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All-New Opel Astra Demands To Be Driven.

New Opel Astra Demands To Be Driven.

The all-new Opel Astra Hatchback encapsulates precision engineering and legendary German build quality in an ultra-modern and stylish body shell. Opel is no stranger to producing stylish cars these days, and the new Astra employs the brand’s new image that centres around the ‘Vizor’ front, similar to the latest Crossland, Mokka and Grandland models. A black panel discreetly incorporates some vents for cooling, and frames the slim LED headlights. The horizontal lighting signature combines with the sharp crease running down the centre of the bonnet to create a compass-like appearance when viewed head-on. It is a feature that is repeated at the rear of the car, and it adds distinctive visual appeal.

ICE For Now, Electric To Follow.

Powering the new Astra are a mixture of petrol and diesel internal combustion engines (ICE), with plug-in hybrid and pure-electric versions due in the months ahead. Petrol power comes courtesy of a pair of 1.2-litre 3-cylinder units with a choice of 110bhp or 130bhp, while the sole diesel engine has a 1.5-litre capacity and produces 130bhp and 300Nm of torque. The Astra is, for now, available in a five-door hatchback body style only, but an estate version (called Astra Sports Tourer) will follow soon, and will appeal to families looking for even more practicality. The new Astra is just 4mm longer than its predecessor, but a 13mm increase in distance between the front and rear axles (wheelbase) does result in noticeably more legroom for rear seat passengers.

Trim Variants.

Trim levels in the new Opel Astra consist of SC, SRI and Elite variants, all of which come with key standard equipment such as: stylish alloy wheels (up to 18” – model dependent), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth audio streaming, Opel Connect, 3-spoke flat-bottom leather steering wheel, ISOFIX child seat fixings on two rear seats, Lane Keep Assist, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights with automatic high beam assist, LED front fog lights, LED rear lights, and tow-bar attachment provision, along with a host of advanced safety systems. Sporty SRI trim brings with it adaptive cruise control, keyless entry & start, dual-zone electronic climate control, AGR certified driver seat with 8-way seat adjustment, heated front seats, driver centre armrest with storage, black painted roof, 17” Kadett black alloy wheels, jet black cloth & leather-effect seat trim, and sports style front & rear bumpers, along with a Black Pack consisting of a black Opel logo and Vizor frame, and a high gloss black Astra rear badge. Range-topping Elite trim includes equipment previously only seen on premium brand models. Key features include 18” Pentagon bi-colour diamond cut alloy wheels, Jet Black Nappa perforated leather upholstery with massage & ventilation functions, and driver and front passenger sports AGR seats. AGR is essentially a ‘Campaign for Healthier Backs’ and the certified Opel ergonomic seats are designed to provide supreme comfort on long-distance travel.

Interior Detox.

Opel’s designers have come up with what they call an interior detox for the Astra, meaning less clutter and a pared-back look. What was previously a sea of dark plastics strewn with buttons is now a vista of crisp lines and digital displays. The dashboard fascia is a stylish gloss black affair with two display screens inset within. Ahead of the pleasingly slim steering wheel is a 10-inch digital instrument panel, while a similarly sized touchscreen is subtly angled towards the driver and is supported by a bank of physical buttons for climate control and features such as the heated seats. Build quality within the Astra’s spacious cabin is commendable, and the materials used look and feel like they will stand up very well to the demands of family life. Boot capacity measures in at an impressive 422-litres with the rear seats in their upright position. However, this increases to 1,339 litres when the split-folding rear seats are dropped, and a wide boot aperture makes loading bulky items an easy task.  

Test Car.

My Astra Elite 1.5-litre diesel test car was fitted with a six-speed manual, and was finished in Perla Black metallic paint, which is a perfect colour to highlight the elegant chrome detailing on the front, rear and sides of the car. With 130bhp and 300Nm of torque on offer, the car can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 10.6-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 209km/h (where permitted). While the Astra may share many of its underpinnings with the plush-riding Peugeot 308, Opel’s engineers have tweaked the suspension and steering set-up differently, and the result is a car that is more engaging than before. The Astra’s steering is light and accurate in equal measure, giving the driver plenty of confidence behind the car’s sporty multi-function steering wheel. An excellent suspension set-up provides terrific handling characteristics through corners by minimising body roll to ensure the Astra remains impressively level even during sudden changes of direction. Fuel consumption as low as 4.5l/100kms on a WLTP combined driving cycle enables a potential range of up to 1,155kms from the Astra’s 52-litre fuel tank. A 13-litre AdBlue tank is also present, and the driver will receive plenty of notice when this needs topping-up by way of a reminder on the digital dashboard display.


The all-new Opel Astra has made a gracious return to form with a package that is suitably modern, and very well equipped. The Astra is a clear step forward in quality and driver enjoyment, and is more desirable and capable than ever before. Opel has to be commended for its competitive pricing policy too, with the new Astra priced from just €27,995 (ex-works). Opel’s suitably-impressive German-made family hatchback is on sale now, and it comes with a comprehensive 3-year/100,000km warranty, along with a 3-year AA Ireland roadside assistance package for total peace-of-mind.

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