AM Online

Service warning standard on Astra

Longer service intervals – two year/20,000 miles (petrol) or two year/30,000 miles (diesel) – on GM's fifth generation Astra will be determined by a warning system that takes individual styles of driving into account when indicating when maintenance is due.

The extended intervals suggest some private buyers may see visit dealer workshops only once towards the end of the warranty period, barring breakdowns – the chance of which GM has been keen to minimise in pursuit of a quality reputation equal to that of its key rival, Volkswagen's Golf.

Many components in the new Astra – such as the fuel filter on petrol engines and the belt drive to the auxiliaries or the battery – are maintenance-free. There is also no need to change cooling system fluids, air conditioning or transmission oils during the lifetime of the vehicle.

New Astra hatchback production starts next month at Ellesmere Port in preparation for the model's May 1 launch. About £80m has been invested in the plant which also produces the Vectra, bringing GM Europe's total up-front bill for the new Astra to over £700m.

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