Vauxhall Astra in the 1980’s
Vauxhall Astra in the 1980’s
The Vauxhall Astra is basically a rebadged Opel Kaddett, a small family car that has been launched by Opel in 1979 and went on sale in the UK early 1980. The first generation of the Astra was introduced in 1980 – 1984 and it quickly became one of Britain’s best-selling cars for decades to follow.
The original model was offered with hatchback, estate and saloon body styles. It came with two engine options, a 1.3 litre or 1.6 litre petrol four cylinder engine and a 1.6 litre diesel engine option that was introduced later in 1982. A 1.8 fuel-injected version was added to the range in 1983/4, used in the Mk1 Astra GTE.
Design and Performance
The 1980s Vauxhall Astra is an iconic car that still stands out today. The Mk1 was available as hatchback, saloon, and estate with the Mk2 dropping the saloon body which was replaced by the Vauxhall Belmont. From its sleek design to its reliable performance, the Astra was a favourite for many drivers during the 1980s. The classic hatchback offered drivers a combination of style and practicality, making it one of the most popular models in its class.
The exterior design of the Astra had clean lines and curves, making it stand out from other cars in the same class. Its standard interior was also designed for comfort, with adjustable seats and plenty of legroom, plus ample storage space in both cabin and boot areas. Underneath the bonnet was a powerful 1.3L engine capable of rapid acceleration while remaining fuel efficient throughout use. This provided enough power to make short work of motorways as well as city roads, giving drivers full control over their driving experience.
The 1800 GTE in white was the first UK car to have ‘colour-coded’ body trim, this included wheel arch extensions, front side and rear lower skirts, mirror covers, bumpers and alloy wheels all in white.
The 1980s Vauxhall Astra has become a classic car for many reasons. This iconic hatchback, released in 1979, is remembered for its simple yet reliable design and classic good looks. Thanks to its low cost of entry and legendary performance, this vehicle quickly became a favourite among drivers of all ages.
The Astra enjoyed an immense level of popularity when it was first introduced to the market. It offered a great value proposition with features like front wheel drive and independent suspension that were unheard of at the time in such an affordable car. The fact that it was available in both three and five door versions made it incredibly versatile as well. Over the years, the Astra has continued to be popular due to its status as a fun, reliable ride with plenty of practicality thrown into the mix too.
It’s popularity made the Vauxhall Astra Mk1 What Car? magazine ‘Car of the Year’ for 1980 and the Mk2 European car of the Year in 1985!
Four years after the launch, the Astra joined the 1980’s hot hatch party with a the GTE model which boasted a 1.8 litre engine, providing 115bhp with a 0-60mph in just 8.5s – more than a match for the competition, namely the VW Golf GTI, Peugeot 205 and the Ford Escort XR3i.
The Astra Mk2 saloon version, the Belmont would take on the Ford Orions and Volkswagen Jettas of the era.
Although the Astra UK sales figures didn’t exceed the Ford Escort, it sold well enough to confirm its place in the growing Vauxhall line up.
In conclusion, the Vauxhall Astra of the 1980s was a popular choice of car in the UK and continues to remain a well-loved vehicle. It was renowned for its reliability, comfort and affordability, which made it an ideal choice for families and individuals alike. The Vauxhall Astra is still available today, but with many new updates and technological advances. Therefore, this classic car of the 80s has been updated to meet modern needs while still retaining timeless appeal.
Featured Image by Charles01, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons