First drive: Vauxhall Astra Electric. We want to love you… but we can’t. | Electrifying

#electriccars #vauxhallastraelectric #vauxhallastra

Read the evaluation:

If you are of a more mature persuasion, you might keep in mind when there was an Astra on every street corner. Today, conventional hatchbacks seem heading towards extinction– an inevitable side effect of our love affair with the SUV. The as soon as mighty Ford Focus is being killed off and rumours of the Volkswagen Golf's demise are rife.

But there's one automobile business bucking the trend. Vauxhall believes that there's a lot of life left in the standard hatchback and is about to launch a totally electrical variation of its Astra. Will it be the saviour of the five-door hatch? Can it push back the unrelenting tide of SUVs?

On paper, the doesn't make a strong start. While arch competing VW and others established electrical cars particularly around the electrical bits, Vauxhall electrical designs share their body with other powertrains – which results in a couple of compromises. Although somewhat longer than the ID.3 at 4,370 mm, the Astra uses less area in the rear and has the smaller boot at 352 litres – which is also a little smaller sized than an MG4 or Leaf and rather a lot less than a Kia Niro ..

Look at the spec sheet and the Astra's hand looks a little weak. The battery is a meager 51kWh and you'll only have the ability to charge it at an optimum of 100kW. But the electrical bits are quite sophisticated, and if the figures are to be thought, incredibly efficient too..
It's the same powertrain we've already attempted in the Jeep Avenger however in the sleeker Astra it results in a possible 258-miles of range according to the official figures.

But there's a problem. Speak about the costs and Vauxhall's employers begin to shift annoyingly. The Astra is slower than all of its crucial competitors. It has less equipment. It's not a superior brand name and has a smaller sized battery. It has a pretty standard service warranty. So it must be more affordable, right?.

Well, no. The most affordable GS grade is just under ₤ 40,000 and the better-equipped 'Ultimate' is ₤ 43,110. In comparison a leading tier Megane is ₤ 41,995, or ₤ 39,495 for the mid level – both have bigger batteries and far more power. A top Cupra Born V3 with the 58kWh battery is ₤ 40,150, an ID.3 Pro S with the larger 77kWh battery is ₤ 42,870..

But the killer is a Tesla Model 3. It has a 305 mile variety, a 5.8 second 0-60 time and charging which is twice as fast because devoted network. Its sale price is ₤ 42,990 and there are cars and trucks in stock today which are ₤ 38,790. And we won;' t even point out the ₤ 36,000 MG4 which provide either supercar efficiency (the Xpower) or a 300 mile plus range. That makes the Astra a pretty tough sell, unless you stress over insurance premiums..

Sign up with Nicola as she takes a first drive of the new in the UK for the very first time. Are you a fan of the brand-new ? Is it on your shortlist? Let us understand in the remarks below.

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Comments

55 responses to “First drive: Vauxhall Astra Electric. We want to love you… but we can’t. | Electrifying”

  1. David Taylor Avatar
    David Taylor

    I don’t want an EV to go fast, just give us a good range at an affordable price.

    1. FFVoyager Avatar
      FFVoyager

      So did I.

      So I bought a used Hyundai Ioniq 28kWh. Getting around 6mi/kWh and 160 mile range at the moment.

    2. ShitpommfritFraz Avatar
      ShitpommfritFraz

      Just get a normal MG4 then

    3. R Avatar
      R

      How about in 2024 Byd Seagull,250 miles range, 5 door hatchback,for only $11,000 Euros that’s affordable right?

    4. FFVoyager Avatar
      FFVoyager

      @R it’s not for sale in the UK.

    5. R Avatar
      R

      @FFVoyager bummer

  2. Ian Tullie Avatar
    Ian Tullie

    Wow. Ten grand too expensive to be competitive.

  3. Brian Avatar
    Brian

    The basic problem/issue here, is that the new Astra isn’t a “ground up” electric car. It’s a ” we sell ’em with an engine or as as an EV” car…… And as a result, there are compromises…..

