The new Opel Astra presented in 2021 comes from a long line of compact sedans at Opel. In the beginning, these were called Opel Kadett and since 1991, the name Opel Astra has prevailed. The new Opel Astra is the sixth of the name and unlike the five that preceded it, it is no longer 100% General Motors, since the German manufacturer has integrated PSA (and now Stellantis) and uses the bank of group organs. This is why the new Astra uses many elements of its French cousin Peugeot 308, starting with its technical base and its engines.
A studied design
If the Opel Astra 6 owes a lot to the Peugeot 308, it stands out completely with regard to its style. This one is totally different from that of the 308 and we can salute the work of the designers who gave a real personality to the German sedan. This is similar to what they have already done for the Opel Corsa, Mokka, Crossland and Grandland, models based on the Peugeot 208, Peugeot 2008, Citroën C3 Aircross and Peugeot 3008. The Opel line Astra is fluid with a long hood and marked shoulders. We find the Vizor grille, which equips all the brand’s new models with a long black band that connects the headlamps. These can be fitted with matrix technology, optional or standard with the Ultimate trim. A black roof (two-tone bodywork) dresses the high-end versions and we discover a nod to the Kadett in the form of shark gills at the end of the rear quarter panels like those that adorned the Kadett D and E (produced between 1979 and 1993).
In the passenger compartment, modernity is affirmed with the “Pure Panel” as standard. It is a digital assembly consisting of a 10-inch screen for the instrumentation and another 10-inch for the infotainment. We appreciate the interface of the infotainment screen designed like that of a smartphone, we also appreciate the physical controls (simple keys) placed below the screen. A personal assistant can also be there and when he responds to the “Hey Opel” signal, he adjusts the radio, the temperature… The refined atmosphere and high-level materials give this Opel Astra a little high-end fragrance. especially since the equipment is high-tech and that over the options, or depending on the finish, you can have a head-up display or even semi-autonomous driving systems (Intelli-Drive 1.0)… We are less enthusiastic on the other hand for the habitability, if the car is 4.37 m long, it is not seen inside and the rear seats are in the low average of the category. The trunk has a good capacity with 422 liters for the petrol versions, for the 180 hp plug-in hybrid it will only be 352 litres.
Gasoline, hybrid, but also diesel
Under the hood there is a choice between two 1.2 PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines called Turbo at Opel and which display 110 hp for the entry level and 130 hp for the most powerful (the latter can be associated with a manual gearbox or eight-speed auto). There is also a diesel offer. This is a 1.5 of 130 hp, it will appeal to large riders who will also have the choice between a manual or automatic transmission. Finally, automatic box only for the 180 hp plug-in hybrid version which can run on electric up to 60 km according to the technical sheet. Later in the year, a more powerful 225 hp version will complete the hybrid offer, while a 100% electric engine is planned for 2023.
Safe behavior and comfort
At the wheel, with the platform borrowed from the Peugeot 308, we could have expected incisive behavior as for the French sedan, this is not the case. Attention, the new Astra is more manageable than the generation which preceded it, but the direction is less incisive than on Peugeot 308. Opel wants to be more docile and considerate. The damping is firmer for better hold at high speed (sold on the German market, this car will be entitled to freeway portions without limitation). It does not neglect comfort, however, and driver and passenger can have seats approved by the German association AGR for back health. These can also be (for the most upmarket finishes or as an option) equipped with electrically adjustable lumbar and thigh supports.
The patient station wagon
Well placed in terms of its price/equipment ratio, the Astra sedan saw its prices increase three times in January, March and May before arriving at the dealership. That said, it displays lower prices than its two close cousins Peugeot 308 and DS 4 which are produced in the same factory as it, in Rüsselsheim in Germany. This Opel Astra will be like the previous one available in estate bodywork, but it will have to wait a bit, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer model not due to arrive until 2023.
The Opel Astra 6 in ten points
- Five-door, five-seat compact sedan
- Use of the Peugeot 308 EMP2 platform
- Production in Rüsselsheim (Germany)
- Dimensions (L x W x H in meters): 4.37 x 1.86 (2.06 with mirrors) x 1.44 to 1.47
- Turning circle: 10.51 m
- Minimum boot volume: 422 liters (Hybrid: 352 litres)
- Petrol engine: 1.2 Turbo 110 hp (BVM 6), 1.2 Turbo 130 hp (BVM 6 and BVA 8)
- Diesel engines: 1.5 Diesel 130 hp (BVM 6 and BVA 8)
- Hybrid engine: plug-in 180 hp (BVA 8). A more powerful 225 hp version will arrive in 2022
- Price: from €25,050 (Diesel: €29,450). Hybrid: €36,250
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