New Vauxhall Astra GSe: plug-in hot hatch joined by Sports Tourer estate
Sporty new trim level joins the Astra Sports Tourer range
GSe is Vauxhall’s new performance sub-brand, indirectly replacing the old VXR models. The GSe Astra models utilise a hybrid powertrain with the Astra Hatch GSe sharing the same system as the Sports Tourer and the new Grandland GSe getting a more powerful plug-in hybrid unit.
The GSe uses the same plug-in hybrid system that is available elsewhere in the Astra range. It’s a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with a 12.4kWh battery providing a total output of 222bhp. Both the hatchback and estate model use the same eight-speed automatic transmission and offer a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 146mph.
A pure-electric range of up to 39 miles is available on the estate, where the hatch goes up to 40 miles. The hatchback also emits slightly less CO2 with 25g/km to the estate’s 26g/km.
The GSe hatchback starts from £41,050, with the Sports Tourer coming in at £43,250. For the extra outlay over the Ultimate trim level, you get a few exterior tweaks to differentiate the GSe as the sportier offering.
Along with the unique 18-inch wheels, there’s a black contrasting roof, tinted windows, blacked-out badging and a new front bumper. On the inside, the GSe receives Alcantara sports seats, a GSe-specific leather steering wheel and wireless smartphone charging and a head-up display as standard. The twin 10-inch screens on the dash are unchanged visually but do feature voice recognition.
Both cars also sit 10mm lower than the standard model thanks to bespoke adjustable dampers with 11 per cent stiffer springs. To accommodate for the revised suspension, Vauxhall has also recalibrated the GSe’s steering for improved feedback and added responsiveness.
Safety technology has also been upgraded for the GSe with forward-collision alert, active emergency braking, pedestrian detection and lane departure warning coming as standard.
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