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Opel Astra 1.4 5 door Hatch (20)
Astra is a name familiar to Australian motorists, a sizeable number of whom enjoyed a fairly amicable ownership of earlier this century.
Well, Astra is back, but this time carrying the Opel, not Holden, badge. The German GM brand launched here last year, with Astra being one of three models (along with Corsa and Insignia) to initially grace its new showrooms.
The 1.4-litre, turbo-petrol, five-door hatch with six-speed, manual transmission is the entry level to a 19-variant Astra hatch and wagon line-up. At $23,990, it’s $1000 cheaper than its obvious rival, the VW Golf 90TSI hatch, and some $6000 less than the same capacity Alfa Romeo Mito and Audi A1 Attraction.
Astra is as easy to live with as any vehicle we’ve tested in recent times, providing its driver and occupants with a comfortable, superbly-compliant ride and an absence of noise and vibration intrusion through the powertrain and drivetrain. The flat torque curve results in very little demand for downshifting; a pity, in some ways, as the gear shift action is smooth and precise.
The interior is well laid-out and relatively roomy, even for the oft-forgotten back seat passengers. So what’s not to like?
Acceleration is a little on the lazy side (0-100 km/h took 11.1 seconds on test) and fuel economy of 10.2 litres/100 km is way outside the official ADR figure of 5.9.
Ride and refinement, interior space, torquey engine
Thirst, lack of dealer network and straight-line speed
Airconditioning, 16” alloys, cruise control, remote central locking, tilt/reach steering, CD player with MP3 compatibility
Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, active front headrests
||Astra 1.4 five-door hatch
||Small Under $35,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
|ANCAP crash rating
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||1.4-litre, turbo-petrol, 4-cyl
||103 kW @ 4900-6000 rpm
||200 Nm @ 1850-4900 rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
||11.1 sec (as tested)
|Braking from 80 km/h
||24.2 m (as tested)
||5.9 litres/100 km (10.2 on test)
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.