    1. Alexander Stefanov Avatar
      Alexander Stefanov

      Absolutely, when ground up rwd EVs are available at the same or lower price

    2. MrKlaw Avatar
      MrKlaw

      there isn’t anything wrong with a ‘converted ICE’ if designed from the start to be flexible. The original Kona/e-niro was an ICE platform and they were hugely popular and efficient. This seems like a decent small family car – good efficiency etc. Its just too expensive

    3. Noah_E Avatar
      Noah_E

      If a car is comprised of thousands of parts and all but a few are the same as an ICE, why not share a platform, making production easier and cheaper. The ICE has been getting incrementally better for almost a century (the Model T was the first auto to function like a modern car in many respects). They just work. Why throw away all that knowledge? When you do that you end up with problems like flush door handles and charge ports that don’t open in winter and dumb decisions like CUVs without basic stuff such as rear wipers or glove boxes and designs that annihilate cargo space to add a fraction to range, like in the Ioniq6.

    4. Eric Wadge Avatar
      Eric Wadge

      @MrKlaw The thing is that Opel/Vauxhall form part of the Stellantis group and on the same platform sell the Peugeot e208 and e2008, the Opel Corsa, the Citroen eC4 and DS eTense as well as the Jeep Avenger. You would think that with so many models with a shared platform it would be worth their while to do one dedicated EV platform (similar to what VW did with the ID 3, ID 4, Audi Q4 and other models.

    5. computerbob06 Avatar
      computerbob06

      ​@Eric WadgeWent well for VAG, massive reduction in sales now – possibly should have concentrated on getting the software right as well!

  4. neill gatley Avatar
    neill gatley

    That a great review, full of opinions based on the driving experience. In the years it took for stellantis to bring out an electric Astra, why didn’t they conclude that the Astra is expensive for what it is? This is an open goal for MG and BYD. It sounds like the long awaited astra estate will be priced closer to the porsche taycan cross turismo than the MG 5. If you really want one, it’s probably wise to site on your hands and wait for them to be disconnected. For my money, the Chinese cars with room in the back for humans seem to fit the bill. Once the Chinese have copied the Astra buttons, I am not sure it will have a USP.

    1. FFVoyager Avatar
      FFVoyager

      My guess is that Stellantis don’t have enough batteries to make enough cars if they drop the price.

    2. Daniel Stefanovic Avatar
      Daniel Stefanovic

      @FFVoyager Nah its more like even at this price they barely make any money on it.

    3. FFVoyager Avatar
      FFVoyager

      @Daniel Stefanovic I’m sure the margins are tight.

    4. Daniel Stefanovic Avatar
      Daniel Stefanovic

      @FFVoyager Yep stellantis should have been forward thinking and by now having a factory in china that builds theyre cars cheaper then ship to europe, also they should make a deal with byd or catl to get cheaper lfp batteries instead,

  5. CastleKnight7 Avatar
    CastleKnight7

    I’d much rather have the MG4 XPOWER for less money. What are Vauxhall thinking?!

    1. Steven Jones Avatar
      Steven Jones

      Sleep walking into disaster.

  6. Toby Bushnell Avatar
    Toby Bushnell

    Vauxhalls have always been overpriced for what they are but 40k for that “meh”-mobile. What were they thinking?? Get a base model MG4 with £13k in change OR spend £42k and get a Polestar 2.

    1. Alexander Stefanov Avatar
      Alexander Stefanov

      I’d spend the 42k on a Kia EV6 or ioniq 6 myself, but of course you’re correct, and the base MG4 is a very good car

    2. Potter Li Avatar
      Potter Li

      Fairly sure you can get the MG4 x power (435bhp) for 36k.

    3. Slightlybored Avatar
      Slightlybored

      The petrol model is priced about the same as the Focus and looks a lot better. It’s the Stellantis 50% EV charge so they can make massive profits on batteries.

