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New Vauxhall Astra gets bold redesign and first-ever plug-in hybrids

Vauxhall’s eight-generation Astra hatchback is to debut plug-in hybrid variants alongside a bold new design and latest onboard tech.

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It’s underpinned by the latest version of the EMP2 platform from Stellantis, also the basis for the new Peugeot 308 and enabling the use of PHEV, petrol or diesel powertrains.

The new platform means the Astra hatchback has a 13mm longer wheelbase but is only 4mm longer than before due to the short front overhang, bringing extra onboard space and 422 litres of boot volume.

Two plug-in hybrids will be available, bringing power of up to 225hp, along with petrol and diesel engines from 110 to 130hp. The petrol and diesels come with a six-speed manual as standard and the option of an eight-speed automatic on more powerful engines.

The radical redesign introduces the latest Vauxhall Griffin badge and the new Vizor brand face introduced on the Mokka. It incorporates new Intelli-Lux LED headlamps, taken from the Insignia and incorporating 168 LED elements. It’s also available with a two-tone roof.

The interior also takes a major leap forwards and uses the fully digital Pure Panel, already seen on the Mokka and providing a digital cockpit with a fully glazed surface incorporating two 10-inch touchscreen displays. The focus is on providing the driver with necessary information and useful operating options but without distracting them. Key settings such as climate control can still be operated via physical switches and buttons and the Intelli-HuD head-up display is available.

Other onboard tech includes voice recognition for the infotainment system and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard.

The Astra also features the semi-automated Intelli-Drive assistance system and adaptive cruise control, along with the Intelli-Vision 360o camera for easier parking, extended traffic sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert and active lane positioning.

The interior also gets new ergonomic AGR-certified seats, developed for outstanding comfort and available optionally in leather and Alcantara.

Although the platform is PSA-derived and common to Stellantis group models, the brand said the Astra has been developed from the start as a Vauxhall and the handling is “composed as well as dynamic” while torsional rigidity is 14% higher than its predecessor.

Order books for the new Astra open this autumn and first deliveries start early next year, with pricing and specification to be announced at the on-sale date.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

One Comment

  • Alain Castle13. Jul, 2021

    This looks fantastic. Loving the new style/direction of Vauxhall since the PSA takeover.

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