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This is your first look at the new Vauxhall Astra

The classic British staple now comes with a French heart

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Britain likes the Vauxhall Astra very much. Here at TopGear.com, we also liked the current generation Vauxhall Astra – one which has now been given a facelift and a whole new range of engines courtesy of the new Peugeot overlords.

Let’s start with the looks. It’s tidy, if uninspiring, but you could certainly argue that it’s instantly recognisable as an Astra. The hatch is now the most aerodynamic car in its class too, at 0.26 Cd, and it’ll also come in rather sleek looking estate form.

There are no surprises on the inside, either. The Insignia’s infotainment system has dropped down a model, and now comes with an eight-inch touchscreen and voice control. There’s also a new E-Call emergency function, which should help to fill the gap left by the fantastic GM OnStar system that will depart as a result of PSA’s takeover.

So, those engines. There are two three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines of 1.2 and 1.4-litre displacements, for which multiple power outputs between 109bhp and 143bhp are available. Then there’s a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbodiesel, which can be had in either 104bhp or 120bhp formats – the most powerful of which can be paired with Vauxhall’s first nine-speed automatic gearbox. Yep, nine speeds in the humble Astra.

Vauxhall claims that the new engines are all ‘as economical as they are lively’ and all except the most powerful diesel get over 60mpg on the WLTP cycle.

Very impressive. But come on Vauxhall, do the right thing and give us all a hot VXR…

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