodywork and the styling is shaper and cleaner. Like other recent models, the Astra name is spelled out across the centre of the tailgate below slimline tail lights.
The new five-door Astra is longer and wider than the outgoing model but with a lower roofline. A longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs should mean more space for passengers and the boot holds up to 422 litres of luggage, with an adjustable floor height. The front seats have been certified as bad-back-friendly by Germany’s AGR ergonomics experts and, in higher trim levels, come with heating ventilation and massage while the rear seats can also be heated.
Inside, the Astra echoes the recently-launched Mokka with a simple uncluttered layout dominated by two “Pure Panel” digital screens. The twin 10-inch screens flow into each other with a central touchscreen for media, navigation and connectivity controls and a configurable digital instrument display in front of the driver. Buttons and dials have been pared back but key functions such as ventilation retain physical controls.
Full specifications will be announced closer to the new Astra’s launch date but Vauxhall has revealed that among the technology available will be auto adapting headlights with 168 LED elements; adaptive cruise control; semi-autonomous lane changing; a head-up display and a 360-degree parking camera.
Pricing will be confirmed ahead of orders opening in autumn but expect a small increase from the outgoing model’s £19,740 starting price.