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Monday, February 4, 2013

OPEL SA REFRESHES ASTRA RANGE




Opel has not quite caught fire with the South African buying public lately. Something happened along the way and buyers simply shunnedthe brand. Sad because it’s such a great badge with extremely competitive products. The Astra is one such item, and GMSAhas seen it fit to fight the fight in a different way. They’ve dropped prices!


We don’t often hear of such a thing happening in our landscape. A car manufacturer introduces an updated product, a facelift if you will, and simultaneously drops prices. Well this is it. The new updated facelift Astra is cheaper than the car it replaces.

It has a new facial appearance characterised by a revised front grille where the Opel badge is now centred top to bottom, while a new front bumper, fog lights and indicators are evident. The backsidealso went in for some treatment. New bumper, some chrome details and a different housing for the number plate.

The baseline 1.6 Essentia does not have cruise control or rear electric windows (a real downer for such a prestigious car). Its naturally aspirated engine is also not quite up there with the best, puffing out 85kW and 155Nm of torque. We believe it’s on its last tyre threads though, so don’t despair.

A better option is the 1.4T Essentia Plus which has what the 1.6 does not, as well as 103kW and 200Nm to play with. Opel claims a 9.8 second 0 – 100km/h sprint for it, and fuel economy of 5.9 litres per 100km. Stated C02 emissions are 138 g/km and drive is through a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Then you have a 1.4T Enjoy with added spec such as auto headlight control and automatic rain sensors.

Lastly the 1.6T Sport comes in with 132kW and 230Nm of torque, sprinting off from standstill to 100km/h in just 8.5 seconds using a 6-speed manual gearbox. Its’ not quite OPC though, but that’s ok because that 206kW monster arrives in Mzansi officially next week!

2013 Opel Astra facelift pricing
1.6 Essentia (from R235 200 down to R231 000)
1.4T Essentia Plus (R248 000)
1.4T Enjoy (R257 000)
1.6T Sport (from R301 900 to R298 500)

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//PART 2