Vauxhall has pitched its range-topping Astra diesel against premium oil burning versions of the VW Golf, Audi A3 and BMW 1-series. The new Astra was officially launched today at the Frankfurt motor show.
There will also be a range of hi-tech options including FlexRide chassis, adaptive headlights, Opel Eye (speed limit sign recognition and relay), and a bike rack similar to that on the Corsa.
The new Astra has gone on sale and the loaded 158bhp 2.0 CDTi Elite Auto costs £23,695. This compares to £22,515 for the A3 2.0 TDI 170 S Line, although an auto box would be extra.
Design boss Mark Adams told Autocar that the car's key rival would be the VW Golf. "But the Astra is more dynamic and emotional than the Golf," he says. "It's more youthful and fashionable too."
The entry-level 1.4-litre 85bhp Exclusiv Astra costs £15,675, just £270 more than the outgoing base model. The SRi 1.4i Turbo, with its new-to-range engine, is just £10 more than the current un-blown SRi 1.8-litre petrol, yet has the same power with lower emissions.
Britain’s Ellesmere Port factory will be responsible for manufacturing all Astras sold across Europe, but UK buyers will get 25 per cent of total production.