37: Opel Astra – Satisfaction draped in a rather anonymous exterior

Top 100 cars for 2019: Astra boasts a roomy, well-made cabin, and a chassis that truly sparkles at times

Opel Astra:  arguably the best car that  General Motors ever made for Europe

Opel Astra: arguably the best car that General Motors ever made for Europe

 

Opel’s family hatch doesn’t look like it’s up to much on the surface - the styling is quiet to the point of being anonymous, aside from that odd fin-shaped kick-up over the rear wheel - but underneath this is a very satisfying car indeed.

One of the last Opels to be made and engineered when the company was still owned by General Motors, it’s arguably the best car that the General ever made for Europe, with a roomy, well-made cabin, and a chassis that truly sparkles at times.

The 1.0-litre turbo petrol three-cylinder engine is the sweetest option in the range, and the good news is that you can get a well-specced SRI version for less than €25,000, so the Astra is conspicuously good value too. The estate is a good option too, with a large loadspace and the same fine chassis manners as the hatch. The only real downside is that the fuel tank has been shrunk to make more space in the cabin, so longer journeys may require an earlier, or an extra, fill-up.

Best model: Astra 1.0 Turbo SRI for €24,750

Price range: €22,050 to €31,295. Finance from €318 per month.

Co2 emissions: 95 to 128g/km

Sum up: Somewhat forgotten, but worthy of attention