An updated Vauxhall Astra engine range has been unveiled, to ensure the popular model continues to meet the latest emissions standards. The stricter legislation doesn’t come into force until September 2019, but the new engines are available to order immediately.
They include a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol with 197bhp and a diesel of the same size with 134bhp. The petrol can get the car from 0-62mph in a brisk 7.3 seconds, which is 1.5 seconds quicker than a 1.5-litre EcoBoost Ford Focus. It has a top speed of 146mph.
Under the latest economy testing procedures, it can return 43.5mpg, with CO2 emissions of 151g/km, placing it in the 31% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) band for company-car drivers. To reduce fine particulate emissions, a new filter has been added to improve oxidation of particles within the exhaust system.
The diesel is more economical, managing 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 116g/km. This places it in the 24% BiK band, making it more affordable for the business users that make up a large percentage of Astra drivers.
Owners will need to spend a little extra on AdBlue solution top-ups, however most rivals now use similar systems. The solution is injected into the exhaust stream to reduce emissions, so its usage is proportional to how much you drive.
The 1.6-litre petrol is available to order now in the Vauxhall Astra hatchback and Sports Tourer estate, while the updated diesel hatchback will shortly be followed by the load-lugger. Prices start from £20,595.
Vauxhall – which was recently taken over by Peugeot and Citroen owner the PSA Group – has ambitions to become ‘a leader in vehicle emissions reduction’ and four all-electric models are planned by 2020.
This includes the next generation of the Vauxhall Corsa supermini, a model that has regularly appeared near the top of UK sales charts in previous guises. By 2024, Vauxhall aims to have a ‘fully electrified’ vehicle range, with a hybrid or electric version of every model it offers.