    4. SHROOMY Avatar
      SHROOMY

      @Potter Li You can, they mention that in the video but if you value range over speed and wanna save cash, long range MG4 is better.

    5. Potter Li Avatar
      Potter Li

      @Slightlybored I understand that they need to make money from the EV model and they have to price the car higher than the ICE or PHEV version but their starting price for the Astra is outrageous consider you touching the luxury brand territory. For the EV mode of the Astra, it makes zero sense to buy one for 40k.

  7. Stephen clay Avatar
    Stephen clay

    I agree with your conclusion the price is over the top for a car with that battery size and power. The Kia Niro has a bigger battery more power and 7 year warranty for the same money or less spec dependent.

  8. Greg Cooper Avatar
    Greg Cooper

    For me at £40k Stellantis should be putting a battery that can do 350miles range at least in this (and the e308). A buyer has compromised on cabin space, but that miles/kwh figure would make it a high mileage drivers dream. The estate version would be a company car drivers dream… Stellantis have cocked this up in my opinion…

    1. FFVoyager Avatar
      FFVoyager

      Nobody needs a ‘350’ mile range though. Batteries cost and weigh a lot, carrying them costs energy, the energy lost from dragging around a huge battery pack is a law of diminishing returns. Smaller capacity makes a lighter battery pack. Fast charging (with appropriate cooling) should cost less to make and use.

    2. Greg Cooper Avatar
      Greg Cooper

      @FFVoyager I’d rather have a 350 mile wltp range for the days I do 260-300 mile round trips where I can charge at home for 10p per kWh than having to rely on public chargers that are a lot more expensive. So not everyone needs that range, but some drivers do. Just because you may not need it doesn’t mean that applies to everyone. At £40k drivers like me are going to be looking at other cars that can do over 300 miles, but it’s a shame as I don’t necessarily want an suv or crossover, so the 308sw was something I was genuinely considering, but not anymore

    3. Slightlybored Avatar
      Slightlybored

      The Astra petrol is priced very well. Stellantis takes reasonably priced petrol models adds a few thousand £/€/$ in batteries then adds 50% to the price of the car. There’s a reason private car EV sales have flatlined at 6%.

    4. FFVoyager Avatar
      FFVoyager

      @Greg Cooper I’m sure YOU would. Some others seem to want to tow a caravan to Scotland from the south coast every week – but potential customers are already (rightly) complaining about the cost of the car! Adding huge batteries to a vehicle that very few people will ever drive 350 miles in one hit isn’t really sensible. Making an efficient vehicle that charges fast would be a more affordable and accessible solution.

    5. FFVoyager Avatar
      FFVoyager

      @Slightlybored really? An Astra in mid-range spec is £29,855!

  9. Pete Hampton Avatar
    Pete Hampton

    Legacy auto are in real trouble. Their cost base is far higher than dedicated EV Co’s like MG or Tesla & unless they radically rethink their offer their inexorable decline will accelerate. The Astra is a good case in point. Expect to see some mega mergers in the coming years.

    1. Alexander Stefanov Avatar
      Alexander Stefanov

      Stellantis is a mega merger though, FCA and PSA. I agree with you though, they need to change their plans or the Chinese will decimate them, Hyundai/Kia at least make a fantastic car despite being expensive, I can’t understand why anyone would choose this over the Korean offerings, or mg4 or byd in the lower price class

    2. Pete Hampton Avatar
      Pete Hampton

      @Alexander Stefanov Completely agree. The Stellantis formation is just the start of the consolidation of the legacy brands. I can see VAG, who are in deep trouble merging with another, perhaps BMW or Mercedes. Their debt levels are horrific. Ford & GM are both toast and as for the Japanese, I dont even think they want to realise the trouble they’re in. As for JLR & Polestar, their volumes are almost irrelevant. You’re right about Hyundai/Kia, they do seem an outlier in the legacy world, but they too have horrific levels of debt. The next 5 years will see radical transformation in the legacy sector, all whilst the Chinese and Tesla clean up.

