Read Caroline’s Opel Astra review for everything you need to know about the new Astra ahead of its arrival in Ireland in June of 2022.

The Opel Astra is one of Opel’s core models, with over 9,000 Astras registered in Ireland in the last 7 years. It’s been around since the early 1990s and before that it was the Kadett. Together both cars give Opel 86 years of experience in the compact class.

Opel is enjoying a revival at the moment, which started with the launch of the new generation Opel Corsa in 2019 but really accelerated with the arrival of the new Opel Mokka and Mokka-e in Ireland in 2021.

The new Opel Astra continues the trend with on-point electrified powertrains, new design and the latest interior technology features. I travelled to Lisbon in Portugal with Opel Ireland to discover more about the new Astra and drive it for the first time ahead of its arrival in Ireland.

The new Opel Astra goes on sale for the first time as a plug-in hybrid, with petrol and diesel options also available. An all-new electric Opel Astra-e will debut in 2023. Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch.

The new Opel Astra will arrive in Ireland in June
The new Opel Astra will arrive in Ireland in June


Designed, developed and manufactured at Opel’s headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany, the new Opel Astra impresses on approach. The Astra’s all-new look is characterised by the striking new Opel family face at the front – the Opel Vizor. The blacked out grille area with vents looks ultra modern but surely retro inspired, while there is homage to the Kadett in the black ‘gills’ in the C pillar to the rear of the car. An optional two-tone paint finish adds even more character. At the rear, the centrally mounted Opel ‘Blitz’, the vertically aligned high-mounted brake lamp and the slim horizontal LED tail lamps further showcase the new Opel Compass design language. The surfacing of the car looks sheer and taut, shown off expertly in the exciting new Cult Yellow. Each trim level will distinguish the car a little more. SRI will be the sportiest in Ireland, but full specifications are yet to be confirmed for the Irish market.



Inside, the Astra has an all-new interior built around Opel’s new ‘Pure Panel’ design philosophy. Two 10″ screens come as standard creating a full digital, widescreen experience – a digital instrument panel for the driver and a second screen for the infotainment system. Smartphones can be charged and connected with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly. Key settings such as climate control can still be operated via physical switches and buttons.

There’s also a new steering wheel with a chrome third ‘spoke’ that adds some distinction to this new Astra. The centre console is quite high, adding a sporty wraparound feel from the driver’s seat.

The perceived quality of the cabin is good with soft touch plastic in the important places like on the top of the dashboard and the top of each door. More prominent hard plastic appears in the door panels but it is offset against some more plusher fabrics and trim.

Comfort has been a priority and the Astra’s front seats, developed in-house, are AGR (“Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.” / “Campaign for Healthy Backs”) certified, for optimum comfort and support. They are available optionally in Alcantara or leather.

The interior of the new Opel Astra
The interior of the new Opel Astra


The Opel Astra has seating for five. Measuring 4,374 mm long and 1,860 mm wide, it is only 4 mm longer than the previous model, yet the wheelbase has increased by 13 mm to 2,675 mm. The car is roomy up front but rear legroom is not the most generous of the compact class. The new Astra boot has an adjustable floor and offers 422 litres of capacity in petrol and diesel models. However, boot volume is reduced to 350 litres in the Astra plug-in hybrid, though that’s still acceptable for the compact class.

The Opel Astra Sports Tourer will arrive in Ireland by the end of the summer and will offer more practicality, while a longer wheelbase should offer rear passengers more legroom. There will be over 600 litres of boot space.


The new Opel Astra will be available from launch in Ireland with the choice of petrol and diesel engines, and a new Astra Hybrid. A full electric Astra-e will arrive in 2023 with more details expected later in 2022.

The latest generation of the Astra debuts for the first time as a plug-in hybrid with two performance levels (180 hp at launch, 225 hp to join before the end of the year). Both models use a 1.6-litre, four cylinder turbo petrol engine, 12.4 kWh battery and electric motor. The new Astra Hybrid can be charged and driven electric for up to 60 km. Versions with petrol and diesel engines are available with six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions. The petrol line-up is comprised of the 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine with 110 hp or 130 hp. There’s also a 1.5-litre diesel with 130 hp.

