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Vauxhall Astra Plug-in Hybrid

The independent definitive Vauxhall Astra Plug-in Hybrid video review
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    By Jonathan Crouch

    The Plug-in Hybrid powertrain electrifies Vauxhall's Astra. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 64

    Vauxhall's Astra Plug-in Hybrid offers family hatch customers undecided about the switch into full-EV motoring an appealing interim option. There's a useful EAER-rated electric driving range of up to 42 miles, fashionable looks, fast battery replenishment times and an eager petrol engine for longer trips. Plus an estate model option if you want something a whole lot more practical than an SUV. Sounds promising.

    Backgroundword count: 145

    In the automotive world, EVs are in everyone's thoughts right at present. And if not EVs, then SUVs. Yet there remains a significant group of motorists who don't want either of these things. They see the need for electrification, but they don't want the limitations of an EV. They share a desire for a more fashionable family car, but for them, that isn't delivered by an SUV. For these people, Vauxhall's Astra Plug-in Hybrid, could be ideal. It competes in the growing PHEV sub-sector of the family hatchback segment, started by the Golf GTE and now also populated by Plug-in Hybrid versions of the Peugeot 308 and the DS 4. Plus if you've more to spend, PHEV versions of the Audi A3 and the Mercedes A-Class. Lots of choice in the class then. Why would you select this Astra in preference? Let's take a look.

    Driving Experienceword count: 276

    There's very much an EV-style feel here thanks to the way that, like most plug-in hybrids, this one reverts to electric power as long as there is charge in its battery. This means you start up and pull off in impressive silence, plus manoeuvring at low speeds and most of your town work will also be done emissions-free. The powertrain on offer here is the usual one that the Stellantis Group fits to its plug-in models, a 1.6 litre turbo petrol unit producing 148bhp allied to a single electric motor delivering the same output, the combined maximum in the mainstream Hybrid 180 variant being 178bhp and 360Nm of torque. There's an 8-speed auto gearbox and the electric motor is powered by a 12.4kWh battery which with the 180PS powertrain we're trying here, Vauxhall reckons can take the car up to 42 miles (EAER-rated) on electricity alone - and all the way up to an EV top speed of 84mph. For that, there's a dedicated pure electric mode. Shift out of that and employ the engine and rest to 62mph can be dispatched in 9.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 140mph. If you want to go faster, you can talk to your dealership about the pricier, more powerful Hybrid 225 variant, which offers 225PS and has to be had with sporty GSe trim, featuring lowered, stiffer suspension. The GSe 225 variant gets to 62mph in 7.7 seconds and has a 40 mile EV range. Either way, the PHEV powertrain adds quite a bit of weight to this car's EMP2 platform, but that shouldn't be particularly obvious unless you really start throwing car about.

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    Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

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