Review Of Vauxhall Astra 2016 - Now, we’ve already tested a diesel Astra and we were very impressed. In fact, we obviously weren’t the only ones as the Astra was now been crowned the European Car of the Year for 2016. And with such a broad range of Astras on offer, we thought it would be well worth testing a petrol, along with a different trim level. Not just any petrol either, because this is Vauxhall’s new 1.0-litre turbo, with just three cylinders. So, it seems fitting to start on the road first. And, while the way the previous version of the Astra drove was nothing to rave about, in this model there are reasons to get excited. You probably already know that this generation of Astra is over 100kg lighter than before, but what you might not know is that amongst new Astras, the 1.0-litre petrol is 87kg lighter than the diesel. Can you feel the equivalent of a rugby player been taken off the front wheels? Well, perhaps not around town, but head out onto a country lane and the nose is a fraction quicker to dive into corners, the steering feels particularly fluid and the Astra resists understeer doggedly. Of course, weighing a similar amount to a supermini also means this tiny 1.0-litre actually feels quite nippy. It might only have 104bhp, but it can get you to 62mph in 10.5 seconds, and it feels wonderfully smooth, so using the revs doesn’t feel unnatural. One downside to choosing the smallest engine is you only get a five-speed manual, but once you get used to not reaching for a sixth gear, it’s impressively relaxed and refined for motorway cruising.
Fuel economy is rated at 64.2mpg, but in real-world driving, we’ve been getting mid-50s, meaning more than 400 miles between fill-ups, while CO2 is rated at 102g/km. The last Astra we drove was the SRi trim, so this Tech Line is slightly lower in the pecking order. But, you know what? It is extremely well-equipped, and just as before, we love the eight-inch IntelliLink infotainment system, which is easy to use and very responsive. It’s not quite perfect in here though. While we loved the sportier seats in the SRi, these more basic ones are a little firm and unsupportive, and the standard air-con comes with the smallest heater and fan controls I think I’ve ever seen. Also, with this much kit I’d also have expected reversing sensors, and the lack of them highlights the poor rear visibility out of the small back window. Still, this is largely nit-picking, and the Astra’s interior is very pleasant indeed, with a far more logical layout than we’ve seen in older Vauxhall’s and many of the Astra’s competitors. Of course, if you’ve seen our review of the diesel, you’ll know there’s plenty of space in the front and back too, along with lots of room for coffee cups and your wallet.
We not sure if it’s what it was designed for, but this lip also keeps my phone secure, even if you might be out of luck with something like an iPhone 6 Plus, or a sandwich… Measuring 370 litres, the Astra’s boot is 10 litres down on the Golf, but it’s larger than a Ford Focus. It’s not class-leading then, and the fact it has this fairly tall lip and lacks clever ideas like the Civic’s magic rear seats or Skoda’s Velcro dividers means it’s a bit dull if you like those ‘surprise and delight’ moments. The Astra starts from just over £15k, making it several hundred pounds cheaper than a Focus, and several grand less than a Golf. This 1.0-litre Tech Line is great value at less that £17k, with the only option fitted to this car being the ten-spoke wheels, costing £395. Petrol seems to be enjoying a resurgence at the moment, and with engines like this cracking 1.0-litre turbo, we can see why. In fact, personally I’d take this over the entry-level diesel, because it’s quieter, smooth revving and more fun. If you aren’t worried about blistering acceleration or having every gadget, this 1.0-litre Tech Line could even be the pick of the Astra line-up. Thanks for read Review Of Vauxhall Astra 2016.