Vauxhall is convinced the Astra has some magic about it. The Insignia is a former European Car of the Year and Vauxhall sees this new Astra as being cut from the same cloth: a car of equal quality, integrity and ability in more compact form.
It will need to be good. While the Insignia fought relatively soft rivals like the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat and, in our eyes, still missed the top of the class, the Astra faces its eternal nemeses, the ultra-able Ford Focus and VW Golf.
Confusion reigns when you check the Astra line-up. Choosing between five-door or Sports Tourer (estate) is easy enough, as is the line-up of six petrol engines and four diesels. It’s the array of trim levels – some aimed directly at fleet buyers and others cut-price retail specials – that’s more likely to bamboozle.
Of them all, either a 1.4 turbo or 2.0 diesel make the most sense, ideally in SRi trim. However, the Astra price has crept up and up, as has the Focus, so expect to pay at least £20,000 for a good one.
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