2021 Opel Astra Review

5/5

Overview

This is the new Opel Astra, although it might not look all that different to the last model, aesthetically at least. There is a new grille and bumper and an all-new engine line-up. It is built on the existing PSA platform, giving buyers a choice of 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or a 1.5 litre diesel. All engines are turbocharged and comply with the Euro 6d emissions standards. The improved engines and aerodynamics mean that average CO2 levels are down by about 19 percent. But are these improvements enough to keep the Astra competitive against the likes of the Ford Focus and VW Golf?

Pros
  • Typical Opel pedigree and dealership network
  • State of the art interior design
  • Comprehensive list of safety equipment
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
Cons
  • Not as enjoyable to drive as some rivals

Exterior

With new features such as shutters behind the grille claiming to drop CO2 by 2g/km, aero profiled rear control arms and underbody deflector panels, the new Astra is among the most aerodynamic cars in its class. It has the figures to back it up with overall drag standing at 0.26Cd. If you get it was a Sports Tourer estate you will get an even better figure of 0.25Cd. Although the changes may be subtle, more of a nip and tuck than a wholesale update, it is a much improved car from every angle. 

Interior

The Opel design team have kept the changes similarly subtle inside the Astra. It is still a nice place to be with a smart touchscreen and sat nav on the high-spec Elite Nav version. There is a good driving position thanks to the multiple levels of adjustment in the steering wheel and drivers seat while the cabin itself is light and airy. With 370 litres of space, there is plenty of room in the boot, easily enough to accommodate four adults. You also get up-to-date phone integration for Apple and Android devices. 

Performance

The new engine line-up has certainly benefited the way the Astra drives. The diesels in particular boast plenty of torque and suit the Astra’s smooth driving experience. The slick manual gearbox is impressive, helping to make the Astra a quietly competent car in every respect. 

Reliability

Opel’s recent reliability record is excellent and all models come with a three year warranty with unlimited mileage for the first two years and a 100,000km limit on the third year.

Running Costs

With no less than seven trim levels to choose from, Opel have given us plenty of options to choose from.  If you can afford it we recommending going for the sporty Sri which is available in either 110 or 145bhp. The Bose sound system and IntelliLux LED Matrix headlights are two further options that will help your car keep its value in the long term. The most frugal options in the engine range are the diesel, the lesser-powered six-speed manual version of which can return 65.7mpg while emitting just 113g/km of CO2. If you prefer petrol-power the 1.2 litre versions show average efficiency of up to 54.3 mpg.

Handling

The Astra is quite an enjoyable car to drive, the driving experience suiting its target market perfectly. It moves crisply, steers well and is straightforward to park. While it might not be as eager as the likes of a Focus, there is a reassuring feel when you urge it into a corner.

Safety

The Astra comes with a wide range of standard safety equipment and was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. 

Summary

Exterior
80%
Interior
90%
Performance
80%
Reliability
90%
Running Costs
90%
Handling
90%
Safety
100%

This is the new Opel Astra, although it might not look all that different to the last model, aesthetically at least. There is a new grille and bumper and an all-new engine line-up. It is built on the existing PSA platform, giving buyers a choice of 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or a 1.5 litre diesel. All engines are turbocharged and comply with the Euro 6d emissions standards. The improved engines and aerodynamics mean that average CO2 levels are down by about 19 percent. But are these improvements enough to keep the Astra competitive against the likes of the Ford Focus and VW Golf?