The Opel Astra was elected European Car of the Year 2016, but is the best compact market today? The oldest Ford Focus, Peugeot 308 and Seat Leon have much to say.
If someone gives you for entertainment, visit Opel’s website: You can see a lot of pretty good videos on the new Opel Astra. In one of them, true to his slogan of “chinchar to the upper class”, a red Astra full of young and beautiful people gaudy forward boldly about elitists drivers saloons, while in others the benefits of car singing itself and its extras, such as relaxing seats with ventilation or lights with LED array . That is, eXtras that, until now, had only been available on luxury vehicles, and never in the Opel brand.
We do not want to spoil the party, but it seems that Russelsheim (the German city where the headquarters of Opel’s) would have to start by focusing on “tease” their competence in category of compact cars. At the end of the day, whether it was on track: in other of our comparative, his confrontation with the top-selling class in Europe, the Volkswagen Golf, and pointed it to victory thanks to its competitive price advantage. Now, once awarded the European Car of the Year 2016, also plays also clarify whether He is able to outperform similarly priced rivals and that entered not eligible for the prize for not being new this year. We talked about the always interesting Ford Focus, Peugeot 308 and Seat Leon. All also in their Diesel versions averages between 136 and 150 hp power.
Opel Astra 1.6 CDTi 136 hp
Because we started talking about himself Opel Astra. Has the smaller engine of 1.6 liters and 136 hp. Nor is too quiet, and its maximum torque (32.7 mkg) is to shoot rockets to get to 100 km / h, this Opel requires nothing spectacular figure of 9.1 seconds. Moreover, despite the lightweight Astra overcome in up to 100 kilos more weight, its rivals, with a real power of 150 CV, it forward smoothly, with values between 8.3 and 8.5 seconds in this measurement. However, it is noteworthy that He has only consumed us an average of 6.0 l / 100 km during our tests, vouching that this four-cylinder engine is very efficient. And his gearbox also acts very precisely.
The Opel Astra direction is also soft and informative, and it is adjusted perfectly. In combination with its rigid chassis, their just 1,326 kg make it a very fast car, which traces the curves with high stability and, therefore, you can count on the sympathy of all who lead. However, despite its respectable length of 4.37 meters, much luggage is not to admit either. Combined with a spare wheel (€ 160 extras) that at least allows the trunk floor level, not support more than 310 liters capacity. Anyone who wants more space, will have to wait family recently presented Opel Astra Sports Tourer, with a trunk and 550 liters.
And it does not feel sorry you have such a small trunk? Well, not quite, because although the trunk prove something lacking in return the Astra rear seats offer much legroom. Thus, even tall passengers can be accommodated quickly and in comfort in spacious rear seats. Another success are the ergonomic seats for pilot and copilot, offered at attractive price of 600 € and allow multiple settings: provide support as well as sports seats Ford Focus and Seat Leon.
The chassis could do know better roll with the punches. With it, the Opel Astra wheel between urban traffic too harshly, often chug down the highway and transmitted into irregularities poorly paved roads. His predecessor was in this sense a little more comfortable. In return, thanks to its large touch screen and a well-thought layout of its buttons, its handling is much easier. For example: air conditioning buttons and assistance systems, arranged in the center console, are clearly separated from each other.
What is missing more as the Opel Astra? They would not have been bad plastic finer something in some areas, and misses a control, so important to many customers who make many kilometers adaptive speed. And another important thing for many: the price. This engine is not available with the most basic finishes Expression and Selective. The first is the only petrol engine with 105 hp 1.0 and the second, with identical mechanics or the 1.4 Turbo 125 hp. So, if you want a diesel and a certain power, you must go to superior finishes, Dynamic or Excellence, also considerably more expensive.
Peugeot 308 2.0 150 hp BlueHDi
And turn to Peugeot 308. Sleek and fast road, its BlueHDi version of 150 hp, Allure version, gives an impression of the most cared for. For more you look, it’s hard to find a single piece of hard plastic in 4.25 meters length compact; finishes seem more care and equipment is more varied. Aluminum wheels wearing 17-inch LED headlights static, lots of chrome, telematic services and a practical system to expand the trunk. Another bonus of the test car, but we do not recommend, is the generous panoramic roof (600 €), which greatly reduces the height in the rear seats. It’s a pity because otherwise This French car pampers its occupants with generous interior dimensions, comfortable seating with ample legroom, good sized compartments and trunk 420 liters. Nowhere in this comparative fit more bags. However, its small capacity, of 444 kilos, reduces this advantage in practice.
