Opel Astra Hatch Receives Tweaks To Styling And Pricing

12 February 2013

To keep the Opel Astra Hatch fresh in the face of mounting C-segment competition from the Volkswagen Golf VII, Toyota Auris and Kia Cerato, General Motors South Africa (GMSA) has introduced a number of new styling and specification changes across the Astra range.

Revisions to the exterior styling, interior trim and technical specifications, are introduced along with a more aggressive new pricing structure to help cement the Astra hatch as the German-built, value proposition for the C-segment buyer.

Somewhat paradoxically, GMSA say in the current economic climate (the new car market grew by 14% in January and had its second most prolific year ever in 2012) there has been a shift away from ‘nice-to-have’ specification. GMSA believe buyers are favouring specification that offers a degree of cost saving without a sacrifice in functionality.

Accordingly, GMSA have reviewed the specification versus pricing across their Astra range and, together with Opel in Germany, arrived at a formula that enables them to reduce the cost and increase competitiveness. GMSA say they didn’t apply any price increase to the Astra during 2012 when most of its competitors saw price increases.

On the outside, the external styling changes for 2013 models feature a revised grille with the distinctive Opel insignia now centred top to bottom, in a wing shaped chrome embellishment, together with a redesigned front bumper with a more pronounced lower grille section. The new frontal styling is completed with a simpler and more sophisticated update for the fog lights and turn indicators.

New chrome detailing, a revised bumper design and new treatment for the license plate holder can be found on the Astra’s rear end. The styling package is complemented with revised alloy rim designs across the range. Interior styling changes include the introduction of new contemporary trim materials and mouldings.

How about the new value-for-money pricing? Firstly, the Astra 1.6-litre Essentia now goes without cruise control, rear electric windows and curtain side airbags. The revised price of this model has therefore been reduced from R235 200 to R231 000.

New in the line-up is the Astra 1.4T Essentia Plus. This includes electric windows at the rear, cruise control and curtain side airbags. This model is offered at a very competitive R248 000 and effectively replaces the Astra 1.4T Enjoy Plus.

Climbing further up the range, the enhanced value proposition Astra 1.4T Enjoy now includes automatic rain sensing windscreen wipers, an anti-dazzle rear-view mirror and auto headlight control. This is offered at R257 000. For this price you also get a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity for the radio/CD-player and a leather covered steering wheel.

The Astra 1.6T Sport gains no specification change, but the price is reduced from R301 900 to R298 500. That means it still includes Opel’s sports chassis, premium grade leather trim, translucent instrument accent lighting, dual-zone electronic climate control, an adjustable armrest (front), electronic parking brake with hill start assist and 18-inch alloy wheels.