What is it?
The company car of choice in the new Vauxhall Astra range. Fitted with a tax bill-stroking 1.6-litre diesel engine that offers a claimed 85.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 88g/km, this is will be the best-selling diesel in the seventh-gen Astra line-up.
The 109bhp powerplant is the entry-level diesel engine and sits below the 134bhp 1.6 CDTi and 158bhp 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo units. It carries the Ecoflex moniker because it comes with a stop-start system (a £500 extra on the standard 1.6 CDTi engine), and it also gets a few other tweaks to help eke out fuel economy. Most notably, it has a gearbox with taller gearing than the more powerful models, although the 110 Ecoflex actually has the same amount of torque as the 134bhp diesel.
While these super frugal figures impress on paper, they will have to translate extremely well onto the road to make an impact on a class that is one of the most competitive around. The Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia – to name a notable few – are all jostling for sales, elbows out, in this segment with similarly eco-friendly credentials.