VAUXHALL is billing it as a brand-new Astra, but don't be fooled. For the latest versions of the Luton-based company's compact hatchback and estate models are merely re-engined and mildly tweaked versions of the existing model.
You'll have to wait a couple of years for the all-new, next generation Astra which will make use of the latest platform and technology from new owners Peugeot-Citroen (aka the PSA Group), which may, or may not, be built at Ellesmere Port on Merseyside depending on the Brexit deal.
In the meantime, the Astra has to compete with Ford's recently-launched new Focus, so come November, Vauxhall will launch a revised, 2020 edition of the existing model with new, more efficient three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and a number of minor improvements under the skin, all designed to improve fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
Three 1.2 litre petrol engines will be offered with power outputs of 110, 130 and 145bhp each mated to a six-speed manual transmission plus a 145bhp 1.4 litre unit with a new seven-speed continuously variable transmission.
The new 1.5-litre, diesel engine offers outputs of 105PS and 122PS and both come with a six-speed manual gearbox, while a new nine-speed automatic will be an option on the most powerful diesel.
The Astra's chassis has been further developed with new shock absorbers while a new smaller and more powerful digital front camera is available which recognises pedestrians as well as vehicles. Selected models will also come with a more powerful, digital rear view camera, Bose sound system and heated windscreen.
Prices will be announced next month, say Vauxhall, and will probably show a small increase over the current range.