2023 Vauxhall Astra GS Line 1.5 Turbo D Automatic

2023 Vauxhall Astra GS Line 1.5 Turbo D Automatic

Vauxhall’s eighth-generationAstra is here – and it’s promising to be better than ever. The range has been simplified into three-well-equipped trim levels – Design, GSLine and Ultimate.


It's the mid-range GS Line that we’re focusing on here. It includes 17-inch black alloy wheels, a black roof, black badging, metal pedals, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, heated front seats and steering wheel, as well as a driver’s sports-style seat. We only had access to the Opel-badged equivalent of the GS Line at launch, called ‘Elegance’ in overseas markets.


Vauxhall’s eighth-generation Astra is here – and it’s promising to be better than ever. The range has been simplified into three-well-equipped trim levels – Design, GS Line and Ultimate.

Therefore, our test model had minor differences, such as a body-coloured roof and silver wheels and badges. This is the first Astra since its integration into its parent company Stellantis, and it’s built on the same EMP2 platform as Peugeot’s 308. It is arguably the most attractive Astra to date and boasts Vauxhall’s new design signature – the Vizor – along the front. It forms the centrepiece of an ultra-athletic look.

Our test car features a 1.5-litre turbo diesel unit with an eight-speed automatic transmission, producing 129bhp (118g/km CO2). It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. It won’t blow your socks off on the move, but it isn’t bad, either. Indeed, the Astra is a big step up in terms of sophistication – it pulls away nicely, and the automatic transmission is superbly refined. Unless you’re flooring it, the gearchanges are so smooth they’re barely noticeable. It gets from 0-62mph in 10.6-seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph, and these statistics are no different whether you choose a manual or automatic. The suspension has been firmed up, threatening to disrupt the ride, but the seats are comfortable and ergonomic. As a result, the poorly maintained roads we were driving on weren’t enough to spoil it. Even tackling speed bumps makes the suspension feel squidgy and absorbing, rather than bouncy or thumping. What’s more, Vauxhall says the new Astra is “motorway-proof”, so it’s been designed to do long journeys in a relaxed manner, and this appears to be quite accurate.


2023 Vauxhall Astra GS Line 1.5 Turbo D Automatic - interior

The interior is bathed with ambient lighting, and it’s garnished with a Pure Panel Pro digital cockpit. This houses a digital instrument and infotainment system as two separate, 10-inch screens in one combined unit. A few physical buttons remain underneath the touchscreen and on the steering wheel, but the cabin has a minimalist feel. While the front of the car is roomy, rear-seat space is compromised; therefore, long-legged adults won’t appreciate sitting there for long. That said, at 422 litres, the boot is now bigger than the Golf’s or Focus’, and with the split-folding rear seats down, 1,339 litres of capacity is available.

The cockpit displays are clear and attractive, the digital instrument display is customisable, while the infotainment system and navigation are better than anything seen in an Astra before. Wireless Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto is integrated as standard, as is a voice control programme.

Dealerships are taking orders now, with the first deliveries in the UK from late May. However, those who want more room might want to hold off for the larger Sports Tourer version set to arrive in the UK later in the year. But overall it’s good news: the Astra has continually played second fiddle to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus – and it’s spent years trying to bridge the gap. That gap just got a whole lot shorter.


FACTS & FIGURES

  • In showrooms May 2022
  • List prices £23,805 to £35,315
  • Bodystyles 5-door hatchback and 5-door estate
  • Powerplants 1.2 Petrol manual (109bhp and 129bhp), 1.5 Diesel manual and automatic (129bhp) 1.6 Petrol plug-in hybrid automatic (178bhp)
  • Trim levels Design, GS Line, Ultimate
  • Also consider Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf
  • Version tested GS Line 1.5 Turbo D Automatic
  • Price £29,200
  • Built in Rüsselsheim, Germany
  • Generation 8
  • Codename OV51
  • Platform EMP2
  • Bodystyle 5-door hatchback, 5-seats
  • Layout Front-wheel drive
  • Powerplant 1,498cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbo diesel with stop-start
  • Gearbox 8-speed automatic
  • Max power 129bhp @ 3,750rpm
  • Max torque 221lb ft @ 1,750rpm
  • Top speed 130mph
  • 0-62mph 10.6secs
  • CO2 emissions 118g/km
  • Economy (combined) 61.4-62.8mpg
  • Fuel tank 52 litres
  • Range 718 miles Insurance 20
  • BIK rate (2022/2023 tax year) 28%
  • Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,374/2,062mm
  • Boot space (min/max) 422/1,339 litres
  • Kerb/max towing weight 1,438/1,550kg
  • Euro NCAP rating Not yet tested
  • Spare wheel (full-size/spacesaver/run-flat/selfsealing/ repair kit) No/no/no/no/yes
  • Warranty 3 years/60,000 miles
  • Verdict Striking new looks and comfortable interior. More refined engine and gearbox and accomplished ride and handling show far more sophistication than its predecessors.
  • Rating ■■■■■■■■■■8/10
“THE ASTRA HAS CONTINUALLY PLAYED SECOND FIDDLE TO THE GOLF AND FOCUS – AND IT’S SPENT YEARS TRYING TO BRIDGE THE GAP. THAT GAP JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT SHORTER.”
Article type:
Review
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