Opel Astra: Top-Quality Volume Model
- Variety: Eleven engines with output range from 90 to 200 hp
- Economical: 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX with just 119 g/km CO2
- Equipment: High-quality features as standard
Rüsselsheim. The third-generation Opel Astra features progressive design and superb driving dynamics. It has won numerous comparison tests in specialist automotive publications, and over 2.1 million units had been sold by the end of 2008. The bestseller is currently available with 11 engine variants ranging from 90 to 200 hp. It can also be ordered with technology features that are usually only found in luxury class and exclusive sports cars, such as the adaptive IDSPlus chassis system with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) and the AFL headlamp system with dynamic curve light (Adaptive Forward Lighting). The Astra offers passengers plenty of space, especially in the station wagon variant, which has a longer wheelbase. The third member of the Astra model family next to the five-door and station wagon models is the three-door GTC (Gran Turismo Compact), which is also available as the high-performance OPC variant with 177 kW/240 hp. The Astra family is completed by the four-seat Astra TwinTop – a cabrio-coupé with steel retractable roof – and a notchback variant.
Design and packaging
The Astra five-door model’s dynamic look distinguishes it from its competitors. Well-balanced proportions are the basis for its harmonious body line. Measuring 4.25 meters long, 1.8 meters wide and 1.46 meters high with a 2.61-meter wheelbase, the five-door model has attractive packaging dimensions. This produces a comfortable “feel-good” interior. The Astra also has plenty of room for luggage: it offers a best-in-class luggage compartment volume of up to 380 liters (VDA standard), which expands to a maximum of 1295 liters with the rear seat backs folded down.
The Astra’s interior boasts surfaces with a high-quality look and feel. Distinctive design elements include the prominent center console and additional chrome rings around the air conditioning and radio controls.
The Astra also boasts high levels of safety. The consumer protection organization Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) awarded the Astra the highest rating of five stars for adult passenger protection. With a total of 34 points, Euro NCAP classified the bestseller as one of the safest sedans in the compact class (small family cars). The five-door Astra also achieved very good results for child protection, with four stars and 39 points.
The Astra’s standard SAFETEC safety package includes thorax/pelvis side airbags in both front seats. These complement the two front airbags and the head curtain airbags that stretch along the entire length of the interior in the left and right roof pillars. Both outer rear seats come with ISOFIX mountings for child seats.
Chassis and active safety
The Astra delivers pronounced agility and precise handling with a high level of driving safety – qualities which helped the Astra win numerous comparison tests and consumer polls. The basis for this excellent safety level is the IDS (Interactive Driving System) chassis with McPherson front axle and patented torsion-beam rear axle. Every Astra comes standard with the Electronic Stability Program ESPPlus, Traction Control TCPlus, front and rear disk brakes, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), brake assist and electro-hydraulic power steering.
The optional IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) is also available. This integrated chassis control system, in which the control units of ESPPlus, ABS and CDC exchange data constantly, was introduced to the compact class for the first time in the Opel Astra.
Engines and transmissions
A range of five gasoline and six diesel units with displacements from 1.3 to 2.0 liters and power outputs from 66 to 147 kW (90 to 200 hp) is available for the five-door Astra. The 1.6-liter gasoline unit (85 kW/115 hp) with continuous variable camshaft phasing and the 132 kW/180 hp turbo version with overboost function are all equipped to meet future exhaust emission standards. This is also true for the two 1.7 CDTI common-rail turbo-diesels with 81 kW/110 hp and 92 kW/125 hp. The 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX with 81 kW/110 hp boasts the most impressive fuel consumption, requiring just 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 km. The transmission range for the Astra family includes five and six-speed manual gearboxes, automated Easytronic five and six-speed manual transmissions, as well as four and six-speed automatics.
Opel Astra: Facts and figures
- September 2003: World premiere of the third-generation Astra at the IAA in Frankfurt
- January 2004: Production begins in Antwerp, Belgium
- Summer 2004: Engine range is expanded with two 1.9 CDTI ECOTEC common-rail turbo-diesel units and 2.0-liter turbo ECOTEC engine with 147 kW/200 hp
- Spring 2005: New 1.3 CDTI ECOTEC entry-level diesel engine
- August 2005: 1.9 CDTI ECOTEC unit with 74 kW/100 hp introduced; maintenance-free diesel particulate filter with all 1.9-liter CDTI engines as standard
- November 2005: New 1.8 ECOTEC with 103 kW/140 hp; maintenance-free diesel particulate filter for 1.3 CDTI ECOTEC with 66 kW/90 hp as standard
- Fall 2006: Six-speed Easytronic transmission for 1.3 CDTI; 1.8 ECOTEC with
four-speed automatic gearbox
- February 2007: Enhanced new edition, new 1.6-liter gasoline and 1.7-liter CDTI engines
- May 2008: 10 millionth car celebration in Bochum
- November 2008: 1.7 CDTI ecoFLEX with 4.5 liter consumption and 119 g/km CO2
- All Astra diesels come with maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard
- Astra is first compact car to offer optional adaptive IDSPlus chassis system with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC)
- First car in class with AFL bi-xenon headlamp system (Adaptive Forward Lighting) with dynamic curve light
- June 2004: Euro NCAP awards Astra maximum five stars for adult passenger protection
- November 2004: First place in a 10-car compact class comparison test in “Auto Bild”
- January 2005: Best compact car in ADAC reader’s choice “Car of the year 2005”
- February 2006: 1.9 CDTI (88 kW/120 hp) wins national “match” in “Auto Zeitung”
- October 2006: Excellent testimonial for 1.9 CDTI in “Autostrassenverkehr” magazine - annual test
- January 2007: 2nd place in “Best value 2007” and low defect rate in TÜV Report 2007
- Spring 2007: New edition with gasoline and diesel engines wins German automotive magazine “auto motor and sport” comparison tests
- Most popular equipment variant in Germany in 2008: Edition
- Most popular engine in Germany in 2008 : 1.6 ECOTEC (85 kW/115 hp)