- Fuel economy
- What a Holden should be feeling like
The Astra, we all know of it and some have even owned one here in Australia before Opel launched in Australia, is back. In its previous incarnation the Astra was made in Europe and shipped to Australia under the Holden badge however now we have the Astra launching in Australia as an Opel, from Germany. The question is though, is it still just a Holden?
Follow us as on our 2012 Opel Astra Tourer review!
Opel itself is an historic brand and not simply a member of the General Motors family. In 1899 Opel sold their first car after having actually been producing sewing machines in 1862, bicycles in 1884 (then becoming world’s largest maker in the mid-1920’s), motorcycles, trucks and even a rocket car.
In Australia though, Opel has quite a bit of history which is mostly unknown to the general population. The much beloved Holden Commodore until 2006 was actually built upon the Opel Commodore platform when Holden wanted to replace the long-serving Kingswood. If we fast forward to now, where Opel is making its own mark in Australia, whilst the core is there, the brand itself is now in a whole new league.
The very first model we had the opportunity to review, thanks to Motorline Opel located in Daisy Hill Queensland, is the Opel Astra Tourer with the 2.0L CDTi Turbo Diesel. The engine itself is a four-cylinder with 121kW and 350Nm of torque thanks to the jumbo turbo (yes, it’s quite big). The Astra Tourer finds itself accelerating from 0-100km/h in 9.2seconds. When we picked up the car, we really didn’t know what we were getting into. More on that later.
When we arrived at Motorline Opel, we were quite surprised at the dealership layout itself. The whole thing is made of shipping containers, whilst only a temporary setup though, it has quite cleverly been constructed so that most people won’t even know they are shipping containers.
Having not seen many promotional images of the Tourer, as opposed to the rest of the line-up, we were quite surprised at how the great lines of the Astra hadn’t been disturbed with the additional rear end. Whilst this model isn’t a sports car, it is sleek and from the side it even has that sleek look and feel to it.
On the inside, the GM influence is certainly there. The instrument cluster, steering wheel and centre console are all familiar. I must say that despite that, there was this overall German refinement which really made that familiarity just that. It felt better, it looked better and that was also the comments from a few readers who we invited to check out the car firsthand
Immediately we pick up that this is a vehicle for a young couple who is starting a family. Everything you want it there including Bluetooth technology, great safety including 6 airbags, ABS, Traction Control as well as decent boot space.
This has very much been marketed as a premium European brand and it doesn’t try to be something it is not. Sometimes car makers miss the mark, and it can be so much more challenging for a new brand as well, but Opel has got it pretty much on the mark and kudos must be given.
So we’ve said it is a vehicle for a young family and when looking at it from that perspective it does have some good things going for it.
When considering the purchase of a Tourer versus a Sedan or Hatch, boot space must be important, and as a young family you’ll be going for weekends away, helping out with taking props to the school play or picking up new furniture for the home. The Astra Tourer has a capacity of 500litres with the rear seats up, or 1550litres with the rear seats down which is considerably larger than the Hatch which has 370litres and 1235litres respectively.
The rear seats have plenty of room for children in the rear, however if you’re an adult slightly taller than average you’ll fit, but you won’t want to be in there for long drives. The front seats on the contrary have great roof clearance even for those who are taller, and the seats are extremely comfortable for longer drives.
At the moment, Opel don’t have a tow bar option available which complies with Australian Standards, but we have been told that they are currently in the process of designing one. This is great news for those who might want to do a little towing, but those wanting one now will have to sit tight.
When it comes to European cars, there’s a certain level of expectation when it comes to the drive. You expect it to handle the highways, negotiate corners and for a tourer, you want it to be comfortable.
Normally when you drive a car you’re not too thrilled about you simply drive it where you want to go and there’s no desire to take the long route home. This simply wasn’t the case with the Astra Tourer. We founds ourselves, along with our passengers, always wanting to find the next back road to enjoy this station wagon. As a result we worked our way from Brisbane up to the Sunshine Coast in the morning and for dinner we had made our way back down to the Gold Coast.
This was all on one tank of fuel too.
The fuel economy figure for the Astra Tourer we had was 5.9 litres per 100km (combined) and we averaged 7 litres per 100km with the spirited driving we did. You’ll get quite a bit of distance from the 56 litre tank, with us achieving approximately 800kms on a single tank.
It’s also a great note that despite the slower acceleration time, performing overtaking manoeuvres on the highway was a breeze thanks to the huge amount of torque available. So a job well done there!
Having enjoyed the drive over the days which we had the car on loan from Motorline Opel, the question could we live with it every day is a no brainer. The car itself handles well, the front seats are extremely comfortable and it packs Bluetooth, MP3 capabilities and most of the other things you come to expect these days built it. So yes, we could live it and enjoy it too.
The fact that it also has that proper look and feel of a premium European is a bonus too which also helps justify why it is not just a Holden, and in fact a car which can stand on its own.
With the vehicle we tested was around the $42,000 mark with the luxury pack added and it probably wasn’t the best thing to look at the pricing sheet before jumping in because we did in fact think. It’s $42,000 and a Holden Commodore Sports Wagon is comparative in price and a lot bigger.
That didn’t however take into account all of the things we mentioned before. The Sports Wagon does feel like a big heavy car when driving and the Opel Tourer is sporty and handles like a breeze. Don’t forget the overall higher quality feel of the interior turning the experience into that of one being a lot more enjoyable.
The Opel Astra Tourer is something that does everything it wants to do and achieve. It’s an honest tourer which will suit an active young family or even someone who needs a streeter basic stationary kart stand around gear and wants to look sophisticated whilst doing it.
It did an excellent job at making sure it wasn’t just a Holden with a higher price tag. We really enjoyed the drive and if you’re looking for a mid-sized tourer this has to be one of your top contenders.
We have to give massive thanks to Motorline Opel located in Daisy Hill, Queensland for loaning the vehicle. Make sure you pay them a visit and experience the Opel Astra Tourer for yourself!