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Opel Astra GSe: Can a plug-in compact also be sporty? - Voila! Car


Highlights: Opel GSe tries to enjoy the best of both worlds. The design is a bit more muscular, but the Astra is already attractive at the base. The car will cruise at the pace of traffic, but if you want to overtake it will leap resolutely to 200 km/h. The turbo-petrol engine will make a presence and strain to get you to the required speed. It won't be as elegant as the hybrid combination, and certainly won't sound like Beethoven's Fifth, but it will be enough to keep up the pace.

With the key words in the automotive market being saving fuel and reducing pollution, the future of sports cars looks bleak. Then comes the Opel GSe and tries to enjoy the best of both worlds

The design is a bit more muscular, but the Astra is already attractive at the base (Photo: Walla! system, Yatir Davidovitch)

Price:Not yet determined
Competitors:Skoda Octavia Plug-in, Honda Civic Hybrid We
liked: design, fuel consumption, handling and performance with a full
battery We didn't like: more environmentally friendly than driving

The electrification trend around is actually killing the sports car. The electric car is limited in range, certainly if you drive it properly, the wonderful sound will be stored in the archive, and the light weight hes not to talk about. Car enthusiasts have no escape left, certainly not two or four, at the end of the day you have to compromise. Either saving pollution or saving fun, and the obvious global answer – forget the fun.

Opel, for its part, did not agree to give up and presented a new line of products under the name GSe that should offer you the best of both worlds. We put the Astra GSe to the test on winding roads and busy autobahns to see if a semi-electric car is both fun and clean or if it misses from all directions.

You can click on the winding road without worrying about getting stuck with an empty battery (Photo: Walla! system, Yatir Davidovitch)

Going out into the spaces

The Astra GSe was put to the test as part of a series of articles about the best driving roads in Europe so we got up very early in the morning, started the engine and... Nothing happened.

That is, the electric motor turned on and the car gently cruised out of the sleepy town. Gregory engine? Crackling from the exhaust? Forget it. The Astra is not into it. So we decided to test its electric range and discovered that at Autobahn speed it disappeared faster than Big Brother veterans. So we gave up and switched to leisurely cruising mode in hybrid mode.

And the Astra shone. Because even though its suspension is tougher and the body is lower, on the highway you really don't feel it. The car will cruise at the pace of traffic, but if you want to overtake it will leap resolutely to 200 km/h, assuming you have reserves of battery power. No? The turbo-petrol engine (1.6-liter, 180 horsepower) will make a presence and strain to get you to the required speed. It won't be as elegant as the hybrid combination, and certainly won't sound like Beethoven's Fifth, but it will be enough to keep up the pace.

Here we discovered an interesting phenomenon. In Astra GSe you can't save a battery for later, just define how many electric kilometers you want to have available to you. If there are not enough kilometers in the battery, the car will charge it while driving and of course pollute more. Bad? Not at all.

Over the centuries with the GSe, it has become clear that the availability of battery power in this mode allows the car to manage energy better and even display slightly superior fuel consumption compared to a trip where a certain range is not charged and the battery is completely empty.

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The seats are sporty and enveloping, the multimedia is uncomfortable to use in motion (Photo: Walla! system, Yatir Davidovitch)

Green today is very green

The truth is, in relation to the test data, which included very fast trips in the Autobahn, dynamic driving in the Alps and trips with a vehicle full of people and equipment, fuel consumption was 16.3 kilometers per liter. A very impressive statistic.

In the end, we also checked whether it satisfies the electric range. The road computer indicated that there were still 8 km left and we drove an 11 km suburban drive on electricity alone. Quite handsome. Yes, the Opel Astra GSe certainly lives up to the green side.

And it exists in other places that you see in the pictures. The designers of the GSe didn't have to work too hard to make the GSe a beautiful car, after all, they are based on the successful Astra. Still, the right touches give GSe the extra dimension that a hot sport needs. Sportier rims, slight lowering and touches to the bumpers give the family car a slightly more muscular look.

The slight, but obvious, design changes continue inward with a pair of sporty wrap-around seats and scattered GSe badges. The rest of the cabin is pretty similar except for some touches. The equipment, of course in this version, is quite rich. The familiar multimedia system from Astra displays a lot of information but is not the most convenient to use in motion. Fortunately, as is customary at Opel, the climate control controls are separate from the multimedia system and facilitate its convenient operation.

The seating position is low, sporty and very enveloping with a plump long-distance adjustable steering wheel and a comfortable electrically adjustable seat. The problem is actually a relatively low and vertical windscreen with a central mirror that hangs low. The arrangement may look good from the outside but creates an unsuccessful field of view for drivers.

A few more little things to check off. The juicy, wrap-around seats certainly affect the Astra's already limited space. The trunk in this version is quite small. One large suitcase and another small one alongside a large bag for the charging cable filled it above and beyond.

