Opel Astra: Punching above its Weight

Opel Astra in Action

The Opel Astra is a pretty car in a saturated market – Kia, Hyundai, Ford, Toyota and VW all have a model in this segment, and they’re all pretty much the same. However, there are little things make the Astra stand out.

Opel has invested money and time into creating a budget version of a business sedan. It seems to have everything an expensive business vehicle should, but for a fraction of the price.

The extras available to the driver and passengers are many. The cabin is spacious, with a design that has passenger-comfort in mind. There is ample space for a six-foot-plus driver and four equally sized passengers without feeling too cramped.

Astra has had a makeover. OnRoute put this sedan through its paces on a short test drive…

The sound system is superb, and the seats, both front and rear, are very comfortable. The controls and the car’s internal system are configured in a way that gives the cabin great flow and makes operating the internal systems easy while driving. And, there’s plenty of boot space, which means it offers a practical element too.

We tested the 1.6 Turbo Cosmo Sedan and the engine packs a punch well above its weight. For a sedan of that size, the nippy little engine means the car handles like a sports hatch, delivering great off-the-line speed, and 132kW engine can get you from standstill to 100km/h in a shade under nine seconds. With performance like that and a top speed of just over 220km/h, you would expect the Astra to devour petrol like a kid devours sweets at a party, but the Astra has a claimed consumption of around seven litres per 100km. Even if Opel’s estimates are a little off with those numbers, it is safe to assume that anything in that ball park is exceptional.

The fuel price is constantly on the up, so many are compromising performance for economy. Luckily for them, the new Astra Sedan offers a bit off both. The Astra Sedan is priced very competitively starting at around R240 000 all the way to the top end at around R285 000. This is not particularly cheap in the grand scale of things, but when weighed up against its competitors, the Astra Sedan is going to raise a few eyebrows in the motoring industry and probably a few heart rates on the roads