2022 Vauxhall Astra revealed: price, specs and release date

Deliveries won't start until next year, but the all-new Vauxhall Astra hatchback has just been revealed, and we've got everything you need to know about it...

Vauxhall Astra Mk 8 front

On sale Early 2022 Price from £22,000 (est)

The Vauxhall Astra is one of the most popular family cars on British roads, and that makes the task of replacing it very difficult indeed. Do you play safe and accept that you might struggle to attract new buyers or be bold and risk scaring off existing customers?

Well, take one look at this new, eighth-generation model and it’s clear that the designers decided to twist, because it has the same sort of radical front-end treatment as the recently launched Vauxhall Mokka small SUV.

This sees the front grille stretched the full width of the car, with the headlights incorporated within it. And those lights will be available with Vauxhall’s Intelli-Lux Pixel Light technology – an adaptive system that incorporates 168 LEDs and is said to automatically adjust in milliseconds to provide maximum illumination without dazzling other road users.

Vauxhall Astra Mk 8 charging

It’s all change inside the Astra, too, where you find two 10.0in digital displays placed side by side; one shows instrumentation and the other is a touchscreen for infotainment functions.

That sort of layout is very much on trend in the car world right now. But, fortunately, Vauxhall has resisted the temptation to follow its sister brands Citroën and Peugeot by putting the air conditioning controls in an infotainment menu. Instead, you get separate switches, which should be far easier to use while you're driving.

To further reduce distraction, the digital displays apparently have a shutter-like layer that prevents upward reflections in the windscreen. And if you prefer to use your smartphone’s operating system rather than the car’s, you can connect it wirelessly via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Vauxhall Astra Mk 8 dashboard

Those who despair at the way many cars balloon in size whenever a new model is introduced, will be relieved to hear that the new Astra is just 4mm longer than its predecessor. However, the front and rear axles are now farther apart, which should be good for leg room, and the boot has grown from 370 litres to 422 litres, leaving the Skoda Octavia as the only family hatchback that offers significantly more luggage space.

The new Astra also offers more in-car storage than its predecessor, with automatic versions helped by the fact that they get a small sliding gear selector switch rather than a traditional level, which frees up space between the front seats.

Vauxhall is promising that this new Astra will set the highest standards for comfort, too, because those front seats have been certified by an independent German organisation that promotes better back health.

Vauxhall Astra Mk 8 front seats

Meanwhile, the list of technology that will be available includes lane-keeping and lane-change assistance in an effort to make motorway driving less tiring, a 360-degree camera and rear cross-traffic alert system to help with parking and manoeuvring, and traffic sign recognition so you always know the prevailing speed limit.

Unlike the Mokka and the smaller Vauxhall Corsa hatchback, the new Astra won’t come in fully electric form. However, 178bhp and 222bhp plug-in hybrids, which combine a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, will be offered from launch.

Efficiency figures for these have yet to be confirmed, but it seems likely that they’ll match those of the closely related Peugeot 308; in 178bhp form, this can travel up to 37 miles on electric power alone and emits as little as 25g/km of CO2, giving it an 11% benefit-in-kind tax rating.

Vauxhall Astra Mk 8 rear

As for conventional engines, these are also shared with the new 308, and comprise 108bhp and 128bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrols, and a 128bhp 1.5-litre diesel.

A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard on most Astras, although the plug-in hybrids will get an eight-speed automatic, which will also be an option on more expensive petrol and diesel variants.

Speaking of pricing, the current generation Astra hatchback undercuts the similarly big-selling Ford Focus. But we expect the gap to narrow for this new model, with it likely to start at close to £22,000, rising to more than £30,000 for the plug-in hybrids. A Sports Tourer estate version will follow later, but there will be no three-door hatchback.

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