If you have trouble hiding your relationship with the Peugeot 308, the sixth generation Opel Astra easily stands out from the previous version … to the point that it’s hard to find common ground between the two cars!
Definitely more modern, it radically changes its look and hybridizes for the first time. An evolution that pays to allow the return of Opel to the forefront? Answer in this test of the new Astra.
New generation or new car?
The first Opel Astra hit our roads in 1991 and then replaced the aged Kadett. Today, almost one would be tempted to say thatthere were more similarities at that time between Kadett and her heiress than between the fifth and sixth generations of Astra!
But if this newcomer radically changes his appearance, he retains the DNA of his glorious elders. As early as 1936, the Opel Kadett was launched to “bring technology to as many people as possible” and even “the best of today’s technology.” Brand officials say that this motto has guided them even further in the development of the Astra 2022.
It must be said that the challenge is great for the German manufacturer. He is now part of the Stellantis group (and its 14 brands), Opel is positioned in the general premium segment (or “mainstream superior”), alongside Peugeot in particular. But if she shares more and more things with her cousin Sochaux, the blitz brand now claims her brotherhood. The desire is to break the codes of the German car, bringing a touch of joy to life, a more “Latin” spirit …
This translates in part into “exciting” communication and the design of new models (we’ll get back to that). After a severe period of lean (which may have called into question the very future of the brand), Opel seems to be back in the foreground. He testifies a 27% increase in orders during the first 4 months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.
After the new Grandland and Mokka, the sixth generation Astra must therefore allow Opel to continue its recovery. To do this, you can count on its new hybrid engine, which is part of the electrification campaign for the entire range in 2024.
Driving the new Opel Astra PHEV
Since Opel is positioned as the German equivalent of Peugeot, it’s not uncommon to see the new Astra share so many things with the 308. Starting with the platform, of course: the two cars are therefore a similar size with 4m37 long and 1m47 high. for our elegant German.
A car that stands out
Lowered by 15 mm compared to the previous generation and benefiting from an elongated wheelbase of 13 mm, the Opel Astra has a slimmer silhouette, but well planted on its 4 wheels. This sporty impression is enhanced by the black roof and the spoiler present in our trial version.
In front, the eye is immediately attracted to the new face of the German compact (the famous Vizor) and this now inevitable black grille. Stretched, even LED lights (with Matrix Intelli-Lux Pixel Light adaptive lighting), it contrasts with the Kompass vertical rib that literally “bars” the hood. This verticality is also reflected in the rear of the car, with the 3rd brake light with an atypical design.
All this contributes to the Astra being easily identifiable on the road, although you can’t help but think of the 308 looking at its profile …
Jump in time
Also inside, the progress is important with respect to the fifth generation born in 2015. And to prove that this Astra is really new, Opel does not hesitate to highlight the smallest details, such as its all-new steering wheel: without reinventing the steering wheel, it is just a testament to the evolution of the car …
Fortunately, there are other more obvious changes in this cabin, starting with the Fully digital Pure Panel cabin. In use, however, these two 10-inch screens did not dazzle us so much (because of a too wide edge, no doubt), although its use is still intuitive.
The brand goes even further by talking about their new baby as “the most connected vehicle in the Opel range”. In addition to the two cabin tabs, this technological paraphernalia translates (depending on the level of finish) into 3 USB ports, induction charging for the smartphone, voice commands in natural language (after the requirement ). Hi Opel), an indoor air pollution detection system, a front display with customizable widgets, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto wireless compatibility and a number of driving aids (adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go system, lane maintenance, 360 ° camera, etc.).
High-tech, the new Astra does not forget to be just as comfortable. Adaptive seats (from the Elegance level) have heating, ventilation and massage, and legroom is generous, both front and rear. The volume of the trunk, between 422 and 1339 liters, places the compact Opel in the good average of the segment (albeit slightly below the Mégane).
Please note that the PHEV hybrid version does not suffer too much from the presence of batteries (located in the middle of the vehicle and not in the rear), with a minimum of 352 liters.
The rechargeable hybrid, a decisive advantage?
Unlike many of its peers, Opel has not yet banned heat engines from its catalog. Thus, the new Astra will still be able to house the 1.2 3-cylinder petrol engine of 110 or 130 horsepower. Even more amazing, a 1.5 l and 130 horsepower diesel block is also on the menu.although, he suspects, it should not account for the bulk of sales.
On the other hand, the Rüsselsheim compact is for the first time a 180-horsepower rechargeable hybrid engine and it is the one we were able to test on the Perche roads. Combining a two-wheel drive 1.6 Turbo engine with two-wheel drive with an electric motor with e-BVA8 transmission, the Astra PHEV lacks dynamism.
Here, it is not the 7.7 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h that matters, but the overall behavior of the vehicle. At ease in the city, it also knows how to give the necessary power when it is necessary to advance or it is wanted to have fun in more winding routes (in spite of the somewhat rigid suspensions).
With this quiet and more rhythmic alternation of road and country road, consumption will not exceed 4.9 l / 100 km (obviously far from the 1.2 l of WLTP data) at the end of our 180 mile journey. The small electric motor, meanwhile, will have allowed us to drive for 32 km in zero emissions mode (time to leave Paris, in short).
In short, our opinion on the new Opel Astra
This test of the new Astra will have confirmed that “something is happening” to the German manufacturer right now. After difficult years, Opel seems ready to challenge its many competitors and follow in the footsteps of its Sochaux counterpart (among others).
The sixth generation Opel Astra benefits from a truly successful design, the car knowing how to stand out with its yellow dress with its black roof! Inside, the progress is considerable although we are a little dissatisfied with certain details and finishes.
Our 180-horsepower hybrid version helps make the Astra a car in tune with the times, although we are already looking forward to discovering the future 225-horsepower GSe hybrid version (announced for October 2022) and even the 100% electric version, not to mention the Sports Tourer estate for 2023.
On the price side, the 2022 vintage of the Opel Astra is available from € 25,050 in its 110 hp petrol version, € 29,450 for the 130 hp diesel and € 36,250 for the plug-in hybrid. A note that can even reach € 45,850 in our fully equipped Ultimate version.