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More Astras are sold in the UK than anywhere else and, according to GM Europe's engineers, if a car's chassis works here, it'll work anywhere - at least, up to 60mph; for development above that speed you'll want Germany.

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The steering's lighter and more positive than in the current Astra; well weighted, with good speed and fine accuracy. It feels fairly natural, if lacking the outright engagement that you get from a Ford Focus's rack. It's a bit more like a Volkswagen Golf's, in that respect: smooth and natural, if not aimed at the enthusiast.

Ditto the handling, one suspects.

Full prototype review here: http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/first-drives/2015-vauxhall-astra-14-turbo-prototype-review
 

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The entry level unit is a 99bhp 1.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol unit which emits 124g/km, but the most interesting small engine option will be a new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo petrol engine. Good for 104bhp and 124lb ft of torque from well below 2000rpm, a version of the engine is already offered in both the Adam and the new Corsa.

The 1.4-litre turbo option Autocar has already driven provides 148bhp and 175lb ft and is estimated to return up to 55mpg with CO2 emissions of around 128g/km. A lower output 1.4-litre turbo rated at 124bhp will also be offered. The top petrol engine is a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine producing 197bhp which will be avaialble from January 2016.

The 1.6-litre diesel models offer the greenest options. Both the 109bhp and 135bhp versions are available with automatic and manual gearbox options. The Ecoflex version emits just 82g/km and has a claimed economy figure of 91mpg. A higher output biturbo diesel will be offered in early 2016 on SRi and Elite trims only.
 
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