With the acquisition of Opel by the French and integration into Stellantis, the Opel Astra shares its platform with the Peugeot 308 and DS4. The beginning of a new era for the Astra, which takes the opportunity to offer a rechargeable hybrid version. We tried it.
Since the acquisition of Opel by the French, Opel has found colors. Interior designers have given the new models a new recognizable front end. A new face that goes through the Vizor, a grille dressed in black, which is gradually found in all models of the brand.
But this first Stellantis-era Astra is also based on solid volumes and finely sculpted bodywork. Like the hood and the shields with a worked design. We recognize the Opel at first glance, something that had not happened for several decades.
A nice interior
Inside, too, Opel changes everything. Comfortably installed in AGR-certified seats, it benefits from good visibility and an excellent driving position. Unlike its cousin Peugeot 308, the Opel is not based on the iCockpit loved by Peugeot.
The Astra offers an equally modern but more streamlined dashboard. Although the set does not exude joy, the ergonomics are good and the interface intuitive. Opel’s goal is to offer a refined interior with a detox atmosphere.
Less buttons, less distractions, for focused drivers. The quality of construction and materials mark a great leap forward. This Astra inspires confidence.
Equipped with a 180 hp hybrid engine, our Opel Astra allows you to choose from three driving modes. Electric, which as its name suggests, allows you to drive in 100% electric, hybrid, normal mode, which allows you to use the internal combustion engine and electric motor, and Sport mode, which uses more gasoline engine … and your ears.
When starting, if the battery is charged, start in electric mode. What to leave quietly at home, without waking the neighbors. In electric mode, it is possible to do about forty kilometers with a light foot and reach 135 km / h.
An efficient chassis
From the first laps, Astra gives confidence. The course is good, and the turns are just a formality. By recovering the Peugeot 308 platform, the Astra changes worlds.
But its suspensions and rolling stock aren’t just borrowed from Stellantis ’catalog. Opel engineers have been there and have been able to fine-tune the Astra’s configuration. The car is a little firmer than its French cousin, without degrading comfort, even with 18-inch wheels.
It’s on the freeway and the freeway where you can really feel the difference. The famous “Autobahn hit” loved by Opel finds its perfect illustration here. It is precise, turns flat and the suspensions are designed to be able to drive at high speed in complete safety, of course on the German highway.
With the battery charged, in hybrid mode, fuel consumption is just under six liters per cent, which is a good value. Once the battery is empty, as is usually the case with plug-in hybrids, consumption rises to about eight liters in the combined cycle.
As always, you have to do your part. If you drive 50 miles a day in the city or in the countryside, and you can charge at home every day, plug-in hybrid technology will be very efficient.
If you only make long trips on the highway, it won’t be. The weight of the batteries, the very low range in 100% electric mode, are not adequate.
How do I charge the battery?
The net capacity of the battery is 10.7 kWh. It can be recharged in an 11 kW AC terminal in 4 hours. At home, in a domestic outlet, it will take 7 hours and five minutes. Ideal when you return home in the evening and leave in the morning.
Our test model had a € 7.4 kW “charger” option. A more robust integrated charger, which allows you to recharge in a terminal in just 1:55. Very little interest in the end, this type of vehicle is clearly designed to be loaded slowly in the evening at home or in the office.
Qualities that pay off
For this first test, we chose the 180 hp hybrid version. In a few months, a 225 hp version will be added. But this Astra is also available with 110 and 130 hp petrol engines. The starting price of this Astra starts at € 24,050 at the cost of some equipment sacrifices.
But our test model, an Opel Astra Ultimate 1.6 hybrid 180 hp BVA, still reaches € 43,700 without including options. It is true that the equipment is complete and the services up to par, but we compare it with the € 36,650 of a non-hybrid petrol version with the same high-end finish.
The price difference is € 7,050 between the petrol version and the hybrid version! Let’s be clear, excluding tax incentives, especially for businesses, this hybrid version will never be profitable.
Data sheet Opel Astra Ultimate 1.6 hybrid 180 hp BVA
Engine: hybrid gasoline and electric
Gasoline engine displacement: 1.6L 4cyl. direct turbo injection
Gasoline engine power: 150 hp at 4250 rpm
Torque: 250 Nm at 1750 rpm
Battery: lithium ion (Li-Ion)
Battery power: 12.4 kWh
Engine power 1: 110 hp at 2500 rpm
Maximum distance: 61 km
Gross battery power: 12.4 kWh
Cumulative power: 180 CV
Torque: 360 Nm a – rpm
Top speed: 225 km / h
WLTP combined consumption: 1.10 to 1.40 L / 100 km
Consumption recorded during the test: 6.8 l / 100 km
Weight: 1678 kg
Tank size: 45 liters