Skip navigation
3283 Visits Today

Opel Astra Select vs Toyota Corolla Levin

  • image

Opel Astra 1.6T Select and Toyota Corolla Levin ZR go head to head in this comparative review.

3 stars

VALUE from $30,990

4 stars

VALUE from $30,490

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.


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.


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.

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.

3.5 stars


4 starsDESIGN
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.
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.
3.5 starsSAFETY 4 starsSAFETY

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.

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.

3.5 starsDRIVING 3 starsDRIVING

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.

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.
3.5 stars image
4 stars image  


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?


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 4 comments

  • Opel is the best!

    Adam of Thailand Posted on 29 April 2013 2:59am
  • Owned my 2006 AH Astra Hatch since new and has not missed a beat. A very good reliable car. Obviously the guy who wrote this article is a Corolla fan. They should of match the corolla against the Astra sport for a better comparison. At least the Astra comes with 2 petrol engines and a diesel which corolla does not have in this market carrying over the basically similar engine for many years.

    Billy Cukman of Sydney Posted on 05 April 2013 8:01pm
  • Hands down the Corolla! I’ve owned a 1991 Corolla and I currently own a 1996 Astra. The Astra was sh*t from day one, has cost me $6,000 now in a matter of 8 months, where the Corolla was driven every day, lasted me 5 years and cost about half that in repairs and general maintenance! $90 water pump for a Corolla vs $450 for the Astra.

    Tina of Sydney Posted on 23 March 2013 10:45am
  • The bottom line for me when buying a car is DRIVING. So how on earth did the Astra win the driving gong but lose the contest?

    Neal of Cairns FNQ Posted on 21 November 2012 4:14pm
Read all 4 comments

Add your comment on this story

Indicates required

We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Please provide your full name. We also require a working email address - not for publication, but for verification. The location field is optional.

Share your feedback