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How times have changed. When the first Astra came to South Africa back in the days when it was still aimed at the mass market, it was only sold as a sedan - its hatch sibling retaining the Kadett name.
Europeans have long since fallen out of love with compact sedans, which is why Opel of Germany could afford to take nearly three years to pair the latest Astra hatchback with a saloon version. Well, here it is.
And it's not a certainty for South Africa, our GMSA contact stating that it's one of many new products that are “under consideration” for our market.
239mm longer than the five-door hatchback, the Astra sedan's boot can carry an extra 90 litres, its boot volume amounting to 460 litres - or 1010 litres if the rear seats are folded down.
Like most modern saloons, this four-door has a raked C-pillar that conceals the true size of the boot and creates a more elegant look from behind.
Petrol engine options in Europe range from a 1.4-litre naturally aspirated engine with 74kW to the familiar 132kW 1.6 turbo unit. The range will be expanded next year with Opel's advanced new direct injection 1.6-litre turbopetrol engine. Diesel customers can opt for three 1.7-litre motors with between 70kW and 96kW.
Other technical highlights inherited from the hatch include Opel's Advanced Forward Lighting system with variable light distribution, the adaptive FlexRide chassis system and numerous available infotainment systems.
Billed as a more affordable alternative to traditional midsized sedans, Opel hopes its new four-door will spearhead growth in markets like Russia and Turkey where saloons of this size are quite popular.