The Opel and compact success story started with the Kadett in 1936 and will be continued with the new Astra, the eleventh generation of an Opel compact class car. The next generation Astra is based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture and will only be driven by the latest generation engines and offers features previously only known from higher segments. The lean design makes the new Astra look more athletic than ever before.
In the words of Opel Ireland’s Managing Director “The new Astra is a quantum leap in technology, efficiency and design. It’s is not only lighter, more aerodynamic, agile and more efficient than ever before, it is also safer, more comfortable and stylish. It’s the best Astra that we have ever produced and we are sure that it will prove popular with customers in Ireland.”
A bold statement to make for sure but we have looked over the all new Astra and it’s backed up with a solid and strong offering by Opel. This combined with the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal which will still be at the forefront of customers minds when looking for a new purchase within the compact car sector, might potentially knock the formidable golf from its enviable position.
The Astra has lost a significant amount of weight ranging from a minimum of 120kgs up to 200kgs depending on the model you choose. That is a significant weight saving and will mean improved responsiveness from the model line-up.
There will be four trims available on the new Opel Astra in Ireland with standard features including:
- S model from €19,995: Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity, audio streaming, Aux-in and USB ports, air conditioning, remote control central locking, comfort front seats, hill start assist plus LED Daytime running lights
- SC (over S) €21,495: New generation IntelliLink system with 7 inch colour touch screen plus steering wheel mounted controls with 16-inch alloy wheels.
- SRi (over SC) € 24,495: Opel OnStar system, rain sensitive wipers, automatic lighting with tunnel detection, sports style front seats. A Driver assistance pack is also included featuring: Lane departure warning with lane assist, traffic sign recognition, following distance indicator, forward collision alert with autonomous emergency braking, front fog lights, plus 17-inch twin spoke alloy wheels
- Elite (over SC) € 25,995: Opel OnStar system, electronic dual zone climate control, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, automatic lighting control with tunnel detection, leather heated front and rear seats (inc. ergonomic sports style front seats), six premium speakers’ front fog lights, plus 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels.
The new Astra will also be the first Opel model that will be available with OnStar communications system from launch.
OnStar is what the company refers to as your motoring ‘Guardian Angel’ during every day journeys. It is basically a call centre in Germany that caters for your every need – on your short trip to work, or long-haul journey across Europe.
With the touch of a button you can contact emergency services, get roadside assistance, and even give GPS coordinates and they will download your destination straight to your sat nav for you or ask them to find the nearest garage or restaurant for you. OnStar is available 365-days-a-year at the push of a button.
Interior and Exterior Design
The new Astra is 50mm shorter than its predecessor while the width has been reduced by 5mm. According to Opel the most significant design cue is the ‘breakthrough’ C-pillar, which creates the impression of a floating roof while simultaneously stretching the car visually. The evolution of the Opel design philosophy ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’ ensures that the new Astra conveys a lighter, more athletic appearance.
The Astra will also feature the company’s new ‘Ergonomic’ seats, which took five years to develop. The seats are slim but firm, giving excellent back support, and can be adjusted in 18 different positions for that perfect lumbar support. The interior of the new Astra features sculpted shapes combined with premium materials and functional clarity: switches and controls are all reduced to an absolute minimum, supporting the efficiency and ease of use that is at the core of the Astra. The location of the infotainment system was carefully selected to ensure both an ideal view to the display as well as easy reach and use.
If you’re in the market for a new compact car you could do a lot worse than the new Opel Astra line-up. We’ll endeavour to bring you a full review once we do a full road test.
Engine Size 1.4 Ecotec Direct Injection Turbo
Fuel Type Petrol
Torque 245Nm (181 lb-ft)
Acceleration (0-100km/h) 8.5 seconds
Top Speed 216 km/h
Consumption 57.6 mpg
CO2 Emissions 114g/km
Road Tax €200 (Tax band A)
Base Price €19,995