8 Opel Astra: Sharp styling and a deft drive

Beautifully made car marred only by its tiny fuel tank

If you are shopping for a German made family car, but on a budget, could the new Opel Astra Tourer represent good value for money? We take it out on the road to find out. Video: Neil Briscoe

 

If ever there was a tale of a comeback kid, it’s the Astra. For too long, Opel merely seemed to go through the motions with its family hatch, granting it only middling styling, middling dynamics and frequently inadequate engines (that old 1.7 diesel? Yuk…).

This time around though, General Motors has commanded its troops to do better and they’ve really come up to the mark. The new Astra’s styling is sharp and neat (aside from that oddly mountainous C-pillar) and the cabin is roomy, comfortable and really quite beautifully made.

Best of all, it’s properly deft to drive, arguably moving alongside such vaunted competitors as the Golf and Focus with gorgeously weighted steering and delightful chassis balance.

The engines are good too, with the 1.0 petrol turbo three-cylinder and the 1.6 CDTI diesel duking it out for the honours. Neat-looking estate solves the awkward rear styling conundrum, but all versions have a tiny fuel tank which limits refuelling range.

Price range: €21,250 to €32,195

CO2 emissions: 95 to 128g/km

Which one? 1.0 turbo is tempting, but 1.6 diesel estate is the best all-rounder.

PCP from €191 per month