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the Opel Astra (2022) challenges the Peugeot 308

Opel, which was acquired by PSA in 2017, which became Stellaantis in early 2021, is gradually renewing its range, taking advantage of the technical advances recently made at Citroën, DS and Peugeot. So, even if the Astra vintage 2022 aesthetically unlike any of its “blue-white-red” cousins, they borrow it their latest generation chassis (EMP2 platform), their petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines, as well as their multimedia content. Rüsselsheim engineers to bring their home settings, for a more Germanic typing!

On the design side, the make-up is quite successful, with a “bon chic bon genre” look more rewarding than that of the previous Astra. His false airs from volkswagen golf 8 in the treatment of the rear there are probably no strangers to it… In any case, it is difficult to confuse it with its French duplicates, the Peugeot 308 for its part shows a more athletic design, not to say tortured… We nevertheless find some common elements by playing the game of seven faults (eg mirrors and door handles), as well as identical proportions. To a small centimeter, both in length and in height, in favor of the Opel.

Despite their common architecture, these two compact sedans display very different personalities.

The facial expression is clearer when lifting the hoods, our petrol versions move using the 3-cylinder 1.2 turbo PureTech, designed under the PSA era† For now, we will omit the 110 hp entry-level version to focus on the version demanded to secure the bulk of sales: the 130 hp, mated to a classic six-speed manual transmission, the eight-speed automatic for which an additional €1,800 ( Opel) up to €2,000 (Peugeot) is required. Above all, this engine gives access to a wider choice of finishes from the two manufacturers, including the GS Line core range, on the German side, and Allure Pack on the French side, which are displayed with a standard endowment and closing prices. It is therefore a tight competition that lies in wait…

Price Opel Astra vs Peugeot 308

No more Opel at “democratic” prices. that of the new Astra are in fact inflated by about 3,000 € compared to the old version with an equivalent version. A straw ! And to make matters worse, our 1.2 Turbo GS Line version has already increased by €1,300 since its presentation last February… It now exceeds the psychological threshold of €30,000, below which the 308 1.2 PureTech Allure Pack still remains (€29,00). Not for long, we think, the rises will also follow each other steadily in Sochaux, with the rise in commodities. For the time being, 850 € separate our two warring factions in favor of the French.

The balance no longer tilts significantly to one side or the other by adding the standard equipment† Because if the Opel is decorated with ergonomic heated seats labeled AGR (German Association for Back Health), a steering wheel also heated and a 360 ° vision camera, optional at Peugeot, he unfortunately claims 700 € to take advantage of the GPS (yes !) and €150 for the induction charger, automatically allocated to the 308. Which also has the blind spot monitoring system (€550 pack with semi-autonomous driving at Opel).

opel astra gs line vs peugeot 308 allure pack
Opel Astra GS Line vs Peugeot 308 Allure Pack.

Unfortunately, the lioness forces the customer to opt for the superior finish (GT) if he wants to afford the glass sliding roof or the 18-inch alloy wheels. We therefore give the German a small advantage to provide access to this additional equipment (only €150 for the rims and €1,000 for the sunroof), as well as a head-up display (€1,250 with GPS included). Pour le reste, c’est kif-kif, avec aide au maintien dans la voie, régulateur de vitesse adaptatif, lecture des panneaux, phares leds avec fonction code/phares automatiques, instrumentation numérique de 10 pouces, climatization bizone, clé mains libres et link Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto for everyone. The bare minimum, today, at this level of the range…

To ride

opel astra 2022 vs peugeot 308
For this first duel, the cousins ​​of the Stellantis group compete in a 130 hp petrol version. The heart of the range, both for Opel and Peugeot.

Despite their common technical basis, these two compacts do not offer the same driving sensations. Especially on the steering side very assisted and therefore less astute on board the Astra. The large steering wheel calls for greater maneuvers when cornering, while the mini rudder of the 308, with an exquisite feel, allows the car to be positioned “to the millimeter” without having to steer excessively. This hint of extra agility emphasizes the playful and agile nature of the French car, less playful than the previous generation, as we’ve noted several times, but still devilishly effective when it comes to lacing. The french touch

Even if she sometimes gives the impression of lack of virtuosity (indeed she accuses 83 kg more on the scales), the Astra also shows a remarkable balance, with excellent traction on dry roads and a rear axle bolted to the ground. It also benefits from equally effective braking. But also a better-guided gearbox than the lioness’s, a tad gristly… Unfortunately, the two cars come together in mediocrity when it comes to rear visibility, which is more than limited. Suffice it to say that the reversing camera, standard in both camps, is welcome here during parking maneuvers, given the importance of blind spots.

opel astra petrol 130 hp
Driving the Opel Astra.
peugeot 308 test 2022
At the wheel of the Peugeot 308.

