Vauxhall has released full details of the new Astra, which has now gone on sale in the UK.
A range of eight engines and five trim levels will be offered on the five-door Astra available at launch. The five-door model will be exclusively built at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, with deliveries of the first cars to customers expected in December.
Vauxhall design boss Mark Adams previously told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show 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, £270 more than the outgoing base model. The top-of-the-range 158bhp 2.0 CDTi Elite Auto costs £23,695.
Vauxhall claims there is an average drop in CO2 emissions across the range compared to the outgoing one by 13.3 per cent.
Diesel models are expected to make up half of sales and they range from a 1.7-litre producing 108bhp, to a 158bhp 2.0-litre unit. Mated to a manual ‘box, the diesel Astra never emits more than 129g/km of CO2.
An ecoFLEX model will arrive in spring 2010, which will be equipped with a 1.3-litre CDTi engine with CO2 emissions of 109g/km.
Of the five petrol engines in the range, one is all new – the 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged unit. This will replace the 1.8-litre unit and is part of Vauxhall’s plans to downsize to lower emissions engines without any loss of power.
To improve the handling and boost interior space, the new Astra’s front and rear tracks have been increased by 56mm and 70mm respectively, while its wheelbase has been increased by 71mm.