It’s been a couple of years since the last remodel of Opel’s fashionable hatchback, the Astra. Given the popularity of the last model we were interested to get our hands on their latest offering and put it through its paces. I test drove the Opel Astra GTC SRi.
The exterior immediately strikes you, bearing almost no resemblance to its predecessor, it’s sporty, with a large stance for what has historically been a small hatchback. Under the bonnet is a two-litre turbo diesel engine producing 165hp, giving it plenty of punch for those occasions when you need it. I drove the car mainly around the city and found it very comfortable, dispute having a sporty suspension setup. Opel has developed some ingenious new sports suspension packages, which results in scarcely any body roll and
therefore helping it stick to the road. This for me, was one of the key elements that impressed me most about this new Astra. Another new addition, is the Hill Start Assist feature which worked effectively the majority of the time, although it does take a little getting used to.
Inside, the front of the cabin feels spacious, the extended dashboard adds to this, offering the driver and front seat passenger a sense of a space usually present in a larger car. The downside to this extra space at the front of the cabin is the large doors, I found these particularly tricky when parking in a tight space and trying to open the door enough without
hitting the car next to you. Rear passenger comfort is perfect for kids, but somewhat cramped for two adults, let alone three on long journeys.
Coming with 18″ twin-spoke alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and
electric windows as standard, along with iPod connectivity and rain-sensor
wipers, the new Opel Astra GTC is jam-packed with goodies. Prices commence
from €23,495, with my test car coming in at €29,748. Through the combination of
revised attractive styling and the introduction of a superb engine line-up, this new
Astra GTC is sure to be a success for Opel.