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New Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra - Speid

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New Vauxhall Astra

The new Astra appears a lot softer and more homogenous in its look. Clearly bigger, the new car features wipers that park in the A-pillars, MPV style - even if the general profile looks pretty sleek and sporting. Three and five door versions are expected, together with an estate and, at a later stage, a cabrio too.

It's too early to say what will be powering the new car but given the way things are going expect smaller capacity engines with features like variable valve timing and turbo assistance to combine decent power with low emissions and good fuel economy. The current VVT petrols and 178bhp 1.6 Ecotec Turbo used in the SRi are a good examples of this, while the diesel range could probably use a spruce up to keep pace with Ford's sub-120g/km 1.6 TDCI engine in the Focus and the latest crop of VAG-group common rail diesels.