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Vauxhall's most powerful ever diesel engine has made the transition from the Insignia to the Astra.
All three bodystyles - GTC coupe, Sports Tourer estate and the five-door hatch driven here - will receive the engine, and the timing coincides with a barely perceptible mid-life facelift for Vauxhall's fleet favourite, with new front and rear bumpers joined by increased use of chrome detailing and new options and colours across the range. But without putting pre- and post-facelift cars side by side, it's tricky to spot the changes.
The BiTurbo model is a 195hp version of the firm's 2.0-litre diesel engine aimed at Volkswagen's Golf GTD, of which a new version arrives next summer. The BiTurbo's efficiency impresses for such a powerful model, with CO2 emissions of just 134g/km and a fuel figure of 55.4mpg.
It's easy to spot the BiTurbo.
Coming in just the one trim level, it has a unique bodykit, twin exhaust pipes and 18-inch alloy wheels, while interior upgrades include bolstered leather seats, a sports steering wheel and alloy sports pedals.
There's also no mistaking it for any other Astra in the range on the road. We've already shown an affinity with this engine when we sampled it in the Insignia, and it's even better in the Astra with the two turbochargers offering excellent acceleration immediately when required, although like most Vauxhall diesels, refinement is still an issue, especially at idle and under acceleration.
The other issue is cost. At more than £24k, you're into the kind of cash that can get a pretty well-specced, although less powerful, premium hatch, which although won't perform quite as well as the BiTurbo, will have a BMW, Audi or Mercedes badge that will entice some potential buyers from what is - from a heart rather than head perspective - the pick of the Astra range.