Opel Astra Select vs Toyota Corolla Levin

21 November 2012

Opel Astra Select vs Toyota Corolla Levin

Opel Astra Select and Toyota Corolla Levin go head-to-head in this comparative review.

Value

Opel Astra Select

from $30,990

The Select needs options to close the gap on Corolla. Heated, multi-adjustable leather seats are recommended at an extra $2500. The $695 for premium paint is steep. Standard kit is very good -- cruise, satnav, seven-speaker audio, 17-inch alloys and so on -- but consider the $35,490 Sport, which gets more gear.

Toyota Corolla Levin

from $30,490

Levin ZR is packed with features. Panoramic roof ($1500) and metallic paint ($425) are options. Standard kit includes cruise, satnav, touch-screen, leather, keyless entry and start. Capped price service and new Toyota guaranteed buyback price (when financed) make it a winner.

Design

Opel Astra Select

Multi-adjustable and cosseting leather front seats are a great option. Astra gets a good instrument layout and switchgear. Despite lots of buttons, clarity is excellent. Personal storage space is good and boot is much bigger than the Corolla's. But rear seat room is smaller and side glass is narrower.  

Toyota Corolla Levin

It's about 150mm shorter, slightly lower and wider (and much lighter) than the Astra yet it has more cabin -- not boot -- room. There's similar rear-seat knee room, much more foot room and slightly less headroom in the Corolla. Deeper side windows also give it the edge for visibility.

Technology

Opel Astra Select

Driven through a six-speed auto, the 132kW/230Nm 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine is keen. It uses more fuel than the Corolla at 7.3 L/100km. The rear suspension is an up-specced torsion bar while the electric steering reduces fuel use and driver effort at low speed.  

Toyota Corolla Levin

A continuously variable transmission supersedes the conventional four-speed auto. It gets the 1.8's consumption back to 6.6L/100km. Output is 103kW/173Nm. The new body uses more high tensile steel so is rigid and, at 1310kg for this top-line Corolla, quite light.

Safety

Opel Astra Select

Astra is a five-star crash-rated car with six airbags, all the electronic brake and chassis aids, heated side mirrors, front and rear park sensors, halogen headlights with daytime running lights, auto headlights and wipers. The spare is a space-saver.

Toyota Corolla Levin

Rear camera is welcome because the rear window is tiny. The five-star crash rating is maintained via seven airbags, electronic stability and traction control, cornering lights, auto high-beam dip and emergency flashing brake lights. The spare is a space-saver.

Driving

Opel Astra Select

The turbo is more about smoothness than performance; power delivery is subtle but it always feels ready to jump. That's helped by the quality auto. Handling is good with excellent grip through tight bends. But the electric steering is vague.

Toyota Corolla Levin

Solid and secure but when you drive the Astra you see Toyota emphasises convenience and value over driver enjoyment. This old engine works well with the CVT. The electric steering is very good and the chassis is taut, though coarse bitumen produces tyre roar.

Verdict

Opel Astra Select

17.5/25

Better luck
next time :(

Toyota Corolla Levin

18.5/25

Winner winner
chicken dinner!

On paper these are virtually twins. The Astra is a lively drive for enthusiasts and the Corolla is more of a very well-executed commuter. Which one are you?

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Written by

Neil Dowling

Published 21 November 2012

Published In

Head to Head

We compare, head to head, two similar models of competing manufacturer cars. Which do we prefer? Why? Find out in CarsGuide's Head To Head showdowns.