8 Opel Astra: Sharp styling and a deft drive
Beautifully made car marred only by its tiny fuel tank
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