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The Warsaw Voice » Society » March 31, 2011
Opel AstrA 2.0 CDTI Sports Tourer
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Lady in Red
March 31, 2011   
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This new Astra offers eye-striking contours, moves well and proves a practical partner on the road. What more could a reviewer want, asks Bartosz Grzybiński.

Few station wagons out there come with such an attractive body as the Astra Sports Tourer. The car looks superb from every angle, pleasing the eye with its perfect proportions and elegant contours. When you see it on the street, the Astra stands out not only among other compact station wagons, but even among cars from higher market segments.

The Astra Sports Tourer is 4,698 millimeters long and looks very much like the Insignia Tourer. It can be easily mistaken for the larger Opel model especially as the Astra is a newcomer on the Polish car market. The model was unveiled just a few months ago at the Paris Motor Show.

As far as station wagons are concerned, combining an elegant body with a functional interior is always a challenge for designers, but the new Astra is definitely a success. The modern-looking and highly ergonomic dashboard is identical to that in the hatchback version. The multitude of controls and switches may seem overwhelming at first, but it only takes a couple of minutes to find your way around it all. The steering wheel fits comfortably in hand and the car offers good visibility in all directions. The sports-style seats allow for a pleasant ride. The Sports Tourer can comfortably seat five adult passengers and features a well laid out 500-liter trunk that can easily hold the vacation luggage of a large family. Practical improvements include a double floor in the trunk that offers an extra 73 liters of space and the FlexOrganizer system with rails on the sides of the trunk and detachable modules that enable free adjustment of the luggage section. After the back seats are folded down, the capacity of the luggage compartment rises to 1,550 liters and makes it possible to carry objects 1,835 millimeters in length. In addition, there are 19 different compartments in the passenger cabin.

The car’s 2.0 l/160 hp turbocharged diesel engine seems to be a perfect choice to power the 1,400-kilogram car. The engine’s maximum torque is 350 Nm—or 380 Nm in the overboost mode—at 1,750 rpm, allowing the car to hit 100 kph in 9.5 seconds and travel at a top speed of 212 kph. The downside of the engine is that it is noisy, but its dynamic performance and fuel economy make up for that. According to the manufacturer, the car burns 5.1 liters of diesel fuel per 100 kilometers, but in the test-drive it consumed 6.5 liters on average. However, given that most of the drives were on city streets and in winter, the result is more than satisfactory.

The many upsides of the Astra are a nice surprise. In addition to its shapely body, functional interior and dynamic engine, the car comes with a wealth of comfort and safety features available as standard. Optional extras include the Flex Ride active suspension system that works in the Sport, Standard and Tour modes. The Sport mode delivers a particularly realistic “sporty” experience with a rigid suspension and responsive steering and acceleration systems.

Does the new Astra have any flaws then? Well, I suspect that, like every beautiful woman, it can perhaps be whimsical at times, but that is something I never experienced during our weeklong relationship.
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