    3. Alexander Stefanov Avatar
      Alexander Stefanov

      @Pete Hampton it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the Japanese manufacturers. Subaru might go majority to Toyota, they already own dihatsu. Mitsubishi is Renault Nissan already. Maybe honda and Mazda will merge, they have compatible client bases.

    4. BordersW123 Avatar
      BordersW123

      MG isn’t a dedicated EV Co’.

    5. Alexander Stefanov Avatar
      Alexander Stefanov

      @BordersW123 the MG4 is a dedicated EV platform though, and RWD

  10. animationcreations42 Avatar
    animationcreations42

    The Astra is by faaaaar the best looking car in it’s class, like you say it’s just such a shame about the price! I’d take the MG4 any day on price alone

    1. Jon Donnelly Avatar
      Jon Donnelly

      don’t agree, it’s gross.

  11. Billy Heywood Avatar
    Billy Heywood

    Spot on from Nicola, nice car, £10k too expensive for what it is. It’s on a shared ICE platform, it should be cheap. Stellantis have lost the plot

    The Citroen EC-4 is a nicer car on the same platform and is £32k

    1. Titan Avatar
      Titan

      Exactly! This platform is used across several brands, cars within each brand and drivetrains. Economies of scale would mean lower cost. How tf is it still so expensive then?!

    2. Billy Heywood Avatar
      Billy Heywood

      @Titan the Citroën E-C4 is a nicer car on the same platform and is £32k. Vauxhall are crazy

  12. rml695 Avatar
    rml695

    I think I’m hooked on that turn signal noise lol I also like how it looks 🙂 Although I will say $51-$53k (rough “almost but not quite” conversion if they were available stateside) for something like that is too much.

    1. Casper Hansen Avatar
      Casper Hansen

      I don’t think you can convert the proce directly since there are probably a lot of purchase taxes in UK as in most parts of Europe.
      A Tesla Model 3 SR costs £42.990 so you can compare it to that
      But since the price is about the same I know which one I would prefer

  13. Manuel Casado Oliver Avatar
    Manuel Casado Oliver

    That Astra is £10k overpriced. The strategy of selling less cars for more money is unlikely to work going forward

  14. stuart bear Avatar
    stuart bear

    It’s a good looking car but seriously expensive. It is a shame that the big manufacturers are charging (no pun intended) so much when there are other makers out there that give better performance and range.

  15. Jonathan Oakden Avatar
    Jonathan Oakden

    Nicola has proven to be a fantastic addition to the channel. Her reviews are excellent.

    1. Adrian Carey Avatar
      Adrian Carey

      Yes she’s quirky and great fun. Am I allowed to say that now?

  16. Barry Ward Avatar
    Barry Ward

    I’d say so long as it can pull away fast enough when you need to, I wouldn’t worry so much about the numbers. However, the price numbers are more concerning. I’d definitely take an MG4 over this any day. Did Vauxhall even look at the competition?

  17. Pete Dee Avatar
    Pete Dee

    Great review – In my opinion, Nicola is one of the best automotive journalists there is, engaging, informative, and most importantly her reviews are not formulaic.

  18. Steve Morton Avatar
    Steve Morton

    I recently hired the same car but the petrol auto version with 8 speed dsg!!! it was a bit frantic on the mountain pass roads between Slovenia and Austria. The tech was very good though very similar to the Renault Megane ETech I drive each day.

  19. wellibob Avatar
    wellibob

    Nobody delivers like Nicola. Nice & Fine are my current favourite words. Bravo 🎉

  20. David Mehlhorn Avatar
    David Mehlhorn

    Love Nichola’s reviews. Down to earth and tells us what we want to hear about what the car is like to drive, how comfortable it is, the ease of operation of the controls etc. As for the price of the Astra, Nicola is right in that the Chinese cars are a serious rival to European cars now, particularly on price. European car manufacturers need to get real on their pricing as EV’s are too expensive.

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