The Opel Astra three- and five-door hatchbacks, which appeared in 2003, quickly won an army of fans. Bright and original, they did not allow the wagon to turn around in full force, which is much less common with us. It would seem that the same could happen with a sedan. Firstly, they simply managed to forget about the very likelihood of its appearance. Secondly, the design of the tailgate was closer in style to a boring station wagon than to more expressive hatches. However, as soon as it appeared, the sedan began to catch up. It’s time to check on our training ground in Vairano, what else, besides the body type, beloved in Russia, Astra Sedan can please its owner.
EXACTLY IN SIZE
Scenarios for creating B- and C-class sedans are quite diverse. They are either drawn simultaneously with other modifications, like the Ford Focus, or they are made from scratch, a striking example of which was the Toyota Corolla. And it also happens that, after thinking about the commercial benefits, they attach the trunk to an existing hatchback, as it was, say, with the Peugeot 206.
The latest concept of creating a three-volume was also used in the case of the Opel Astra. The compromise between practicality and appearance is not bad at the same time. Outside, the Astra Sedan does not look like a first-grader with a briefcase “for growth”, which is a considerable merit of the station wagon’s chassis. It allowed to maintain the proportionality of the car thanks to the increased wheelbase, which is 90 mm longer than the hatchback.
Assessing the design of the stern, you can only find fault with the rear lights – they are frankly boring in appearance. At the same time, their simple shape provided even if not the widest, but uniform opening of the trunk lid.
VIEW IN THE ROOT
In addition to the positive aesthetic effect, the increased distance between the wheels improved the conditions for accommodating passengers: there is much more space in the legs of the second-row riders. A great addition to the comfortable seats and spacious rear sofa. Otherwise, the interior of the sedan is not much different from the interiors of its relatives. The same sound insulation is good by the standards of the class. The same strict lines of the instrument panel. The same solid materials and assembly.
Good regular audio system, pleasant climate control. True, the logic of setting up the last two devices, as before, requires studying the instructions. The stumbling block is the center console, under the glossy black piano lacquer of which sophisticated technologies are cleverly disguised.
“Hot” keys are practically absent here, you have to turn the air conditioner on and off with a joystick, moving through an intricate menu. It’s the same with switching between discs in a CD player.
Numerous walks through the labyrinths of the menu led to a small discovery. Pressing the buttons on the same center console, we found the coolant temperature indicator, which many lack on the instrument panel. Everything is extremely simple: hold down the SETTING key until the sound of profanity is hammered on the air, then double-click the BC key and observe the engine temperature, speed in km / h and much more on the on-board computer screen!
So read the instructions and experiment, this will help you not be distracted on the go. After all, you will already be busy with an important matter – mastering the impulse switches of the turn signals. Of course, you can get used to anything, and we have been familiar with the Opel “chip” for more than a year. But we still cannot call a successful solution that turns an elementary action into something comparable to the work of a sapper or a microsurgeon.
SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE
The sedan has few technical frills, but there is nothing to complain about either. MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear. The suspension is emphatically harsh, the tires are low. Therefore, small flaws in the roadway are well felt, and larger irregularities, like tram tracks. But on more or less gentle irregularities, both comfort and composure of behavior are quite enough.
The steering maintains reliable feedback from the wheels, which adds confidence, at a good level and accuracy of reactions to steering movements. In a barrel of honey, only a small, barely noticeable fly in the ointment is found: on the expressway, the car deviates slightly from strictly following a straight line, requiring slight corrections in the trajectory.
Surprising torque ninety percent of which is available in the range from 2200 to 6200 rpm. But the automatic transmission willingly maintains a measured rhythm of driving but is categorically against an active drive. Switching begins to annoy with slowness, and untimely transitions to a step higher or lower. In a word, mutual understanding does not work.
Partly helps out the Sport mode, in which the switching algorithm changes towards a more energetic one. But here, too, there are drawbacks: acceleration becomes not so much dynamic as jerky. And you will have to listen to a lot – jumps in speed are accompanied by strong engine noise. It is also strange that the Sport mode key is located on the console closer to the front passenger than to the driver.
DETAILS OF ORIGIN
Enjoying the Opel Astra Sedan is easy. You just need to be prepared to put up with a confusing menu and nightmarish turn signals. Get used to the slow “machine”, or take the “mechanics”. And also trust the domestic manufacturer. After all, Astra Sedan is now assembled in Russia, at the GM plant near St. Petersburg. However, in the course of far from being the shortest trip from Moscow to Milan, we never once remembered the origin of the car.
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