2013 Vauxhall Astra Exclusiv 1.7 CDTI EcoFlex turbo diesel
Pretty much the epitome of average in this segment
Nothing yet, the car is brand new.
My Astra has been supplied to me as a company car. I had a very limited choice of Vauxhall cars, & opted for this one as I calculated that this was the one that might actually pay for itself, & possibly even pay back due to its economy levels.
I've driven most of the Astra's competitors as hire cars, & can confidently say that the Astra is pretty much the epitome of average in this segment. That's not to say that it doesn't do some things better than others, but given the choice, it's not the model I would buy with my own money. Nevertheless, it's a mid segment car that will do its job, with a slightly higher level of refinement than most.
The Exclusiv is the 3rd trim level in the range, & it's clearly aimed at the fleet & rental market. It has a few toys over & above the base models, most notably cruise control/speed limiter & steering wheel controls, but it is equipped to quite basic level, which is disappointing, particularly in Ecoflex spec, as with this engine option, this is a car with a near £21k list price. If you are considering the Exclusiv, then go for the Tech Line instead; it's slightly cheaper & yet much better equipped, with Bluetooth, leather trim, alloys, uprated sound system. Unfortunately I didn't get the choice, but did query it with the lease company as to why my employer is paying more, for less!
So, what makes me say the Astra is the epitome of average? It's smaller than some competitors, yet larger than others. It drives & handles better than some competitors, but worse than others. Its boot appears to be one of the smallest in its class, but on the other hand the ride quality & soundproofing is one of the best. Interior design is adequate, the interior materials are not of the highest quality, but they will probably wear well, as most modern Vauxhalls seem to do. Build quality is not quite as good as some European competitors, but is slightly better than some competitors from the far east.
The EcoFlex spec includes start stop technology, aerodynamic upgrades including spoilers, floorpan, and lower suspension to the standard CDTI. This genuinely does appear to work; so far I have closely achieved the economy declared by Vauxhall for urban & motorway driving. Time will tell, but first impressions mean at this stage I am happy that my decision to opt for the Astra over a larger car appears justified.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 16th January, 2013
Update on this car.
Covered about 18000 miles, averaging 64.3 MPG.
Engine noise & vibration in the cabin has increased recently.
Occasionally hunts at idle.
Doesn't always activate start/stop. Turning the ignition on & off seems to clear the fault.
Verdict: it's doing its job, but I'm not convinced I'd spend my own hard earned on one.