Before deciding to purchase, any interested should become familiar in the Peugeot 308 with its particular driving position. Everything is controlled by a large touch screen, air conditioning included. The only thing not included are the volume controls, the buttons on the heated rear window, emergency lights and locking system. Advantage: the cabin is pleasantly “summary” and elegant. And another feature is its small sports steering wheel, after which are indicators, high and clearly legible. Should sit down and settle.
we arrived well Dynamic paragraph and, here, the elegant Peugeot 308 exhibits light and shadow. Because with the small steering wheel and entry into curves very racy, soft French compact suggests at first glance a joyous immediacy which is then dissipated in a strong understeer in fast corners. In addition, its direction is very sensitive. In these cases it is not recommended putting on 18-inch wheels with 40 profile tires, which cost 380 €. Even thinner expansion joints cause shock, reducing comfort, otherwise pretty decent.
In return, we have the Diesel engine civilized and silent BlueHDI the 308 with a very uniform torque (37.8 mkg) at low rpm, which gives the French relatively heavy car (1,426 kg) good yields and higher top speed of this comparison. Furthermore, the cab less noise enters rolling in the Opel Astra, isolated worse. In consumption is where we have less convinced: Somewhat high during testing (6.5 l / 100 km). Nor it has surprised us in securities braking from 100 km / h: 37.6 meters.
Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi 150 hp
Maybe something will be of comfort to Peugeot 308 for similar results (36.9 meters and 6.5 l / 100 km consumption in testing), the Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi -from 4.36 meters long– reproaches those same two takes. Overall, the two are similar in their values. Thus, the diesel engine 2 liters of Ford 37.8 mkg also transmits torque to the crankshaft maximum. Further, 1,472 kg, Ford Focus has a similar weight and acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h is performed as 0.2 seconds before. also their Diesel engine 150 hp It is equally civilized but also entices with a gearbox very accurate. This gives the Focus the best recoveries of this comparative.
As well impressive dynamics Ford Focus, tight. Without going hard, this compact is stiff, but cleanly filtered shakes and bumps, keeping quiet on the road … and that without adaptive dampers or sport chassis. Other source of pride for Ford is your address, accurate and sensitive.
Regarding the disbursement, Ford Focus is in line with its rivals in the list price. Here comes in Titanium finish high, but there is another Sport for the same price. It comes standard with an assistant emergency call and well-shaped sports seats and an ingenious board computer showing at a glance all the important information. After the upgrade last year, also its buttons and materials are now more refined day.
equally Mature control system 2 is shown Ford Sync, with high-resolution touch screen included. Once one understands the screen is divided into four zones (of which one for the browser and other entertainment) system is the most interesting. On the other hand, it has an already past fashion detail: To increase the loading surface must be folded forward the rear seat bench, and Ford does not offer or an area of continuous load, not a double load floor. He trunk itself, with 363 liters capacity, It is normal class, but hinders the load due to the height of its inner edge. Moreover, it is remarkable the rich offer of assistance systems Ford Focus, such as adaptive cruise control, speed limit indicator or lane change assistant with performance management.
Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI 150 hp
Rather rigid and convincing, the Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 150 hp also has a very competitive price. With 4.27 meters length, slope in its FR sports version even slightly less than the Peugeot 308 Allure higher version. However, it equipped with a less extreme direction, accurate and sensitive, and consequently a rigid chassis (standard in FR), is rather than when cornering, and it has nothing to envy the Ford Focus. And what’s better: this same version, the Seat León has further molded seats, which offer an exemplary lateral grip and great support for the legs.
Only the sports chassis Seat Leon could be some maybe too hard. Unlike the Opel Astra, save your settings passengers annoying vibrations and jolts, so it is much more bearable. And the engine? Well This 2.0 TDI is ideal for agile handling. After taking a second to think, this Diesel starts hard and drives the comparative featherweight (weighs only 1,318 kg) With all his might.
Another detallazo the Seat Leon is the gearbox with little travel between gears, including its lever snarling, also it is well located. In addition, the TDI is relatively quiet, even at high speeds. Despite its good driving performance, the Seat León also stands by its low consumption of 6.0 l / 100 km on average, particularly striking given its dynamic potential.
Therefore, overall, Seat Leon turns out to be clearly the most athletic group. However (and here the good genetic heritage of the Volkswagen Golf is noted) it is at the same time, a completely pragmatic. It has drawers under the front seats, vents and side airbags behind a trunk 380 liter capacity continuous surface and sufficient charge space for all seats. It does not lack anything. To this we must add a panoramic view acceptable, and a package of assistance systems just smaller than the Ford Focus. In the end, the only thing we missed this compact have been headlamps that follow the direction of the vehicle. LED headlamps, by themselves, do not usually offer too many advantages. We believe, therefore, that is fair winner of comparative, points followed by the Opel Astra, Ford Focus and Peugeot 308 … in that order.
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