And one more thing. Travel comfort. With a low body, low-cut tires and respectable weight, the Astra isn't easy to be comfortable with. Indeed, the passengers in the car knew about every disruption and almost every detail of the road reaches the passengers.

On the other hand, despite the fact that this is a very busy car, it manages to alleviate most of the potholes in a way that does tell about them but does not transfer them directly to the passengers' backs. The soundproofing depends mainly on the quality of the road and ranges from excellent to unsatisfactory.

Performance depends on how much electricity you have left in your battery (Photo: Walla! system, Yatir Davidovitch)

White on White

After a long drive to southern Bavaria, we finally reached the driving road for which the Astra GSe was chosen. The Reidberg pass in the German Alps is short, but the incline is fine and the number of turns is confusing. And so we start to discover the sporty side of the GSE. The truth is, in the first moments it is far from impressive. The car is relatively heavy and dives into the turns with the same enthusiasm that a teenage boy would run to get a kiss from his aunt. The power of the engine comes in a burst of turbo and electricity that does not overlap and at revs it leads to a lot of frustrating understeering and an unconvincing pace.

But when we reach peak altitude a little frustrated and see a motorcyclist flying nearby, we remember that every tango needs two and this test needs a reset. Unlike many sports cars, the Astra GSe needs drivers who understand a bit of theory and will drive it correctly.

It starts with braking. The front wheels need a lot of weight to turn, so significant braking is required. Strong enough to press them but not too strong to turn on the ABS. The second the weight stabilizes on the right axis, the Astra GSe grips the road with the determination of a child who has reached the candy shelf at the supermarket. Then the turn happens surprisingly quickly and efficiently. And when its weight is balanced, the grip is excellent and there is almost no force to move it out of the lane.

A fun little point is the engine compartment design. In the center of the lid there is a bulge running along it. The low seating turns the bulge in the center into a kind of crosshair and helps enhance the sporting experience.

When you get out of the round, you need something most of us just don't have, patience. You have to wait with the gas, until the steering wheel is almost straight, and then you can come back with a lot of gas. Then, the Astra compensates with fast and efficient acceleration where the bursts of power do not affect the turn exit line. In addition, it is worthwhile to arrive on the road with proper power reserves and drive in mode B where regenerative braking operates because the involvement of electricity in the sporting experience is almost critical.

Without power, you'll feel like you're driving a legacy family with an average motor. With electricity, you'll feel that the Astra is sporty and stronger than the 225 horses that carry it, and here and there the bursts of electric power will lead it like a long wave towards the next braking point. The steering wheel itself has good weight when loaded and respectable accuracy, an important addition to the experience. Everything is complemented by good brakes and they are also precise.

A compromise in the spirit of the times. Fun without killing the forest (Photo: Walla! editorial board, Yatir Davidovitch)

It is neither dairy nor meat

The Astra GSe, which is scheduled to arrive in Israel later this year, is a car ready for any task. It will transport its owners daily using the electric motor to work and back. It will make long journeys at a good pace and with decent fuel consumption, and it will allow you to frolic on winding roads if the wind accidentally blows on you.

The GSe symbolizes a new generation of sports cars. Light weight, excitatory sound and explosive power are all not on the list and are replaced by environmental friendliness, proper handling and enough power so you don't complain.

Is it bad? Not necessarily. Given the circumstances, the other solution is simply to stop selling actual sports cars. The generation of sporty supermini cars, such as the Peugeot 208GTI for example, is already being lost these days and the turn of the Hot Hatch will come soon after.

The electric alternative, at least for now, is heavy and limited in range to allow you to go grind Sodom-Arad, or the mountain passes in the Alps, back and forth.

So under the circumstances, the Opel Astra GSe may not offer a pure experience, but it certainly offers an excellent experience on the side where smiles are raised and still hugs trees in the positive sense of the term.

On the technical side: Opel Astra GSe

Engine, Propulsion:Plug-in Hybrid, Turbo Petrol + Electric Motor, front-wheel
drive Displacement:1,598 cc
Power/Torque:225 hp, 36 kg
Battery:12.4 kWh
Transmission:Ott, 8 gears

Dimensions:Length (m):4.37
Width (m):1.86
Height (m):1.44
Wheelbase (m):
Trunk (liter): 352

Performance:Acceleration 0-100 (sec): 7.5 Maximum speed (km/h):235 Electric range Manufacturer:64 km Electric range Test:-Fuel consumption (manufacturer):39 km per liter Fuel consumption (test):16.3 km per liter Safety:European crash test score:

5 out of 5 stars

Active safety: automatic braking, lane departure correction, blind-spot vehicle warning, adaptive

cruise control Air pollution:Group 2 of 15

120 years or 8,160 km. Battery warranty:
<> years or <>,<> km

  • Car
  • Car Tests


  • Opel Astra

Source: walla

All tech articles on 2023-05-25

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