Opel Astra (2007)
The new edition Astra was launched in February 2007 with new economical engines, refined looks, improved technology and an expanded equipment range. It is based on the third model generation, of which over 1.3 million units were sold since its market debut in March 2004. Opel's volume model line has a leading role in the highly competitive compact segment and in European registration statistics. The new edition of the bestseller boasts a total of 11 engine versions with an output range of 90 to 240 hp. Technological highlights include the adaptive IDSPlus chassis system with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC), as well as the AFL headlamp system (Adaptive Forward Lighting) with dynamic curve light, first introduced to the compact segment in the Astra. The Astra also boasts ample space, none more so than the station wagon variant with longer wheelbase. The Astra model family currently consists of the five-door, station wagon, dynamic GTC − also available as the powerful 177 kW/240 hp OPC version − and Astra TwinTop variant, the four-seat cabrio-coupé with retractable steel roof.
Design and packaging
With its even more exciting and dynamic appearance, the new Astra five-door model sets itself further apart from its competitors. Designers further honed the distinctive brand face that was first presented in this model line, while ensuring the car is still clearly recognizable as a member of the Astra family. Elements such as the sharply drawn "eyebrows" above the imitation air intakes serve as a blueprint for future Opel models, while the dynamic V-shaped front is also eye-catching. The headlamp housings in stylish chrome look also convey an additional sense of quality. The Astra Sport, as well as the versions with xenon or curve and cornering light are recognizable by their dark-tinted headlamp housings.
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's offers attractive packaging dimensions. This produces a comfortable "feel-good" interior. The Astra also has plenty of room for luggage: equipped with the standard tire repair kit, it offers a best-in-class luggage compartment volume of 380 liters (VDA standard), which expands to a maximum of 1295 liters with the rear seat backs folded down.
The new-edition Astra's interior boasts surfaces with an even more high-quality look and feel. Distinctive design elements in the cockpit include the prominent center console, additional chrome rings for the air conditioning and radio controls, as well as new trim for the doors and instrument panel, which also boasts three-dimensional instruments. The top Cosmo variant features décor trim and inlays made from luxurious piano lacquer surfaces on the center console and steering wheel as standard.
Just like the predecessor model, the new Astra 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 it as one of the safest sedans in the compact class (small family cars). The Astra also achieved very good results for child protection, with four stars and 39 points.
The Astra's extensive 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 as standard.
Chassis and active safety
The Astra delivers pronounced agility and precise handling with a high level of driving safety: qualities which are responsible for the Astra winning numerous comparison tests and consumer polls. The basis for this 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 (EHPS).
The optional IDSPlus chassis with electronic Continuous Damping Control (CDC) is also available. This integrated chassis control system, in which the control units and sensors of ESPPlus, ABS and CDC exchange data constantly, was introduced to the compact class for the first time in the Opel Astra.
Owners also benefit from IDSPlus when it comes to driving fun: a touch of the SportSwitch activates the sport mode, resulting in more direct suspension, steering and gas pedal response.
Although the Astra's chassis previously counted among the best in its class, engineers found potential for improvement in details in the new Astra. An example of this is the Trailer Stability Assist's (TSA) control system. The newest generation of this safety system, which is optionally available in the five-door, GTC and station wagon model, reduces instability in the car-trailer combination earlier and more effectively.
Engines and transmissions
A range of seven gasoline and four diesel units with displacements from 1.3 to 2.0 liters and power outputs from 66 to 177 kW (90 to 240 hp) is available for the new edition Astra. The two brand-new 1.6-liter gasoline units, the 85 kW/115 hp four-cylinder engine 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 new 1.7 CDTI common-rail turbo diesels with 81 kW/110 hp or 92 kW/125 hp, which will expand the engine range during spring 2007. All four engines achieve the balance of more power with lower fuel consumption. The wide selection of engines is complemented by a transmission range which includes five and six-speed manual gearboxes, automated Easytronic five-speed and six-speed manual transmissions, as well as four and six-speed automatics.
Quality and economic efficiency
The Astra meets the highest standards in quality, reliability and service life. Owners profit from long service intervals and reduced maintenance volume, which help minimize operating costs. Thanks to extensive car body galvanization, which Opel backs up with a 12-year anti-perforation warranty, the Astra promises excellent value retention. A further customer benefit: as with all its other models, Opel offers a two-year new-car manufacturer's warranty for the Astra that goes far beyond the mandatory guarantee.