THE OPEL Astra makes sense why it was voted the Wesbank South African Guild of Motoring Journalists’ 2017 Car of the Year, since its global introduction in 2015.
Well, despite the parent company General Motors declaring that by end of 2017, they will be dis-investing from South Africa for numerous reasons-thanks to declining economy and lack of political leadership- Opel Astra will forever be etched in our minds.
The Astra’s all-round excellence has not gone unnoticed on the local front either and since its April 2016 launch Opel’s C-segment hatchback has received accolades including being voted Independent Newspapers’ Best of the Best for 2016.
Key strengths are exceptional efficiency in terms of packaging, aerodynamics, weight-reduction and drivetrains, but also the way it has democratised technology. It is packed with segment leading safety, infotainment and driver aids usually reserved for luxury vehicles.
In 2015 it won the SAFETYBEST Award and the 2015 Golden Steering Wheel Award, respectively.
As we took turns to the North West Province, Astra’s overall excellence spoke volume from its specifically build quality and dynamic ability – its safety-boosting road-holding and handling characteristics tops.
Other pointers include exterior design and & styling; interior use of materials; interior layout; technology; engine performance; gearbox & transmission; engineering integrity & build quality; steering and affordability.
More than 20 years later, the Opel brand is on the up. In the last three years, Opel sales in South Africa increased by 9.5% in a market that has declined by 15.5%.
Opel nameplates such as Adam and Corsa have also had their share of the limelight, with COTY finalist status and independent awards.
Wouldn’t mind the second bite at this beauty!
It retails for R334,600.
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