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Car trim reviews

Vauxhall Astra Excite

The Vauxhall Astra Excite comes with loads of standard equipment, and if you go for one of the diesel engines you'll benefit from rock-bottom running costs, too.

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Vauxhall’s Astra competes in the fiercely competitive hatchback class against rivals like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. The Vauxhall Astra Excite comes with plenty of standard equipment, like 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth hands-free calling, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and LED daytime running lights.

There’s the choice of two petrols and two diesel engines when you pick the Excite trim. The basic petrol engine is the 99bhp 1.4-litre that averages 51.4mpg, while a more powerful 113bhp 1.6-litre (44.8mpg) is also available.

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In terms of diesel engines, you can choose between a newer 109bhp 1.6-litre engine that averages 76.3mpg or an ageing 1.7-litre with the same power output but averages a lower, but still impressive, 62.8mpg.

Good points

The Vauxhall Astra comes closer than ever before to matching the Volkswagen Golf for the fit and finish of its interior - an incredible effort considering old Astra models of the past.The hatchback is also among the best in class in terms of comfort, though the lack of headroom in the rear might make it a squeeze for people over six-foot. Both diesel engines also offer great fuel efficiency.

Bad points

Despite the comfortable suspension, the Vauxhall Astra Excite isn't as much fun to drive as a VW Golf or Ford Focus.Both the petrol engines available with the Excite trim are worth avoiding, as while they may be efficient, they feel underpowered and sluggish on motorways. The turbocharged petrol engines available on the more expensive trims are much better.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Parking sensors
  • Digital radio
  • Space saver spare wheel

Our choice

Buy a new Vauxhall Astra Excite with the 1.6-litre diesel that averages 76.3mpg, and you have a car with almost unbeatable real-world running costs.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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