The least costly Astra, the Astra R, comes with the 1.4-litre engine, 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, manual air-conditioning, and the features supplied with all Astras.
For another $1000 or so, you can have an R Plus – which is an R with a Driver Assist option pack. The main thing that buys you is a suite of active safety aids that look out for you in case your attention strays. It comprises a forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and lane-keeping assistance. You also get leather wrap on the steering wheel, and windscreen wipers that operate automatically when it rains. (For more on Astra safety systems, please open the Safety section below.)
Spend more for an Astra RS and you get the R Plus additions and the more powerful, 1.6-litre, engine. You can unlock an Astra RS and drive away without removing its smart key from your bag or pocket. Front parking sensors augment those at the rear, and Park assist can steer you automatically into a parking spot. The exterior mirrors can be power-folded against the body (to keep them out of harm’s way when parked). Finally, a blind-spot alert warns you if there is a car near your rear corner that might not show in the mirror.
Spending more again for an Astra RS-V brings you more luxury, a sportier look, and the opportunity to add yet more features at extra cost. An RS-V comes with leather on the seats, and dual-zone climate control (which lets driver and passenger choose different ventilation temperatures). There is powered adjustment for lumbar (lower back) support from the front seats, and the seats and steering wheel can be heated. An 8.0-inch touchscreen displays built-in satellite navigation. Taillights use very long-lived LEDs. The wheels grow an inch to 18 inches, and are wrapped in lower profile tyres for marginally sharper steering and a sportier look.
At extra cost, you can equip your Astra RS-V (only) with a Touring pack, comprising a powered sunroof and Adaptive cruise control (which will slow you to the speed of a car ahead until you can overtake). Alternatively, you could spend more on an Innovations pack, which adds Adaptive LED headlamps to the Touring pack’s sunroof and active cruise. The very powerful and long-lived headlamps dip automatically only that part of their high beams that would dazzle other drivers, retaining full illumination to either side.