Forty years, what is it? Half a human life? The age when the hair, if any, turns gray? In a car, it’s the time needed to go from that to that.
This (below in red) is an Opel Kadett D, sold over two million units between 1979 and 1984, here in the Caravan station wagon version. This is the fourth generation of a car whose name became Astra in 1991.
And that, in blue, is the new Astra (called Astra L), of which this Sports Tourer station wagon version will be launched at the end of the year.
To properly measure the evolution between these two, it is advisable to settle on board the grandma, in the middle of summer in Russelsheim, stronghold of the brand at the Blitz. 4-speed manual gearbox, up to 1,060 kilos all wet, no power steering or ABS or air conditioning.
A car without electronics but easy to drive and on board which you can enjoy a good peripheral view, thanks to large glass surfaces. The Astra, it shares more with a Peugeot 308, which it takes over the platform and the engines, than with its ancestor.
And when it comes to moving backwards, we quickly notice that modernity and retrovision seem incompatible. But it is no longer necessary to turn around; the reversing camera and proximity sensors are effective safeguards.
Everything has changed, from the level of safety to our driving habits and the potential distractions available to us. There was no smartphone at the time, but no multimedia interface capable of entertaining us and forcing us to take our eyes off the road regularly.
It was better before ? No, it was different. And any normal human being would prefer to cross France regularly with the Astra ST rather than in Kadett D.
Its road holding is excellent and its electronic chips give it the possibility, on its own, to brake in an emergency, to steer the wheels to maintain the trajectory or to drive in full headlights without dazzling others.
Its different tiles, located at the heart of a frankly flattering presentation, allow you to choose the information you want to display in front of you (tachometer, driving data, GPS, energy flow, music source, etc.) and in the windscreen, thanks to the head-up display.
The central screen, obviously touch, includes everything you can imagine in a compact family. But the Astra has the good taste to keep some “normal” buttons, in particular to adjust the ambient temperature, the ventilation or the volume without relying on the screen.
The driving position has no faults and the upholstery is AGR-certified, a German organization working for the health of the back.
Opel, compact station wagon specialist since 1963, has lengthened the wheelbase by 57 mm compared to that of the sedan, and has not skimped on the trunk either, with 40/20/40 backrests to increase a capacity of 597 liters (516 in hybrid) in 5-seater configuration, a volume in the high average of the segment.
When the Kadett starts up noisily, with half a turn of the key, the Astra leaves in leaden silence. It owes it to its plug-in hybrid engine, combining a 150 hp 1.6 4-cylinder petrol engine with an 81 kW electric motor, for a total of 180 hp and very respectable performance (0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds ) but not demonstrative.
It should also be noted that the Astra, offered in 100% electric during 2023, is also available in 100% thermal, in diesel or gasoline with 110 or 130 hp.
It is moreover with these engines that driving pleasure reaches its climax; the eye-catching front axle composes with a rear axle that is also very stable, but which gives the feeling of rolling gently around the curves. Never had an Astra been so fun to drive.
Heavier (+ 300 kg), the PHEV remains pleasant but more placid, less agile. It also suffers from imperfect braking management, with a slight lack of fluidity during the transition between electric deceleration and friction braking.
On the other hand, it allows you to travel in electric mode for more than 50 kilometers, after which the journey can continue in thermal mode.
Opel Astra ST test – our opinion:
Attractive, modern and equipped with a large trunk, the new Astra station wagon is a hit, with a price that should increase to around €1,200 more than the sedan. Too bad that its PHEV engine, which generates a significant overweight, affects road services.
- Presentation and proposed equipment
- Safe and modularity
- Approval and road services
We love less
- High PHEV weight
- Management during light braking
- Multimedia system graphics
Data sheet (Opel Astra ST Plug-in Hybrid 180 hp)
- From 37,500* (Ultimate version)
- Combustion engine: front, 4-cylinder petrol, 1,598 cc, 150 hp at 4,250 rpm, 250 Nm at 1,750 rpm
- Electric motor: permanent magnet synchronous, 81 kW/320 Nm
- Batterie : Lithium-Ion, 12,4 kWh
- Transmission: front-wheel drive, automatic, 8-speed
- Cumulative power (hp): 180
- Cumulated torque (Nm): 360
- Empty weight (kg): 1,660 kg *
- Long.xlarg.xhaut. (m) : 4,64×1,86×1,48
- Wheelbase (m): 2.73
- Turning circle (m): nc
- Vitesse maxi (km/h) : 225
- 0 to 100 km/h (s): 7.7
- Standard tires : 225/45 R 17
- Test tires: 225/40 R 18 – Michelin Primacy 4
- 5/2 chest (l): 516/1,553
- Front/rear elbow width (cm): 146/143
- Rear legroom (cm): 72
- Tank (l): 42
- Consumption during the essai (l/100 km) : 5.1
- Mixed consumption WLTP (l/100 km): 1.1 to 1.2
- CO2(g/km)/bonus: 25 to 27/€1,000
- Fiscal horsepower: 8 CV
- Country of manufacture: Germany
- Warranty: 2 years/unlimited mileage
- Battery warranty: 8 years/160,000 km
- Petrol, from 110 to 130 hp, prices not determined
- Diesel, 130 hp, prices not determined
- Plug-in hybrid, from 180 to 225 hp, prices not determined
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