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In the wake of the current chaos surrounding the VW scandal, the future of diesel is very much up in the air. With that in mind, petrol engines could find renewed favour in the corporate market, so we've tried Vauxhall's 150hp 1.4 Turbo petrol fitted to the impressive new Astra.
Why is it interesting?
Vauxhall has set up the Astra with a very aggressive pricing position, and this SRi Nav model comes in at well under £20,000, unlike any of its key rivals such as the Ford Focus, Peugeot 308, Seat Leon and VW Golf.
The new Astra is a massive step up from its predecessor in terms of interior quality and functionality, exterior styling and driving dynamics, as well as the pricing, and puts Vauxhall right back in the mix in this most important of company car sectors. The 1.4 petrol engine is also endearingly potent, and gives diesel lovers a serious alternative to consider.
How are the running costs?
Vauxhall impresses in residual value terms, beating all of the aforementioned rivals thanks to a 32.8% figure. Less impressive is the efficiency, with the turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol model emitting 128g/km of CO2. The equivalent Ford Focus is only 1g/km better, but the 308 and Seat are both down at 110g/km.
Any other business?
Vauxhall's impressive and very useful Onstar system, with emergency service alert, call centre support and wi-fi hotspot, is standard at this trim level, but isn't, unfortunately, further down the range, and that includes the Tech Line fleet trim, despite initial Vauxhall promises it would be standard across the line-up.
The diesel is still the way to go in overall efficiency and cost terms, but Vauxhall's excellent new Astra stacks up as a petrol, even if efficiency could be better