As part of a series of reviews for fleet management teams as well as private buyers, our team of experts took a look at the Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Exclusive. The initial feeling was that for a ride that looks terrific both on the outside and inside, the Astra is an excellent option. Its high quality plastic cabin is terrific for shutting out road noise and helps to provide a smooth ride.
There has been a lot of debate recently concerning Top Gear the comparison of petrol versus diesel engines, which has led to some fleets to look into entry level petrol motors as an alternative with the potential to prove to be a better cost alternative.
We tested the Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Exclusive, with a petrol engine, for a week’s time. And a value of 17,310 pounds. The 1.7L Ecoflex Exclusive is the closest comparison diesel alternative. Coming in at 18,740 pounds not only is it the more expensive option but also does not retain its value as well and has inferior steering.
Some interesting statistics are revealed by the operation cost comparison tool found on the website for Fleet News.
Although there are more tax benefits associated with the diesel engine, the petrol engine shows less value depreciation over time. The diesel provides better petrol mileage at 62.8mpg over the 44.8 of the petrol engine.
The main considerable factor is the cost per mile of vehicle operation. The cost of petrol is 1.47 pence more per mile over the cost of diesel. In an 80,000 mile span the difference is a cost of 1,176 pounds more.
Even considering only 60,000 miles, there is a difference of over 800 pounds. In high mileage situations the better bet as far as fuel value is still diesel.
The comfort of its ride, however, makes the Astra a great high mileage vehicle as well. A high class feel is given to the car through both a highly stylized exterior and a new and improved interior design.
There is also a generous amount of storage space with a minimum of 351L available. Unfortunately, this petrol option falls behind on efficiency leaving the line of Ecoflex diesel options as a more attractive option to many fleets.
Overall, although the Astra will hold much more appeal to low mileage drivers, the better choice for most long distance fleet situations remains with the diesel Ecoflex due to the better fuel economy.