New Opel Astra Bumper Helps Lower Cost of Ownership
What would it be like to have an extra 600 euros to spend? That is roughly how much
owners of the new generation Opel Astra can save in insurance costs in just one year
compared with the average cost of 17 other compact cars sold in Europe, based on figures
from the independent German Insurance Association (GDV), which represents 457 private
insurers.1 Most insurance companies throughout Europe tend to adjust their rates similarly.
Regardless of the engine chosen, the new Astra has consistently received lower insurance
rankings than its peers by the GDV. Insurance ratings on the Astra’s high volume 1.6 l
gasoline engine and the two most popular diesel engines – the 1.7 liter and the 2.0 liter
motors – are three classification rankings lower. The lower the classification, the lower the
It’s all because engineers and designers collaborated to create a vehicle that doesn’t
bruise easily when it gets into a low speed scrape. Should that happen, however, the Astra
is quick and affordable to repair. This is due, in large part, to the bumpers.
Astra bumpers are designed to withstand impacts of up to 15 km/h without any major
damage. They are especially made to protect major (read: costly) components – like
radiators, hoods or tailgates – from damage.
The new generation Astra 1.6 gasoline engine rated as level 13 by GDV. This compares with 17 compact
cars rated 16 or above: Audi A3 1.6; Toyota Auris, 1.6; Chevrolet Cruze 1.6; VW Golf VI 1.6; Fiat Bravo 1.4
T-Jet; Ford Focus 1.6; Peugeot 308 1.6; Citroen C4 1.6; BMW 1er 1.6; Renault Mégane 1.6; Hyundai i30 1.6;
Mazda 3FLH 1.6; Mercedes A-Class 1.7; Honda Civic 1.4; Kia Ceed 1.6; Seat Leon 1.6; Alfa 147 1.6TS
Calculations are based on yearly fully comprehensive premium with 300 euro excess, including partial
coverage with 150 euro excess; 100 percent; Berlin licensing, 12,000 km/annual. Valid 2008/2009. Source:
Information concerning specifications and equipment applies to the models offered in Germany. There may be differences in other markets. All data on
fuel consumption refers to combined fuel consumption of the base model in the European test cycle. Subject to alteration.
Adam Opel GmbH media.opel.com
Here’s why insurance companies care about bumpers: In a typical fender bender, the front
bumper of a car often slides under – rather than hits – the rear bumper of the car in front.
This makes sense, because when a car stops suddenly, the front dives and the rear rises.
To prevent this, engineers placed the front bumper beams on the Astra a bit higher and the
rear bumper beams a tad lower. Then they went to work on the material that absorbs the
impact of the crash. These so-called crash boxes and the beams are located just behind
the skin of the front and rear bumpers. They are made of light-weight aluminum and are
highly efficient at absorbing low speed hits with minimal damage.
The hood – a high budget item – is safeguarded not only because of how it is made but
also where it is located. It was placed high and set back so that it lies in a well protected
In addition, engineers constantly thought about how to make repairs as easy as possible.
To that end, they worked things like making bolts easily accessible and parts quick to
replace in case of accidents. Many items are now designed so that only latches or other
inexpensive parts would need to be replaced rather than expensive components. For
example, radiators were mounted so that they move backwards, away from the crumple
zone, upon impact.
Although none of this can be seen from the exterior, the engineering changes minimize
damage, reduce repair time and keep labor costs down, thereby lowering the bill. This
repair concept works not just in the testing labs, but in the real world, especially the
neighborhood service garage.
Opel cares about repair costs because the first three questions potential car buyers
typically ask are: Does a car look nice? Is it safe? And, what will it cost me to run?
Insurance costs help answer that last question.
Opel is known for low repair costs and reasonably priced spare parts. Efficient fuel
consumption also means that the new Astra is frugal to maintain and, depending on the
engine, can meet tax advantages in many countries. With the cost of ownership low, the
savings add up.
So take that money and splurge: How about six bottles of 2007 Les Forts de Latour,
Pauillac? And still have money left over for some brie.
Nathalie Van Impe
+ 49 6142 7 66166 (office)
+ 49 151 174 73959 (mobile)
Text and photos can be downloaded at media.opel.com.