The spy shots did not lie: the styling updates brought to the facelifted Opel / Vauxhall Astra are minimal.
Vauxhall has released the first photos of the 2020 Astra and the accompanying press release makes no mention of any design tweaks. A close look at the pictures reveals why: the only changes we could identify include the revised front bumper and new alloys.
So what is really new about the facelifted Astra then? Well, Vauxhall says the new model is up to 19 percent more efficient courtesy of new PSA-sourced 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engines and 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesels, as well as a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Furthermore, the Astra gains class-leading technology and equipment.
Starting off with the engines, the big news is the addition of the new 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit from PSA, available in three states of tune: 110 PS (109 hp) and 195 Nm (144 lb-ft), 130 PS (128 hp) and 225 Nm (166 lb-ft), and 145 PS (143 hp) and 225 Nm (166 lb-ft).
Each version is mated to a new PSA-sourced six-speed manual gearbox as standard and preliminary WLPT fuel consumption data shows a combined fuel economy as low as 53.3 mpg UK (5.3 l/100 km) with corresponding CO2 emissions of 120 g/km CO2.
Moving on to the diesel range, the facelifted Astra will be available with a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder common rail diesel engine available in two states of tune. There’s an entry-level unit that makes 105 PS (103 hp) and 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) of torque and a more powerful version producing 122 PS (120 hp) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque.
The base engine only comes with a six-speed manual while the range-topping one also offers the option of a nine-speed automatic — in which case peak torque is 285 Nm (210 lb-ft). Unsurprisingly, the diesels are the most economical, with a projected WLTP average fuel consumption as low as 64.2 mpg UK (4.4 l/100 km) and 117 g/km CO2.
Vauxhall says the gains in efficiency are also due to development in the wind tunnel, making the Astra five-door the most aerodynamic car in its class with a 0.26 Cd. The Astra Sports Tourer ranks among the most aerodynamic compact wagons with 0.25 Cd. Measures include a grille shutter system (both for the upper and lower grilles which open and close independently) for improved airflow, an engine compartment cover, deflector-shaped rear axle control arms, and underbody optimization.
Opel and Vauxhall also improved the Astra’s comfort levels by fitting new shock absorbers and options such as inductive wireless charging for smartphones, a high-end Bose sound system, and a heated windscreen.
As for the tech part, the 2020 Astra gains a new digital front camera that recognizes vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic signs, as well as a more powerful rearview camera that works in conjunction with the new Multimedia Navi Pro infotainment system.
Speaking of which, Vauxhall says the multimedia interface is smarter, faster and more intuitive while offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Customers can choose between three versions: Multimedia Radio, Multimedia Navi and Multimedia Navi Pro, the latter with an eight-inch touchscreen. A new instrument cluster with a digital speedometer has been added as well.