Opel Ireland’s boss says the family car is set to make a comeback. Speaking at the launch of the new Astra and revised Grandland SUV James Brooks acknowledged that while the SUV body style has clearly become the car of choice for the masses, the new Astra hatchback deserves a closer look. Opel is well served with SUVs with its Crossland, Mokka and Grandland, but the fact that new car prices are rising constantly means the humble family hatchback looks like a relative bargain. The sixth generation Astra starts from €27,995 whereas similar sized SUVs cost about 10 grand more.
Built on the Stellantis group’s multi-energy EMP2 platform (shared with Peugeot’s new 308) two petrol models with outputs of 110hp and 130hp join a 130hp diesel on sale initially. A six-speed manual gearbox option will be available for a short period but the range will be predominantly automatic. A hybrid and electric version are coming as is an estate/touring version. By 2028 Opel will be a pure EV brand. There will be three grades offered SC, SRi and Elite. Standard equipment across the range includes: 10” colour touchscreen, 10” colour driver information cluster, wireless smartphone connection, cruise control with speed limiter, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention alert, intelligent speed adaptation, hill start assist and electric parking brake, keyless start, leather steering wheel, electronic single zone climate control, comfort front seats, 6-way driver seat adjustment, cloth seat trim, DAB radio, Opel Connect (with SOS and Breakdown Assist), type C USB connectivity, 16” alloy wheels, LED daytime running lamps, LED rear tail lamp, auto wipers and lights, electro-chrome rear view mirror and front and rear parking sensors.
Speaking at the Irish press launch at The Heritage, Killenard, Co. Laois, James Brooks, Managing Director at Opel Ireland, said: “Introducing the all-new Astra. A new Blitz is born! With sensational design, precision engineering, class-leading technology and highly efficient powertrains, the new Astra brings us into a new era. We are confident that the next generation Astra has all it takes to become another bestseller for Opel.” (We’ll be testing the Astra and Grandland fully in the coming weeks, so watch this space.)