In the last couple of years, the word “gadgets” has become a lot more important for carmakers around the world, as customers are usually very attracted by any new toy that could make their lives easier. Of course, new technologies are developed as we speak and, naturally, buying a more expensive car obviously brings you more gadgets.
Paying around EUR20,000 for the 1.6-liter turbo Opel Astra brings you rain and light sensors, interior electrochromic mirror, cruise control, power front windows and power mirrors.
The audio system comes with MP3 support and 7 speakers, but functionality is pretty limited. There's no USB port, so we weren't able to give it a try. Of course, many more features are available on the options list and we must include here the dual-zone air conditioning system, sport steering wheel, an on-board computer (yes, this could be considered a gadget too, given the fact that our test car only came with a “trip” computer), sport seats, electronic parking brake and some others.
If you feel the need to take a look in Volkswagen's yard, don't be too harsh. A similar configuration would go in the same price area and, although some carmakers claim they're offering much more features for this price, they're not. Many trim levels are actually pre-configured and each option is either included in a package or offered as stand-alone at a special price.
Our Astra for example also featured the so-called Premium Package that added adaptive bi-xenon headlights with washing system, as well as daytime running lights, which not only improve safety but also look damn good on the road.
That being said, if you're planning to buy an Astra and you consider yourself a techie, be sure to take a look on the options list. If you drop the 1.6-liter turbo engine and choose a more affordable one, you could configure a better-equipped Astra with many more features at the same price as our model.Continue reading