REVIEW – OPEL ASTRA (2022) – BETTER THAN A VOLKSWAGEN GOLF?
The first Astra under the Stellantis flag is a fact. It has a completely new appearance and under the skin it no longer shares a nut or bolt with its predecessor. With the all-new, sixth-generation Opel Astra, the brand is opening the attack in the C-segment. Should the competition be concerned? AutoRAI.nl figured it out.
Best-selling car brand
Opel was the best-selling car brand in our country for more than 35 years. The Astra – and its predecessor the Kadett – were real crowd favorites. Opel was dethroned in 2004, but the brand is still high on the sales lists. Can the new Astra ensure a comeback to the top step of the podium?
Opel has recently been operating under the wing of the Stellantis group, after Opel was recently taken over from General Motors by the French PSA. The new Astra therefore shares many parts with its Stellantis brother, the Peugeot 308. For example, both cars are on the same EMP2 multi-energy platform. Just like the Peugeot, there will also be a fully electric version of the Astra.
Everything is different on the outside. The new Astra does not resemble the outgoing model in any way. Yet the design is very recognizable. That is due to the Opel family face — which we already know from the Mokka, Crossland and Grandland — that is now also stuck on the Astra: the Opel Vizor. This element runs over the entire width of the nose and consists of the headlights and a black intermediate panel in which all sensors for the different driver assistance systems are incorporated. The Astra comes standard with LED headlights — Matrix LED is also available — and sleek wing-shaped daytime running lights.
More luggage space
The new Astra is almost 4.4 meters long and has a slightly longer wheelbase compared to the previous model. In the second row of seats you have just a little more space for your legs. Adults are therefore well in the back, but with really long legs you will get into trouble. There is sufficient headroom. Of course, ventilation grilles and a USB-C connection should not be missing in the back. At the very back there is 422 liters of luggage space, about 50 liters more than before and 40 liters more than in a Volkswagen Golf. In the PHEV variant, the battery pack takes some space away, but the Astra Hybrid still scores better here than the Golf with plug.
The new Astra also looks hip and modern on the inside. The interior is almost completely digital. Analog clocks and meters are absent, instead you get two large 10-inch screens. They sit tightly together, so that it almost looks like one very large wide screen. Opel calls this the Pure Panel.
Screens and Buttons
The infotainment screen – the right screen – shows a sharp image with beautiful graphics and is easy to operate. Opel has kept the menus simple and clear, so that you can find everything quickly, without having to take your eyes off the road. In addition, there are many physical buttons with which you can directly operate the climate control. Handy when driving, because you can find it blind. Of course you can connect your mobile (wirelessly) with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Astra plug-in hybrid
The Astra is available for the first time as a plug-in hybrid and from 2023 also as a fully electric Opel Astra-e. But you can also get it with regular petrol engines. There is even a 130 hp diesel available, but that is less relevant for our country.
For the petrol versions, outputs range from 81 kW (110 hp) to 96 kW (130 hp), while the plug-in hybrid delivers 180 hp system power. Later, the PHEV is also available with 225 hp. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the petrol and diesel models. The PHEVs are always equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Thanks to a 12.4 kWh battery pack, the Astra can drive for sixty kilometers without burning a drop of petrol. In practice, that is of course less, but you should certainly be able to reach 45 kilometers. Seventy kilometers is even feasible in the city. The 110 hp electric motor is nice and spicy. Especially the first few meters shoot the Astra nice and fast off, if you deeply depress the accelerator. If you press the pedal to the bottom, the 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine switches on immediately. You hardly notice it – except that you hear it. The petrol and electric motor work perfectly together and the automatic transmission is always on point.
Prices Opel Astra
The Astra is available from 28,549 euros. For this you get the 110 hp 1.2 Turbo petrol version. With manual gearbox, the 1.2 Turbo with 130 hp costs at least 29,549 euros or 32,549 euros for the variant with eight-speed automatic transmission (EAT8). For the plug-in hybrid variant you pay a minimum of 34,899 euros.