Yellow card again for the 308 for the legibility of its instrumentation. The famous i-Cockpit, halfway between classical instruments and a head-up display, forces the handlebars to be lowered to thigh level so that it doesn’t hide all or part of the counters. on board of the Opel Astrathe design is certainly less original, but the information on board has the merit of remaining perfectly legible through the rim of the bezel, regardless of the riding position chosen…

The Opel Corsa – based on the Peugeot 208 – left us with a bitter taste with its stiffened suspensions. We therefore expected the same inconvenience when comparing the Astra with the 308, whose soft damping is one of its main assets. Pleasantly surprised, the German turns out to be just as attentive, including with the large 18-inch wheels of our test model. Little bleeding or fat donkey, he digests! Maybe even better than the franc-comtoise, a bit frozen on certain tracks.

opel astra
Comfort is the rendezvous at the wheel of the new Astra. It even filters out some imperfections a little better than the 308.
Peugeot 308
Precise steering, sharp front axle and great overall agility: the 308 lives up to the Lion’s reputation for ground connections.

Excellent soundproofing too, which the Frenchwoman, quite brilliant in this area, had prepared us for. Their “three legs”, with their characteristic hum, can only really be heard at high revs, where you sometimes have to hang on to get better boosts, the last two gears of their transmission, quite long, further favoring consumption (in both cases an average of about 7 l/100 km, relying on the on-board computer) than performance). That said, these aren’t ridiculous: some 4-cylinder competitors don’t offer as much liveliness as the little supercharged 1.2 when the light turns green…

To live

It’s amazing how the designers, even though they start from a certain number of common elements, manage to create universes as different as these two huts. Sobriety a must in Rüsselsheim, fireworks in Sochaux! A spectacular 308, with its cockpit that envelops the pilot and its abundance of “trendy” materials, of very good quality. The digital is of course very much present on board, be it the customizable instruments, the central central touchscreen or the i-Toggles bar that allows you to create shortcuts to instantly access your favorite radio station, the Apple CarPlay menu, a recurring GPS destination or your significant other’s phone number. However, it takes a little practice to understand the subtleties of the system, which requires three manipulations, for example to turn off the lane assist (a little too intrusive for our taste), which reconnects without saying anything at every start. ..

opel astra interior
Less spectacular than the French, the Astra offers no less a modern dashboard, broken with digital screens.
Peugeot 308 interior
No other compact offers such a spectacular driving position as the 308! The experienced quality is there.

Same penalty with the Astra, whose interfaces are perfectly identical, except for the graphics. However, the German engineers came up with the good idea to keep the physical air conditioning controls independent of the central screen. Much more practical in everyday life! However, the large “Pure Panel” plate that encompasses the two screens, partly composed of trompe-l’oeil trim in lacquered black plastic, is a bit “knock”, as are the bright red inserts on the dashboard and door panels, much less chic than the fabric headbands from the peugeot 308, underlined by a thin ambient light strip in a customizable color. Too bad, because the rest of the furniture looks rather proud and the assembly is just as neat as with Peugeot.

opel astra seats agr
The German seats, certified AGR (German standard for back health) are standard on the GS Line finish.
peugeot 308 front seats
Simply stunning, the seats of the 308! But with these ergonomic leather models you save € 2,100…

Another common point, less glorious: rear seat “engoncees” (high beltline), quite unpleasant moreover for cars of this size. If space is important to you, choose a Volkswagen Golf or a Seat Leon † However, the Astra offers some extra space in the knees. Same observation on the trunk side, with 422 liters on the Opel honor (10 liters more than the 308), including the space available under the two-position floorboard. A small storage trick that the French are unfortunately deprived of. This makes up for it with larger pockets in the doors and an extra USB socket in the rear (just one in honor of the Astra). But in the end the cousins ​​play neck and neck again…

Find the results of the competition and the technical sheets compared on the next page…