Advanced new Opel Astra now in SA

Advanced new Opel Astra now in SA

Port Elizabeth – To say that Opel’s new Astra is all-new would be something of an understatement.

Not only does it look worlds apart form its predecessor, and particularly striking at the rear with its blacked-out C-pillar that creates a ‘floating roof’ effect, but it’s also up to 200kg lighter than its predecessor.

Most of that has to do with lightening various components, but a slight decrease in overall size surely helped that cause too. Yet despite being 49mm shorter and 25mm lower than before, it’s actually gained 35mm more rear legroom and 22cm worth of additional front head space thanks to a smarter design. The structure is stiffer too.

THREE TURBO ENGINES

Furthering the efficiency cause is a new range of turbopetrol engines in three sizes: 1.0, 1.4 and 1.6.

As with its Ford Focus counterpart, the 1-litre, three-cylinder EcoFlex engine manages to dodge import tax due to a loophole in an EU trade deal, and so pricing starts at a very competitive R254 000. (See all prices at the bottom of this article).

Essentially a slightly detuned version of the motor found in the latest Corsa and Adam, the 1-litre is good for 77kW and 170Nm, as well as a 200km/h top speed according to Opel.

It’s mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, while the two bigger engines are fitted with either a six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic gearbox in the case of the 1.4.

The brand new 1.4-litre direct injection turbopetrol produces 110kW as well as 230Nm in manual form and 245Nm if mated to the autobox. 100km/h comes in a claimed 8.5 seconds and the top speed is listed at 235km/h.

Its bigger 1.6-litre brother, with 147kW and 280Nm on tap, will allegedly reach 235km/h and sprint to 100 in seven seconds on the dot.

SMART GADGETS

Some advanced new technologies make their debut on the new Astra, including class-first LED Matrix headlights and the ‘Opel Eye’ front camera that looks after the Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indication, Traffic Sign Assist and the low-speed auto-braking function.

Inside you’ll find Opel’s new-generation R4.0 Intellilink infotainment system, which also offers phone projection through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although the latter is not yet available for download in South Africa.

RANGE AND PRICING

1.0T Essentia – R254 000

Key specs: Aircon, cruise control, 4-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and steering-mounted controls, electric mirrors, ESP, six airbags.

1.0T Enjoy – R284 300

Adds: 17-inch alloy wheels, six-speaker Intellilink system with 18cm touch-screen, onboard computer, front/rear park assist, auto headlights & wipers, leather steering wheel.

1.4T Enjoy – R328 000

1.4T Enjoy AT – R338 000

Adds: Driver assistance pack with forward collision alert, following distance indicator, lane keep assist, auto-braking and traffic sign recognition.

1.4T Sport – R354 000

Adds: 18-inch alloys, sports front seats with power lumbar adjustment, automatic climate control, blind spot alert, semi-automatic parking assist, reverse camera, keyless start.

1.4T Sport AT – R374 000

1.6T Sport – R387 000

Adds: Heated leather seats.

1.6T Sport Plus – R407 000

Adds: LED headlights with adaptive forward lighting, LED taillights.

Aftersales back-up comes in the form of a five-year/120 000km warranty and five-year/90 000km service plan.

OPTIONS:

Essentia: R4.0 IntelliLink infotainment – R4000

Enjoy: Driver Assist Pack with front camera system – R6300

Sport: IntelliLink with navigation – R10 700

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