The Opel Astra GSe is a new top of the range, more performance-oriented Astra plug-in hybrid with 225hp, sportier styling and improved handling.

It’s also one of the first Opels to wear the brand’s new GSe badge, alongside the new Opel Grandland GSe.

GSe stands for Grand Sport Electric and blends Opel’s sporty heritage with their electric future.

Caroline travelled to Malaga, Spain, with Opel Ireland to drive the new Astra GSe, which will be available as a hatchback and as an estate.

It’s expected in Ireland in the next few months. It will sit at the top of the newly launched Astra range – Irish Compact Car of the Year 2023 – and is on sale priced from €52,695.

The Opel Astra GSe is expected in Ireland in 2023
The Opel Astra GSe is expected in Ireland in 2023


The new Opel Astra is already one of the most dynamic looking cars in its class with sharp styling and compact dimensions. The Astra GSe builds on the sporty look of the Opel Astra SRI with 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels with a unique design inspired by the Opel Manta GSe Elektromod concept, a sportier front bumper with larger glossy black intake, and the new GSe badge on the boot lid. The new Astra GSe is a good-looking car with lots of presence, especially finished in white, and has as much kerb appeal as a Cupra Leon e-Hybrid.

There’s also a stylish Astra Sports Tourer GSe available with the same sporty design features.


Inside the Astra GSe gets new GSe-branded, Alcantara and leather-effect sports seats. Like the rest of the Astra range, the seats are AGR certified so they are very comfortable and supportive. Alcantara also features in the door panels. Though overall the cabin doesn’t feel as posh as a Volkswagen Golf GTE. The Astra GSe does get lots of standard equipment like heated steering wheel and seats, parking sensors, 360-degree camera, wireless smartphone charging, as well as lots of safety features. There’s also a full digital instrument cluster for the driver and a large touchscreen that’s simple to use, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The interior of the Opel Astra GSe
The interior of the Opel Astra GSe


The Astra GSe hatchback will seat five and provides adequate accommodation for adults and children. However, if you opt for the Astra GSe, boot volume is reduced from 422 litres in petrol and diesel Astras, to 352 litres in the hybrid. Though that’s still more than in a Cupra Leon e-Hybrid or Volkswagen Golf GTE.

The Astra GSe Sports Tourer is the best for practicality with a longer wheelbase giving a feeling of more space in the rear seat, a bigger boot and larger rear door openings.


The Opel Astra GSe uses a 1.6-litre petrol electric hybrid powertrain with a range-topping 225hp and power goes to the front wheels. It has 360Nm of torque and accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds. That’s just marginally quicker than the Astra plug-in hybrid with 180hp already on sale, but it’s the technical updates that make the Astra GSe more special.

Up to 64 kilometres of electric driving is possible on a full battery, and it takes less than 2 hours to charge the battery from a 22kW charger.

The Astra GSe is a more performance oriented plug-in hybrid
The Astra GSe is a more performance-oriented plug-in hybrid


The Opel Astra GSe has been designed to be more performance-oriented so Opel engineers have made adjustments to the chassis, suspension and steering to achieve better handling characteristics. There are three driving modes – Electric, Hybrid and Sport. Pop it into Sport mode and there’s also an enhanced GSe sound.

The handling is improved over a standard Astra plug-in hybrid and feels faster and more secure over the tarmac. Opel Astra GSe models have a dedicated chassis that has been lowered by 10 millimetres for greater stability in the corners. The steering also gets a sportier calibration and is faster and more responsive. The front and rear suspension have unique springs and oil-filled dampers with Frequency Selective Damping, which makes the Astra feel remarkably comfortable, yet controlled in the corners. The ESP settings are also exclusive to GSe models, allowing more slip before intervening. The Astra GSe is certainly a top handling car, though it feels more like a swift and capable hybrid than a hot hatchback.


The new Opel GSe hatchback is available from €52,695 in Ireland. The standard Astra plug-in hybrid with 180hp is available from €45,995.

The new Opel Astra GSe offers power and efficiency
The new Opel Astra GSe offers power and efficiency


Alongside the new Opel Grandland GSe, the Astra GSe is one of the first Opels from their new sub-brand of dynamic, electrified models. The GSe badge taps into Opel’s sporty heritage with cars like the Opel Manta and Monza, but it’s sporty performance for a new era.

Styling updates are subtle inside and out, though the interior does benefit from those new sports seats. Aside from that, the interior is a little bland – but it does come well-equipped.

This is an expensive Astra yet Opel engineers do deserve credit for the tweaks made to improve the Astra’s handling. The GSe does feel more sophisticated on the road than the rest of the range, with a quiet and smooth plug-in hybrid powertrain that offers both efficiency and power.

Is it enough? The Astra GSe will be a niche model in Ireland but it is great to see a revival of Opel’s sporty performance badge for a new electrified era.


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year