All-new Opel Astra makes Singaporean debut

BY Burnpavement

2016’s European Car of the Year spearheads a new product offensive for local distributor Auto Germany.

With just under 200,000 units sold in Europe, the Opel Astra was the continent’s fifth-best selling compact car in 2015. In Singapore though, fortunes were different, with the brand only managing to shift 96 cars in the same time period. For 2016 though, official agent Auto Germany plans to turn things around with a new business strategy, starting with the brand-new Opel Astra.

Fresh from its win at the European Car of the Year awards, the new Astra has been designed from the ground up to be lighter, more spacious and more compact than its predecessor.

Sitting on an all-new platform, the Astra now weighs between 120-200kg less than before, and offers passengers 35mm more legroom despite being smaller overall.

Just like the chassis, the engines that power the Astra also come from a new family, and are available in two turbocharged flavours. The base engine is a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder with 104bhp and 170Nm which is mated to a 5-speed Easytronic (i.e. automated manual) system, while those in search of more grunt can opt for a 1.4-litre 4-cylinder with 148bhp and 245Nm that’s paired to a traditional 6-speed automatic. Claimed economy figures are 23 and 18km/L respectively, with CO2 emmissions of 99 and 127g/km.

Impressively for this segment, the Astra comes packed with many features normally found only in expensive cars, such as the IntelliLink integrated infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay support, as well as optional LED matrix headlamps and ventilated massage seats. On the safety front, the Astra features a Forward Collision Alert that sounds an alarm if it detects the car closing in too quickly on an object in front, as well as a Lane Keep Assist system that can help nudge the steering to keep the car in a lane in case the driver has fallen asleep.

In addition to the hatchback, the Astra Sports Tourer wagon is also available, featuring a maximum 1630 litres of boot space, one-touch folding rear seats, and a powered tailgate that can be operated by waving one’s foot beneath the bumper.

As part of its new brand strategy, Auto Germany has rebranded its aftersales as Opel Service Exclusive and aims to ensure transparency and peace of mind with regards to their cars’ maintenance. As such, servicing costs will be capped at S$1000 nett for the first three years (with an option to extend a fourth and fifth year for S$800 each), and customers will also be provided complimentary transport back to their home or work place.

Looking to the future, Auto Germany has plans to introduce the Adam supermini later this year and the Mokka X compact SUV early next year, as well as reaching out to more customers with roadshows and social media campaigns.

As of press time, prices for the new Astra are as follows:
Astra 1.0 Easytronic - S$99,888
Astra 1.4A Turbo - S$114,888
Astra Sports Tourer 1.0 Easytronic - S$105,888
Astra Sports Tourer 1.4A Turbo - POA