RUNNING REPORT: THE 1ST THOUSAND MILES

Car: Astra Elite Nav 1.6CDTi (136) Auto

Mileage: 1045

Faults: None

As the first 1000 miles roll under the wheels, here’s a quick running report on WOY, our Astra Demo. The only problem is that there is very little to actually report other than the fact that the car has been faultless, the economy continues to impress, and living with a big, roomy estate car makes the mundane stuff easy – taking stuff to the tip was never so simple.

Engine & gearbox

This a 1.6CDTi 6-spd Auto and is the first time we’ve run one on our fleet, approaching it with caution due the preconceived ‘thirsty’ tag. Nothing could be further from the truth – as you can see, over the first 1045 miles WOY has returned a smidge over 50mpg, which is entirely acceptable and was achieved without undue effort on our part. In some ways it’s an old-school automatic gearbox, with no fancy ‘Sport’ modes or 15 forward and 3 reverse gears, but it does have an uncanny knack for being in the right gear at the right time (which is really the point of an auto box, isn’t it?) and for using the engine’s prodigious torque rather than wringing its neck and revving out to the red line. As the engine loosens we expect that economy to keep improving, and it will be interesting to see how near we can get to our 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo’s 56mpg over 15,000 miles!

Interior

Pretty standard Astra inside, although being an Elite Nav brings all the toys, including heated rear seats and steering wheel which have been used a lot during the cold snaps that seem very frequent! All the tech works as it should, and we’ve discovered a new feature – the fan is muted when you use the hands free. Nice touch.

Oh, and a quick round of applause for the Satnav, which as well as being easy to use, would appear to be psychic - it alerts you to traffic on the A483 as you approach on other roads giving ample time to take avoiding action. We hear this alert with depressing frequency...

Living with WOY

As mentioned, the huge boot makes supermarket trips and garden clear-outs a breeze, while parking sensors make docking easy – it’s only 5” longer than a hatchback Astra (13cm for modern folk) and no wider, so finding a space is not a concern. In fact, WOY is a very relaxing place to be with the powerful DAB radio, comfy, heated leather seats and that chilled-out gearbox.

We’ll keep you updated as the miles pile on.