The new Vauxhall Astra

Andrew Hopkins

Elegance and comfort will become the hallmark of the new Vauxhall Astra. The tenth generation Astra is 17cm longer, and, at 4.42 Meter it is now considerably longer than its Wolfsburg competitor and is almost as big as a VW Passat. This 5-door-Golf competitor can be seen for the first time at the IAA in Frankfurt from the 19th-27th September. The Astra will have a wheel base, which is seven centimetres longer, a wider track and a new chassis. As an option, the electronic FlexRide system with three settings is offered: Standard, Sport und Touring. It adjusts the damper settings continually to your driving style and the speed at which you corner. Amongst other innovations, which the Astra adopts from the Insignia are: the next generation xenon lights, AFL+ (Advanced Forward Lighting), having nine different settings, which adjust intensity and range to suit road conditions. Likewise taken from the Insignia, 'traffic sign recognition' gives a warning, should you change lanes by mistake. These items are, of course, only available as extras.

The Astra has also had a make-over on the inside. A wide curved section extending out from the crescent-shaped dashboard cocoons driver and passenger. The mid-section console then runs down from there to meet the gear lever at a shallow angle of 30 degrees, which entirely befits its flowing silhouette and the sporty look of this Golf adversary. The cockpit colours Spice Red and Ocean Blue are new additions to the interior and complement the black base colour available in all levels of trim.