Prices for the all-new 2015 Vauxhall Astra have been revealed ahead of it going on sale in October this year. Prices for the new car start at £15,295.
What is it?
The new Astra is the seventh generation of the big-selling hatchback and is an all-new car, which Vauxhall claims is improved in several key areas.
It is shorter and lower than the outgoing car, but despite this it offers more interior space. It has a lot more standard equipment but list prices have been lowered model for model, which reduces the tax payable for company buyers.
It features a mix of new and familiar engines, including the punchy, efficient three-cylinder petrols shared with the Corsa, and the clean, frugal diesels from the current Astra.
These lighter engines and clever use of advanced materials add up to weight savings of between 120kg and 200kg over the current car.
Shedding that amount of weight also helps in Vauxhall's other big aim for the new model, namely making it better to drive. This area in particular is one where the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf have beaten the Astra.
It will be offered as a five-door hatchback, while the sports tourer estate model will join the line-up in early 2016.
What engines does the 2015 Vauxhall Astra come with?
There are a range of power units available. The entry level version is a 99bhp 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol with a five-speed manual gearbox.
A 104bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol which recently had its debut in the smaller Corsa is the next step up and, in the automated manual gearbox version, the cleanest petrol on offer, emitting just 94g/km. The five-speed manual version emits 99g/km.
There’s also a pair of new four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol turbos, available in either with 124bhp or 148bhp. Both are available with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearboxes. A 197bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol will appear in January 2016.
Vauxhall’s Whisper diesel engines are carried over from the outgoing Astra but promise even lower CO2 emissions, with the cleanest 109bhp ECOflex version emitting less than 82g/km. The standard 109bhp diesel has emissions of 94g/km, while the 134bhp version is rated at 99g/km.
A 158bhp biturbo diesel will arrive in early 2016. The only automatic diesel is a 134bhp version although emissions are far higher than the manual car at 119g/km.
How much will the 2015 Vauxhall Astra cost?
Prices for the new model start at £15,295 for a Design model, but the level of standard equipment across the seven trim levels is high, both compared to the outgoing model and rivals. It gets 16in alloy wheels, air-con, DAB radio, Bluetooth and cruise control among the standard kit.
Energy models are geared more towards consumers and get heated seats and steering wheel and 17in alloys, but no sat-nav. Prices start at £17,295.
SRi models are nearly £1000 cheaper than the previous generation equivalent, with prices starting at £17,895. It is the cheapest model to get the OnStar 24hr emergency assistance system, wi-fi hotspot and smartphone app. It also gets a front camera system, sports seating, leather steering wheel and front fog lamps. A SRi Nav version adds the 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system.
The range-topping Elite model has a full-leather interior with 18-way adjustable front seats, folding mirrors and electronic climate control. Rear seat passengers also get heated seats and USB sockets. A Nav version is available for those that want it.
The trim level which is likely to appeal most ot fleet managers and company car users is likely to be the low priced Tech Line models. These add a larger touchscreen with sat-nav and a leather steering wheel for a £775 premium over Design models.
Can I get a discount on a 2015 Vauxhall Astra?
Vauxhall is working hard to ensure that the Astra has strong residual values compared to the previous generation car, and to make it a better buy that rivals. One way it is doing so is by pushing less cars into the market. It's unlikely there will be no discounting, but it may well be at a reduced level to what has been available on Astra models before.
What are the 2015 Vauxhall Astra's rivals like?
The Astra competes in one of the toughest sectors, against the likes of the Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia and the Volkswagen Golf – all cars which Vauxhall will have to tempt buyers away from. The Octavia is our current family car of the year, with a blend of value and quality that edge it ahead of more premium models such as the Audi A3.