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Opel or VW in the test: who builds the best plug-in hybrid car? | life and knowledge

Next please! Dancers, actors and musicians know the three painful words with which they are expelled from the stage after a few minutes of audition.

The new Astra need not fear that today, for its debut, the compact Opel will be thoroughly inspected inside and out, standing and driving. During the AUTO BILD Test the Best event on the Bridgestone site south of Rome, we took the opportunity to compare the Astra L, still under construction in Rüsselsheim, with the Golf.

You can really be a little afraid of him, the Wolfsburg player continues to finish one test after another as a winner. The self-confident appearance of the Astra, which is nine centimeters longer and a whopping eight centimeters wider than the Golf, can’t do any harm.

The EMP2 platform, which the Astra now shares with its Peugeot 308 siblings, Citroën C4 and DS 4, could strike the trained eye. However, the new Astra is not only visually impressive, but also unique.

Even more rewarding for Astra fans: we don’t have to search long to find something the Astra can do better than the Golf. The door opened and slammed again – it sounds richer than the slightly shabby doors of the VW.

As soon as you enter, the Golf reveals further weaknesses: using the slider is a test of patience for some riders. As the fixed keys in the Astra are a blessing.

Smart: A short video on the center display explains the basic operation.

But even without a tutorial, you can quickly find your way around the Astra thanks to the easy-to-reach buttons that include a favorite function and a simple menu structure.

Large: The high resolution image of the pivoting Rueckfahrkamerathe thick knob for the volume, the buttons for the seat heating and the separate controls for the air conditioning – none of this is available in the Golf.

The elegant Astra is exactly nine centimeters longer than its competitor

The elegant Astra is exactly nine centimeters longer than its competitor

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Still as large as the space the Golf offers at 4.28 meters in length

Still as large as the space the Golf offers at 4.28 meters in length

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

It’s just a shame that you have to look for the rather small temperature display on the Astra’s center screen. The digital instrument cluster, on the other hand, is easy to use and clear.

The only thing we lack is a classic view with round instruments like in the Golf. With both, voice control can be activated via voice command. Everything works to some extent, but a little better in Wolfsburg.

Attractive and modern, with buttons and mostly easy to use.  Press on the steering wheel instead of scrolling.  Toggle switch controls (R to D) with slight delay

Astra: Nice and modern, with buttons and mostly easy to use. Press on the steering wheel instead of scrolling. Toggle switch controls (R to D) with slight delay

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Capacitive surfaces (not only on the light switch) do not facilitate operation in the VW.  The six-speed DSG is not at a disadvantage in terms of comfort

Golf: Capacitive surfaces (not only on the light switch) do not facilitate the operation of the VW. The six-speed DSG is not at a disadvantage in terms of comfort

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Furthermore, the Opel system does not understand who is speaking. The driver’s buttocks always warm up when the command “seat heating on” is given. The Golf, on the other hand, also recognizes when the passenger has cold buttocks.

Most importantly: the second row seat. The Golf has more to offer despite being shorter and having a shorter wheelbase. The Astra’s flatter rear and side windows also limit all-round visibility and the feeling of space – we already know this from the 308.

At the rear, the Astra is a bit narrower than the Golf and doesn't feel as airy

At the rear, the Astra is a bit narrower than the Golf and doesn’t feel as airy

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Head, knees and feet find considerably more space in the rear seat of the Golf

Head, knees and feet find considerably more space in the rear seat of the Golf

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

The small performance deficit of 24hp is irrelevant in everyday life, even if the Golf detaches from the Astra from a speed of 130. Too bad: despite the lower speed level, the Astra is louder inside .

In both, the four-cylinder runs a little rough under full load, but the Astra’s 1.6 looks a bit more cultured. No wonder the Golf’s 1.4-liter petrol-powered hybrid drive is pretty old now.

As with the Astra, the rear seat of the Golf can be folded down in two parts

As with the Astra, the rear seat of the Golf can be folded down in two parts

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Astra load compartment with more space than a plug-in but without a false floor

Astra load compartment with more space than a plug-in but without a false floor

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Complicated with hybrids: the transitions between electric mode and combustion mode. For both, the vote seems relatively successful. However, even in the compact class, this is still a bit smoother.

The Golf shows clear advantages with its much more direct steering, which reduces starting when maneuvering and is therefore more comfortable. And since the Golf also has an adjustable chassis, it gives a safer impression while driving in the test setup.

The all-round properties of the Astra chassis are still impressive, albeit the Opel in particular takes the short bumps a little stiffer.

Thoroughly cleaned, this new Astra, which certainly doesn’t need to be waved off the stage after the first audition. Thanks to the lower costs, she almost ends up on the level of her archrival. Full of excitement we say: Come on, please! And I mean the next test.

Astra in the fast lane: Opel reaches 5km / h faster than VW, but takes longer to get there

Astra in the fast lane: Opel reaches 5km / h faster than VW, but takes longer to get there

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Technical specifications

Opel Astra Plug-in Hybrid

VW Golf 1.4 eHybrid

Engine / cylinder type

Four cylinders, turbo, + electric motor

Four cylinders, turbo, + electric motor

Battery capacity kWh

12.4

13.0

Displacement

1598 cm³

1395 cm³

System power kW (CV)

133 (180)

150 (204)

System torque Nm

360

350

full speed

225 km / h

220 km / h

transmission

8-speed automatic

6-speed double clutch

to drive

front wheel

front wheel

factory consumption

1.1 l

1.3 l

electric range

60 km

K. A.

trunk volume

352–1268 l

273-1129 l

Length Width Height

4374/1860 – kA ** / 1442 mm

4284 / 1789–2017 ** / 1482 mm

Acceleration 0-100 km / h

7.7 sec

7.1 sec

base price

€ 39 609

39 985 €

Test car price (is evaluated)

40 689 € ***

45 290 € ****

* combined according to the WLTP standard; ** width with external mirrors; *** of which 18-inch tires 380 euros, navigation system 700 euros; **** including DCC chassis 1045 euros, 18-inch tires 1590 euros, progressive steering 215 euros, Discover Pro navigation system 1455 euros

At the front left is the charging port of the Golf ...

At the front left is the charging port of the Golf …

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

... on the left rear of the Astra.  Both create about 50 km electrically

… on the left rear of the Astra. Both create about 50 km electrically

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Conclusion

The first duel proves that the merger with Peugeot / Citroën did not damage Opel in any way, the Astra shows positive strengths compared to the Golf. Despite the narrow defeat, we are eagerly awaiting the first points match.

assessment

1st place: VW Golf

1st place: VW Golf

1st place: VW Golf, tight advantage despite the higher price

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

Square 2: Opel Astra

Square 2: Opel Astra

2nd place: Opel Astra has to admit defeat, but it offers more space in the trunk and is cheaper

Photo: Olaf Itrich / AUTO BILD

An article by AUTO BILD, issue 17/2022

An article by AUTO BILD, issue 17/2022

Photo: BILD AUTO

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