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The all-new Opel Astra now has a plug-in hybrid version

Also, it is offered solely as a five-door hatchback

A European compact hatchback on our roads? Why not? PHOTO FROM OPEL

The German automotive brand Opel remains close to the hearts of many Filipino petrolheads who are old enough to remember the Rekord and the Manta cruising along our roads in the 1960s and the 1970s. Or at least the likes of the Vectra and the Tigra in the 1990s.

One of those noteworthy models Opel brought here was the Astra compact sedan, marketed and sold by a General Motors subsidiary when the American company had official presence in the country (and when GM still owned Opel). But those days are long gone, and Opel now belongs to Stellantis.

And to really remind all of us that Opel has already moved on, the European marque unveils this—the sixth generation of the Astra, which is being offered as a 4,374mm five-door hatchback. The manufacturer has made sure to point out that this model has a wheelbase that is 13mm more than that of the outgoing version, but maintains an overall length that is just 4mm longer than the previous car. That results in a truly sporty profile, featuring wheels that have been stretched out to the corners.

Do you like the new face design of the brand? PHOTOS FROM OPEL

The big news here is the fact that the Astra is now electrified. Which means it already has plug-in hybrid propulsion (up to 225hp in system output) in addition to the regular gasoline and diesel options. If you think about it, it is only logical for Opel to electrify its cars if only to do justice to its Blitz (“lightning” in German) logo. The firm has expressed a serious intent to give every one of its products an electrified edition by 2024.

The vehicle boasts the new face of the brand, which is being called Vizor. Look at it and your eyes will be instantly drawn to the Intelli-Lux LED headlamps, which consist of a total of 168 LED elements.

We like that this car is a hatchback instead of a sedan. PHOTOS FROM OPEL

Inside, you will notice the fully digital Pure Panel dashboard, which officially retires analog instrumentation. It is made up of a pair of 10-inch displays. Opel claims these screens are “seamlessly integrated, together with the driver’s side air vent.” Needless to say, this is not the Opel cockpit your father experienced in his youth.

The interior is nice. We just hope all that electronics will hold up. PHOTOS FROM OPEL

We once wrote a piece making known our wish to see this automaker on our highways again. Who knows? With its parent company presumably making plans to expand its global territory, maybe we’ll get to drive this modern-looking Opel Astra.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.