Opel has just debuted the 2023 Astra Electric in hatchback and Sports Tourer flavors, and our spy photographers caught a camo-free prototype during last-minute testing in Germany in the company of a rival VW ID.3.
Automakers usually benchmark new models against their most successful rivals in order to get a feeling of how they compare. This back-to-back testing also helps engineers fine-tune details on the chassis and powertrain setup, before the production model is offered for sale. This is the case with Opel’s development team, choosing the VW ID.3 as the obvious benchmark against the new Opel Astra Electric since there are not many EVs in the compact hatchback segment.
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The Opel Astra Electric is very similar to the ICE-powered Astra both in terms of the EMP2 architecture, and the exterior and interior design. In contrast, the MEB-based VW ID.3 is completely different from the MQB-based Golf. Still, the Opel Astra has to compete with both, as is the case with its stablemate, the Peugeot 308.
In terms of specifications, the Opel Astra Electric is offered with a front-mounted electric motor producing 154 hp (115 kW / 156 PS) and a 54 kWh battery offering a WLTP range of 416 km (258 miles). The closest rival is the VW ID.3 Pro with a rear-mounted electric motor producing 143 hp (107 kW / 145 PS) and a 58 kWh battery offering a range of 425 km (264 miles).
Measuring 4,374 mm (172.2 inches) long, the Opel Astra is 112 mm (4.4 inches) longer than the VW ID.3, however it has a 90 mm (3.5 inches) shorter wheelbase which has an effect on the passenger space. The ID.3 also has different proportions with a shorter bonnet and a more rounded silhouette than the Astra. In fact, a direct rival to the Opel Astra Electric would be a VW e-Golf or an ID.Golf, which doesn’t exist but is rumored for the future.
In 2023, VW will launch facelifts for both the ICE-powered Golf VIII and the electric ID.3. It remains to be seen how those models will compare with the Opel Astra range. The only other non-SUV compact EV that is currently available in the market is the Nissan Leaf which will soon get a new generation.