Says the first law of marketing. The main asset and real estate of any business is undoubtedly your product. And Opel certainly beginning to breathe. Neither rumors of disappearance for Europe, nor its sale to Magna paralyzed, have made him stagger. On the contrary, today seems stronger ... at least according to its renewed catalog, on which General Motors can finally start bragging.
If the spectacular saloon Opel logo marks an important first step, this time it's turn for the lowest category, the compact. Of course also higher sales in Europe and ultimately starting point for the long-awaited commercial launch. That comes in the new Opel Astra. You may without an aesthetic breakthrough His brother Insignia surprised more- but affable image -gustará almost all- and comprehensive global response. This is no time to risk. And that's proposal, boot, can not be considered Orthodox.
In fact, it seemed that the renewal of the Opel Astra was manual: moderation in dimensions, maximum lightness and therefore search for greater efficiency. They asked for the times, and so the market reacted chain. Until, in those, this fourth generation of compact and expected Opel arrives for breaking protocol. True, after the tsunami lived by GM in recent years, coming from behind. While their rivals have needed only slight changes to their already advanced proposals, Opel has started from a blank sheet. So, to equalize in record time, the decision has been Solomonic.
Step 1: bigger
Almost breaking the rules, Opel has set a compact high volume. Of course for its softness of lines such detail goes almost unnoticed. Initially, of course, because more calls attention first opened. Surprise your dashboard wraparound style Insignia, a clear step forward in terms of visual quality ... and material. We open doors closed gate, climbed handle windows or air conditioning controls and lights. We also see subtle ambient lighting and the upholstery of the door panels. In addition to presence, much taste good car. Only the presence of any adjustment or irregular auction of its multiple surfaces bring us back to reality: we are in a compact with generalist vocation. Compact?
For what seemed interior space itself, but just park the new Opel Astra. And in the garage declared intentions. On one side, VW Golf. The other, Seat Exeo. But if it seems more a saloon! Indeed, It has grown ... and 17 centimeters, to stand with 4.42 meters at the top of the category, an Opel Vectra almost a decade ago and today only surpassed by the giants Lancia Delta (4.52 m) and Mazda 3 (4.46 m). Up to 20 centimeters more than VW Golf and 10 above Renault Megane Y Ford Focus. And not only increases in length: up to 7 cm more total width and track and record a battle: 2.69 meters, 8 cm more than before. There it is: almost like a Toyota Avensis.
Step 2: heavyweight
We started and, with these dimensions, the Astra advances like a tank, with exemplary and very strong footprint. But how much do you weigh now? Since I presented in Opel fled the question. "Only 30 to 40 kg fattening", they announced us. Time to find out. We put it in scale and we rub our eyes: about 1,600 kg. Impressive, exaggerated ... and because I do not like the steering wheel.
Not only It weighs 150 kg more than the previous Astra, but also that its current rivals. Including the huge Lancia Delta. That is, weighs exactly the same as an old giant Opel Omega 2001 Search for greater rigidity, using powerful steels ... End announced the continued reduction in grams of the sector. side effect for good cause. Because road, very little to object. It feels agile, more than before, and those kilos on the tarmac turn translate into a outstanding ride quality.
Step 3: Efficacy
The result has much merit. And it is everything in this please Opel Astra works the most dynamic effectiveness. We owe it to its new frame and evolved, but also find the answer in their settings, their large tires (235/45 R18 measurement), the new and precise direction or in its most powerful diesel engine. Is the same 160 hp 2.0 CDTI already assembles the Opel Insignia and heavier version of the range, but also the one that best fits the new Opel Astra and we believe in better conditions facing modern diesel rivals.
Faced with the somewhat rough 1.7 CDTi, this 2.0 CDTi offers great low rate and a very convincing answer to 3,500 rpm, where it's not worth much to stretch. Ideal to drag both size ... especially by a comfortable automatic 6 relations. Torque converter, very soft and with some slippage (it note and veteran), we were surprised by its management almost racing. And that they miss cams for sequential operation. It matters little that their developments are very long. Unlike other current automatic transmissions, does not seek higher gear. On the contrary, always she works for effectiveness, ready to put the engine in its optimum mode response. Examples: the sixth not introduced until after the 120 km / h, while ring-limited to 80 km / h does not go up 4th. Not even let us in manual mode lever: "Change Denied" reads a legend in the instrumentation. Unusual today, as its fun Sport mode, which also contributes to effective reductions decelerations: not only offloads the brakes, but allows cornering out with all available force.
Very worked, as well as the acoustic insulation of the new Opel Astra. Diesel engine sounds cold and veteran idle, but up flatters with lower noise segment: Citroën C4 below and only with the Renault Mégane discutiéndole leadership. Roll sedan, as its optional equipment taken from Opel Insignia: adjustable damping, Opel Eye recognition system signals, adaptive bi-xenon AFL + ... by the way, how well light up at night at any angle, the best we've tasted .
And what about consumption? Well surprise you that so far we have not talked about efficiency, but it is, a priori, nothing in the new Opel Astra seems focused on such a mission: neither size nor weight, nor configurations. But our Technical Center measures the consumption in actual use, and 7.1 l / 100 km average, without being low, they fall short of their rivals, better even than the Fiat Bravo or Peugeot 308 manuals. Can you imagine what it would be quick and efficient with the 150 kg less than its rivals? Of course, probably, nor he would then so settled, nor would it be as good car as is.