A blight on God’s clean Earth #8 – Opel Astra G


As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, should you reside in the British Isles, you can mentally substitute the “Opel” you read in the entry for “Vauxhall”.

In 1998, Opel’s new Astra managed a feat of staggering proportions: a car with absolutely zero styling. I was amazed at just how drab and bland it was, with the most standard-looking lines I’ve ever seen on a car. Usually, one gets the impression that on any car, even bland Korean ones, the designers took a tiny aesthetic risk here or there, perhaps a small mannerism on the rear lights, or perhaps a detail of trim on the flanks, or something like that. I can only imagine that during the board meeting held in the early-to-mid 1990’s to discuss how much was to be invested in the new version of the Astra, the top brass at Opel decided to allocate several million or so deutschmarks for the engineering bit, and 20 pfennigs for the designer to draw the car during his Thursday afternoon tea break.

The result is an utterly scummy, soulless plop of a car. I can’t begin to describe how offensive this car comes across, since it’s such an affront to flair and innovation in automotive design. What’s noteworthy is how this turd-mobile went on to sell so many units, another testament to the general public’s widened lack of criteria in buying cars, like the BMW 3-series and the Renault 19. I have noticed an interesting phenomenon among the many buyers I know who made the mistake of acquiring an Astra G: they tend to send it packing for a pittance as soon as they can. Very telling. Luckily for them, there’s a market for these pieces of manure amongst stupid modders.

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