New Vauxhall Astra GSe: now available in Sports Tourer estate guise

The Vauxhall Astra has received the sporty ‘GSe’ treatment, with a 222bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain

  • 222bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain
  • Now available in Sports Tourer estate guise
  • On sale now from £40,550

The Vauxhall Astra GSe has arrived, with prices starting from £40,550 and a new Sports Tourer estate version from £43,250 is now also available to order. Arriving alongside a GSe variant of the Vauxhall Grandland SUV, the Astra GSe marks the beginning of a new sub-brand of performance Vauxhall vehicles, featuring plug-in hybrid power and visual upgrades. The hot plug-in Astra gets a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor for a combined total output of 222bhp, with Vauxhall pledging to become an EV-only manufacturer by 2028.

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Spotting an Astra GSe will be made easy by some exclusive design features, including 18-inch alloy wheels, a more angular front bumper design, Alcantara sports seats, and prominent GSe badging. The same treatment is also offered for the Astra Sports Tourer estate.

The GSe sub brand, standing for Grand Sport Electric, replaces the now defunct VXR brand as the performance offering from Vauxhall. Despite weighing just over 1,700kg, the Astra GSe hatchback will get from 0-62mph in just 7.5 seconds – the estate model is marginally slower. This is off the pace of the previous generation Astra VXR, however the GSe will be capable of 235.4-256.8mpg on the official WLTP combined test cycle.

Fitted with a 12.4kWh battery, the Astra GSe can travel for up to 40 miles (39 miles for the Sports Tourer) on electric power alone, which is enough to cover the average daily commute. Charge times range from 3.5 hours to just under two hours, depending on whether the Astra is being charged from a 3.6kW charger or a more powerful 7kW charger.

Low CO2 emissions, from 25g/km for the hatchback GSe and 26g/km for the estate, mean the performance plug-in Astra will also be one of the cheapest versions to run as a company car, thanks to favourable Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rates.

Improvements aimed at the driving experience include a bespoke chassis set-up, incorporating a 10mm lower ride height and more agile steering for better precision on tight twisting turns. Vauxhall have stated that the new suspension set up will include a feature called ‘Frequency Selective Damping’ to further improve ride comfort.

James Taylor, Acting Managing Director, Vauxhall, said “As we work towards becoming an all-electric brand by 2028, our range-topping GSe models will showcase that electrified performance and driving pleasure can go hand-in-hand.”

Looking to cut down on your fuel costs? Check out our top 10 best plug-in hybrids

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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