The Opel/ Vauxhall-inspired interior of the new Astra has been shown for the first time. It is said to offer innovative space-utilisation solutions and class-leading comfort levels.

What was pretty clear from the onset was that the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia would at least inspire, if not set the tone for the next-generation of Opel cars. Evidently this has happened with the upcoming Astra's interior which the company itself says was penned with the Insignia in mind. Nothing wrong there, the Insignia has been applauded for its design, inside and out.

What gives the Astra the edge especially in its segment is the utilisation of space and some of the innovative solutions applied to enhance the experience from a passenger point of view. Designwise we see the Insignia's wing and blade motifs being applied consistently throughout the car. It comes out in places like the gooseneck-shaped door handles and on the gearshift moulding trim.

Opel did a survey among customers to find out how they utilise their interior spaces. The result showed that people generally store twenty common items (not all at once) in their cars, items like cellular phones, CDs, magazines, paper tissues, cups, bottles and even gloves. So they came up with what they call simple, but effective storage solutions. They include the centre console which can take up to nine CD cases while swallowing up two cups at the same time.

For the driver's comfort the Astra's speedometer and tachometer pods angled towards the driver. The seats can be raised by up to 65mm in height, while their fore and aft range goes up to 280mm.

The all-new Opel/ Vauxhall Astra will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and begin selling at UK dealers later in the year.

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