Astra with best deal appeal
By Peter Hayward
VAUXHALL’S range of diesels, as so many company car drivers will tell you, has improved beyond all recognition in the last few years.
And not least of these is the 1.7 turbo I recently drove in the latest Astra hatch. It’s now as good as what were considered the best oil burners from the likes of Citroen and VW.
It is smooth and quiet, and has enough low speed pulling power to give easy and swift acceleration in the lower five of six gears.
As with most cars, if you want comfort always avoid the models with sports suspension. If you do, the Astra rides smoothly over all surfaces and yet still delivers strong and very safe handling and roadholding.
Road and wind noise are better suppressed than in some bigger cars, although the engine does have a couple of points where resonance causes a bit of extra noise.
All in all, this engine, with the good value Tech Line trim, is the pick of the range.
There is plenty of space for four or occasionally five, even with the swooping rear roofline that helps make the Astra look so good.
The seats are comfortable and have excellent adjustment for all, and the boot is a useful size.
Techline trim brings alloys, sat-nav, Bluetooth and a DAB radio on top of start/stop, stability control, six airbags and an alarm.
Vauxhall Astra ecoFLEX Tech Line
Mechanical: 130bhp, 1,686cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 126mph
0-62mph: 10.4 seconds
Combined mpg: 76
Insurance group: 17
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
BIK rating: 13%
Warranty: Lifetime for first owner only
Main rival: Mazda 3