The petrol manual was a blast to drive on the tight, twisty roads along the coast above Lisbon and through the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. The diesel automatic offered great refinement and economy, averaging 4.8 litres per 100 km on my test drive.

The plug-in hybrid with 180 hp is currently the most powerful of the range and feels it on the road. There is a silky delivery of robust power, it’s super responsive to the throttle and very quiet on the road. On first glance, very efficient to run too, even in hybrid mode.

The new Astra is available for the first time as a plug-in hybrid
The new Astra is available for the first time as a plug-in hybrid

On the road

The new Astra is based on the third generation of the Stellantis Group’s EMP2 multi-energy architecture. But Opel engineers have tweaked it to make the Astra feel like an Opel. Some of the team’s goals during development were to create a car with handling that is composed as well as dynamic, and “Autobahnproof”, with high-speed capability a primary development objective.

The steering and lateral stiffness of the chassis – McPherson strut suspension at the front, torsion bar at the rear – are designed for high yaw control (damping of the movement around the horizontal axis). Under braking, the new model delivers strong stopping power and remains highly stable in curves as well as in a straight line. The torsional rigidity of the new Astra is 14 per cent higher than that of the previous model.

The team wanted to create a car with sporty driving dynamics to match the Astra’s cool new look. And the Astra certainly delivers with fabulous body control through tight, fast corners for a front wheel drive family hatchback. The steering is quick and nicely weighted, firming up at speed for a precise and defined feel that makes motorway driving a breeze. The refinement and acoustic comfort behind the wheel is a big step up for the latest Astra. All cars get laminated glass in the windscreen and the high spec models on test had it in the front passenger windows too. It creates a delightful cocoon inside the cabin.

The Astra has been tuned for composure and dynamism
The Astra has been tuned for composure and dynamism


While specifications and trim levels for the Irish market are yet to be confirmed, we do know that the new Opel Astra will have two 10-inch widescreen displays as standard, as well as wireless smartphone charging.

Other top fetaures will vary depending on trim level but they include the latest version of Opel’s adaptive Intelli-Lux LED® Pixel Light for even greater visibility in night driving, already available on Opel’s Grandland SUV and Insignia flagships. Featuring a segment-leading total of 168 LED elements, 84 in each ultra-slim headlamp, the main beam adjusts seamlessly in milliseconds, without glare for other road users. Approaching or preceding traffic is “cut out” precisely.

Assistance systems include front collision warning with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and drowsiness detection, all of which are standard equipment in every version. A large head-up display, adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function and Intelli-Vision, a camera and radar-based system for easier parking, are also available.


The launch of the 2022 Opel Astra is a fresh start for the perennial Opel compact car. The new Astra has flourished into a sporty, desirable and distinct hatchback for the compact class.

The Astra’s stand-out design and new Vizor face give it real character now among competitors and make it instantly recognisable as a new generation Opel.

Inside, Opel is finding its feet with the new Pure Panel interior design concept. It’s the best cabin yet of the new generation Opel cars with a well defined digital set up characterised by the two 10″ widescreen displays as standard. With wireless smartphone charging as standard and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, the Astra is geared up for the digital generation.

The Astra will offer a tremendous spread of choice for the compact class when it comes to powertrain. With diesel, petrol and plug-in hybrid available from launch, and the electric Astra-e from 2023, this car has a lot to offer. From the simplicity of a petrol manual to the power and flexibility of the plug-in hybrid, Astra is breaking new ground for Opel.

While the popularity of hatchbacks has been dwindling as SUV sales soar, the new Opel Astra offers a sporty, fun to drive alternative that looks great with plenty of options for individualisation. Now we just have to wait for the pricing!

The new Astra is expected in Ireland in June
The new Astra is expected in Ireland in June

Caroline Kidd