After the compact, the Opel Astra continues to follow the trajectory of the Peugeot 308 and is now available in a Sports Tourer break version.
At the time of the excessive SUV, Opel does not abandon the station wagon body, which still has arguments to make. The new generation of Opel Astra is therefore available in a Sports Tourer version, a tradition inaugurated in 1963 with the Opel Kadett A Caravan (pronounced Car a van). Unsurprisingly, this body version closely follows the trajectory of the Peugeot 308, with which it shares its platform, its engines and its on-board technologies, for better and for worse.
The Opel Astra Sports Tourer is therefore based on the EMP2 V3 platform. A new version of the technical base that can also be found under the bodywork of the DS 4 e-Tense or Citroën C5 X for example. This platform makes it possible to embark a new 12.4 kWh battery, including 10.0 kWh of net capacity. It is therefore a unit made up of pocket cells with better energy density and controlled by a revised management.
Convincing hybrid management
But this one appeared to us a little different from that of a DS 4 e-Tense, tested on roads of the Oise as boring as those of the region of Rüsselsheim, stronghold of Opel. Because if the French chic was cautious with the load available in hybrid mode, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer was less shy. In this mode of operation, it is generally possible to reach 40-50 km/h before waking up the 1.6 l Puretech petrol engine of 150 hp on its own (out of the 180 hp and 360 Nm of the technical sheet) . However, by blowing on the right pedal, it is possible to reach 80 km/h using the sole force of the 110 hp electric motor installed in the EAT8 box. A behavior finally quite similar to the previous version of the PSA system.
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But there is a flip side. With such operation, the entire charge was consumed in 90 km of mixed route, with a final average of 1.8 l/100 km! We should perhaps reckon a little more with temperatures requiring less ferocious use of the air conditioning, but we do not think that it will be possible to go much beyond the 100-110 km route in hybrid mode before drain the battery.
From then on, the hybrid mode of operation on a base appeared. As with the DS 4, there would be between 15 and 20% charge left when the meter on the dashboard shows 0%. The goal here is to ensure electrical evolutions at low speed. But also to be able to provide an electric boost during sharp accelerations, as is the case during the 80-120 km/h exercise: the timer went from 6.82 s to 6.98 s from a situation to the other. Enough to bring it within our measurement tolerance threshold. As such, if the figures are relatively flattering, it is less the case in reality with a box that is reluctant to downgrade. We thus find ourselves dealing with an uncomfortable dead time when we press the right pedal, before making the engine roar. No doubt that its behavior should be more voluntary in Sport mode, where the 180 hp are present. But it will be necessary to remember to activate it before each overtaking, which is impractical. Or leave it on all the time, which is absolutely irrelevant.
Cooldowns under (expensive) conditions
Fortunately, soundproofing is worked with this new generation of Astra. And it is all the more appreciable in electric driving mode, where the Opel Astra demonstrates an inherent smoothness. In mixed course, it is possible to envisage around 45 km of autonomy. On urban routes, the score can climb to nearly 55-60 km, therefore, as much as the Peugeot 308. In this mode of operation, it is possible to climb up to 135 km/h, but we have not measured performance.
Recharging the battery is only done via the T2s socket in alternating current. The standard charger can handle a power of 3.7 kW, allowing a full recharge in 3h50. But this will require the 16 A cable as an accessory at the price of 539 € (!). Otherwise, the serial cable is clamped at 8 A which increases the operation time to 7:00. A 7.4 kW charger is available as an option at a price of 400 €. But to take advantage of its power, you must then select the Mode 3 cable at €249. Yes, it is more affordable than Mode 2 3.7 kW in the Opel Shop. In short, you have to lay 650 € on the table to drop the full recharge time to 1h55.
An Opel Astra Sports Tourer jokes on the road
On the road, the Astra differs from its French cousin when it comes to handling. Its trick: the Autobahn Proof philosophy dear to the German brand. As always, the chassis engineers are reviewing the consistency of the steering and the suspension settings to give the Astra a bit more stability. Beautiful steering wheel in hand, it is actually less lively than the unattainable Peugeot 308 in this game. The geared-down and slightly stickier steering does not allow it to go faster or provide the same driving pleasure. But its dynamism remains all the same unprecedented in its lineage.
However, it prefers to keep the wheels as straight as possible, well planted on its firmer suspension, to spin on the highway, where it can aim for consumption close to 7.5 l/100 km with the minimum contribution of the electric motor. Still with this scenario, the mixed (over)consumption seems more controlled than what the contrast effect may suggest with an average raised to 6.4 l/100 km. Rather correct for a break which will be sold in particular to professionals, who could see their fuel budget blow a little compared to a fleet of SUVs which are generally more greedy.
A large safe available
Especially since those who actually use the safe would not really be out of place. With a length of 4.64 m, it has a wheelbase of 2.73 m (+ 5.0 cm compared to the compact sedan). But more than a question of rear habitability, it is especially in the hold that everything changes. This plug-in hybrid version offers an architecture perfectly similar to that of a Peugeot 308 SW. At the bottom of the trunk, there is the battery box and a compartment to store the cable or the puncture repair kit.
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It is this occupied space that causes the loss of 60 l with this engine. But the useful volume is 548 l and can climb to 1,574 l with the bench seat flat. An Opel Grandland PHEV 225, admittedly shorter, offers only 390 l of usable volume on a daily basis… The station wagon also takes the advantage in terms of practicality with a wider tailgate opening and a rather low loading sill (60 cm) . It’s a pity that the floor only has a panel that can be lifted by a quarter to access the compartment housed below (it will be necessary to lift everything to recover the cable, for example).
The rest of the cabin is similar to that of the compact. Especially at the front with this high-end GS-Line finish dressed in the best coatings and equipment. We think in particular of the AGR seats in Alcantara and the Pure Panel digital panel slightly curved towards the driver. Readability and definition are pleasant, as is the image quality of the rear view camera. You would have to spend a little more time with the car to configure the menus, but also to understand their complex organization at first glance. The operating system is the same as used by the Peugeot and DS. It therefore recovers its qualities, but also the few youthful defects (sometimes incoherent information, display cuts, etc.), which could be corrected via updates.
People in front of the Opel Astra Sports Tourer
The results of the Opel Astra Sport Tourer are unsurprising. If it does not have the modern “sex appeal” of an SUV, this station wagon which takes care of its pencil stroke has many advantages. And more particularly in terms of practicality with a more generous and usable hold. With a lower center of gravity and the V3 platform, we also appreciate its dynamic behavior, although a step back from that of the Peugeot 308 SW which serves as its base. Finally, its latest generation hybrid tandem (we are mainly talking about the battery and its management) knows how to be reasonable in terms of consumption.
But the segment is not deserted and it comes in front of an army offered by the Volkswagen group with the Golf SW, but also with the Seat Leon Sportstourer (and its Cupra counterpart) and the Skoda Octavia Combi. If their hybrid management and their architecture are quite similar, the 1.4 l TSI engine is more sober than the 1.6 l Puretech. In short, the match will be tight for all these beautiful people, where the price will allow them to decide. It will then be necessary to wait until the launch of the Astra Sports Tourer PHEV 180, scheduled for the end of the year, to know its price list. But it should start at a price of €37,500, an extension of €1,200 compared to the equivalent sedan.
- Comfort and soundproofing
- Habitability and trunk
- Correct hybrid management
- Interface bugs
- lazy box
- Accessory charging cables