What is it?
Even a facelift two thirds of the way through last year hasn’t helped prop the Astra’s sales up in what remains a family mainstream hatchback segment shrinking next to the rise of the SUVs, and also the affordability of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class that has taken the Astra’s place on the top 10 list.
Yet the Astra remains a car worth your consideration, as we’ll discover. Since driving it on the original launch, we’ve now spent a bit more time in the new 1.2-litre petrol version.
Astra sales are split greatly in favour of fleets (some 80/20, where the new 1.5-litre diesel and its RDE2 compliance makes it a tax friendly and fuel efficient choice) yet it's the new petrol triple, offered in 108bhp, 128bhp and 143bhp outputs each with the same impressive economy and CO2 outputs, that will find its way into the hands of more private buyers.
The three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine is new to the Astra, but don’t get it confused with the same-sized engine from new parent firm PSA. The all-alloy engine, along with the 1.5-litre diesel triple, were developed originally under Vauxhall/Opel’s previous owner General Motors, and the decision was taken to carry them through to production.