Opel Astra 2022: Popular German Compact Debut

The first pictures of the sixth Opel Astra show a streamlined design. Opel wants to shine with two plug-in hybrids, but an electric drive should follow soon.

The history of the compact Opel models goes back almost 90 years: The first Kadett came on the market in 1936 and already had predecessors. The real career began in 1963 with the Kadett A. The counting with the help of letters is still valid today, although not in all consistency: the letters were continued, but the “i” was left out. In the meantime, we have arrived at “L”, and of course, this generation is also driving “into a new era”, as Opel puts it. In a figurative sense, that’s not even an exaggeration, at least in one area.

Electric drive follows

Opel Astra 2022

In terms of drives, the sixth Opel Astra is starting at a time when there are more than just signs of radical change in this regard. Opel takes this into account and wants to sell only battery-electric cars in Europe by 2028 at the latest. Those responsible should not least have the success of Mokka-e and Corsa-e, strengthened in this decision. Their well-known drivetrain with 100 kW charging and motor power and 50 kWh battery will not be used in the Peugeot 308 or the Opel Astra for the time being, although the platform would in principle allow it.

Opel Astra 2022 Engines

Opel Astra 2022

However, this is by no means written off the topic. Presumably, both will get an updated variant of the drive train, which should be presented in the coming year. Opel does not comment on this, but it is clear that the engine portfolio offered at the start of Opel Astra is unlikely to be complete. A diesel (96 kW), two gasoline engines (81, 96 kW), and two plug-in hybrids are planned.

Its the electric motor has an output of 81 kW in both versions, and the battery is also identical with 12.4 kWh. The system outputs of 132 and 165 kW are scaled over the 1.6-liter gasoline engine. If you want a lot of power, you have to use the plug-in hybrids. It is not ruled out that Opel will add a powerful petrol engine, but that does not seem very likely to us. Because the numbers to be expected would be small.

No quick charger

Opel Astra 2022

Unfortunately, Opel remains quite cautious about the charging options. A maximum of 7.4 kW of alternating current is possible; rapid charging with a direct current is not provided at all. Stellantis is missing out on an opportunity here, even if it is still a bit faster than what Volkswagen is building into comparable models. There is still no information on the electric range, but it can be assumed that the 12.4 kWh were selected in such a way that the funding guidelines for plug-in hybrids, which will apply from 2022, are met. It states that from January 2022 either at least 60 km must be purely electric or not exceed a limit of 50 grams of CO 2 per kilometer.

No e-axis

The electric motor is integrated into the transmission at the front. An all-wheel-drive version is not yet planned. The option of a second electric motor only on the rear axle is not provided in the Opel Astra, at least for the time being. Stellantis goes this way in some PHEV SUVs such as Opel GrandlandPeugeot 3008, and DS7.

The largely lonely decision to opt for a continuously variable transmission in this segment is history again. The next Opel Astra gets a six-speed manual gearbox or an automatic converter with eight stages. There will be no dual-clutch transmission here.

4 mm longer than its predecessor, but the wheelbase has increased by 13 mm to 2.68 m. The front overhang has been shortened significantly, the rear overhang has been lengthened. The Opel Astra user benefits from this because the trunk is above average with 422 liters.

Opel Astra 2022 Interior

Opel Astra 2022 Interior

The progress can also be seen in the dashboard, which is similar to that in the Opel Mokka. Where the solution was sought in as many keys as possible in the Astra J, there are now very few. They cover the basic functions, everything else is hidden in menus on the screen. Not everyone interested in Astra will be happy about this, but the zeitgeist wants it that way. As with the competition, we can only hope that the voice control is excellent.

Most recently there was an instrument cluster in the Astra with a mixture of pointers and display. That is over: As in the VW Golf, screens display all relevant data. The company has limited itself to providing all the necessary information and not burdening the driver with “superfluous data or functions”. As a result, it makes a simple impression, at least it doesn’t look overloaded. Pleasant: Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can be integrated wirelessly.

Opel is particularly proud of a display that no longer needs any shading and should still be easy to read under all circumstances. This is made possible by a multilayer structure of the glass surface in front of it. The first press photos show the dashboard of a very well-equipped Astra, which also has the optional full glazing of the cockpit. The standard equipment is a bit simpler.

Opel Astra 2022 Assistants

Opel Astra 2022

There has also been some progress with assistance. There are five cameras and five radar sensors, plus the ultrasonic sensors at the front and rear. Opel promises to network the systems. This would make it possible to adjust the speed depending on the route and the situation. The driver is warned if he takes his hands off the steering wheel, which will seem a bit too much for some of the support staff.

Matrix light was already available in the previous Astra, and it has gotten better over the years, as various test cars have shown. The new headlights now have 84 LED elements each, as many as in the Insignia. This number alone does not say anything about the quality of the shadowing. In the Corsa, there are only four elements per headlight, and the system works amazingly well.

Different upholstery hardnesses

For several years now, Opel has given special attention to the subject of “seats”. Those who pay more or less heavily can still get it with heating, cooling, massage, and electrical adjustment. The seal of the “Healthy Back Campaign” is also available again, not an empty promise, as test cars have proven. The option of choosing the hardness of the upholstery is new: there are softer “comfort seats” and somewhat firmer sports seats.

Retrospect and Prospect

The sixth Astra can be ordered from October, but will not be delivered until January 2022. Opel is still calculating what the car will cost. The still current Astra is offered from 22,465 euros. Reality plays out in completely different dimensions: Those who can live with a daytime license can get a fresh Astra for around 14,000 euros. Opel boss Michael Lohscheller is certain that the successor will “win the hearts of many new customers for the brand.” Well possible, but at the current prices, the classic Opel buyers may be warming up for the predecessor. In addition to its successor, it looks a bit old, but it is certainly not a bad car.

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