…the Vauxhall Astra GSe, a car that’s using the heritage of the GSi name in an electrified era to signify a quicker and sportier model. In this case the Astra GSe is not just a trim level, but a more powerful version of the Astra plug-in hybrid with a suspension tuned to offer more “dynamic and responsive” driving experience.
Power from the 1.6-litre petrol engine plus electric motor and battery rises to 225hp from 180hp in the rest of the Astra PHEV range. This increase in power results in a drop in the 0-60mph time, which is now 7.5 seconds rather than 7.7 secs).
Vauxhall is keeping this simple, there’s only one GSe trim levels
Standard equipment for the GSe includes 18-inch alloys, LED lights, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, lane keeping, speed sign recognition, 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, 10-inch digital driver’s display, Bluetooth, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, USB sockets, auto wipers, keyless entry and start, wireless phone charger, head-up display, dual zone climate control, heated front sports seats, powered driver’s seat with memory and (in the estate version) a powered tailgate.
Is The Vauxhall Astra GSe Suitable For My Fleet
With extra power comes a hit to efficiency. However, in the case of the GSe, this has a minimal impact. The official fuel figure is still 256mpg (we saw 149mpg over mostly town driving) while the CO2 figure is fractionally higher at 25g/km and sits in the same 8% BIK band as the regular PHEV. The EV-only range drops from 42 to 40 miles. However, the estate range is 39 miles and therefore in the 12% company car tax bracket.
Leasing A Vauxhall Astra GSe
Intelligent Car Leasing is offering the Astra GSe on a 3+36 contract for £661 with 10,000 miles a year. Monthly maintenance costs on the GSe are only £2 higher than the regular PHEV at £56, according to Gensen Reports and Class 1A NIC costs for a 20% tax payer are £32 a month.
Driving A Vauxhall Astra GSe
When FleetandLeasing.com drove the regular, 180hp, Astra PHEV, we declared it to be one of the best cars in the class thanks to good costs and efficiency and an excellent ride and handling combination.
So has the best just got better? Unfortunately not.
Yes, the Astra GSe is still efficient and it does feel quicker, but not by a great margin. While power is up to 225hp, the torque or shove is unchanged at 360Nm.
The lowered suspension and tuned steering work fine and don’t impact the ride quality too much.
What seems to be less impressive is the way the gearbox and hybrid system deal with the greater power. Smooth driving isn’t as easy thanks to inconsistent or hesitant changes within the automatic gearbox.
If you’re setting out to drive with a bit of verve then the GSe can be rewarding. However, for the 90% of the rest of your driving the lower power unit suits the car better.
What is even better than the regular Astra are the sports seats which give good support and are powered with a memory function. You also get more standard equipment than in the top specification Ultimate for almost exactly the same price.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The Vauxhall Astra GSe
Still a compelling car, but the standard Astra PHEV is a better fit for company car users.
Vauxhall Astra GSe
- Model: Astra GSe PHEV 1.6 225hp auto
- Power: 225hp
- Torque: 360Nm
- Max speed: 146mph
- 0-62mph: 7.5s
- Official mpg: 256mpg
- Test mpg: 149mpg
- Official range: 40 miles
- Test range: 25 miles
- CO2 emissions: 25g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 8%