Supporting Motors

New Astra Electric sees Opel complete line-up of diesel, electric, and petrol engines

With the arrival of the new Opel Astra Electric, the brand now has the complete collection of power units at this level – petrol, diesel, and electric. I’ve been in the company of the Astra Electric with notable results when driven to suit its electric set-up.

Externally, the electric Astra is the same as the petrol and diesel, something people should like about the car as it is not tying to stand out like a sore thumb. It is modern and styled to be a full member of the Opel family with its ‘visor’ grille that is the new signature of the Opel brand.

Internally, all versions of the Astra are the same too, and while the electric version is heavier than the others, it is just as nimble and just as steady on the road. Super road holding and driving feedback is something the Astra is noted for, and it delivers pure enjoyment when driving.

Sales of EVs have a nose-dived over recent months and registrations are down so far this year. In May 1,044 new electric cars were registered, which was a massive 39.1% lower than the 1,715 registrations in May 2023.

So far this year, 10,062 new electric cars have been registered, which is a 21.8% decrease compared to the same period in 2023 when 12,875 electric cars were registered.

Those sales figures have prompted car companies to take action to try to boost EV sales ahead of the second half of the year and Opel, like other brands, are wheeling out their offers for the 242 registration plate.

On the face of it, they are levelling the playing field for electric motoring by reducing the price of the electric version by €5,000. A level one SC trim diesel automatic currently retails from €37,295 plus delivery: with Opel’s €5,000 Eco Bonus, plus the SEAI grant and VRT allowance, a level one Astra SC Electric model now retails from €34,598 plus delivery-related charges, representing a substantial cost saving of €2,697.

Opel promise around 416km range on a full charge with a figure in real-world driving that is not far off the 375 returned over a week. This requires sensible driving and a light right foot. Now a paid-up member of the Stellantis Group, Opel uses the same 54KwH battery as its Peugeot/Citroen/Fiat relatives and delivers the same output.

Space inside is a match for any car in the same segment with space for five adults and decent legroom in the back seat. Boot capacity is decent too with 352 litres of cargo space increasing to 1,268 litres when the rear seats are folded forward.


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