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Vauxhall Astra: Fall in love with driving again?

The Vauxhall Astra is a small family car that’s been part of the manufacturer’s range since 1979. It’s a versatile car that's been sold as a hatchback, saloon, estate, coupe and van. The current incarnation is the sixth and as with its predecessors, it has made the top three of the European Car of the Year Award.

    By Charles01 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Features

FlexRide

Vauxhall ask us to ‘fall in love with driving again’ in their advertising for the sixth generation Astra and assist driver’s to build an affinity with the car by providing FlexRide. It’s an electronic chassis control system that reacts to changing road conditions and is attached to the ABS, the traction control system and the electronic brake force distribution program. It's operated by a button in the cockpit, so control is always in the hands of the driver.

Equipment

The Vauxhall Astra is well equipped. Traction control and electronic stability control make the driving experience pleasurable and inside the car, equipment like air conditioning, a three spoke steering wheel and a CD player with MP3 capabilities will keep the driver comfortable.

Safety

The Astra’s Adaptive Forward Lighting system is made up of nine separate functions within the bi-xenon headlights that keep the headlight beam on the road, no matter what the conditions. In comparison with fixed headlights, this system improves road illumination by as much as 90 percent.

Energy Absorption System

The Astra’s passive safety systems are just as advanced. Energy absorbing bumpers take the force of an accident away from the passengers. They also lower the cost of repair as the effects of an accident are contained within these easily replaceable parts.

Final word

Although the Vauxhall Astra has won awards and is a safe and comfortable place to be, it is not going to hold its value. New car buyers can expect to lose 47 percent after the first year of ownership. This compares poorly with the rival VW Golf that loses just 16 percent of its value after 12 months. If you are going to buy a new Astra, the pick of the range is the 1.4T Exclusiv. This model’s 4 cylinder engine provides better economy and lower emissions than its rivals like the VW Golf and the Ford Focus, which should offset some of the depreciation.

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