The 2010 Astra's design is inspired by the Opel Insignia, sporting all-new sheet metal that takes cues from its mid-size sibling and packages it into a smaller, more fluid shape. The fascia, headlamps and rump remain true to Opel's new design direction, along with the sculpted sides and cab-forward greenhouse.

The same Delta 2 global platform used on the Cruze and Volt underpins the new Astra, measuring in at 174 inches, with a wheelbase that stretches 2.8 inches longer than the outgoing model. The "wing and blade" design employed on the exterior carries through to the interior, and joins ergonomic seats and the new Opel Eye front camera system, which recognizes road signs and warns drivers if they veer out of their lane.

Buyers abroad have the choice of eight different engines, including four CDTI common-rail diesels with displacements ranging from 1.3- to 2.0-liters and outputs between 95 and 160 hp. Another four gasoline-powered mills, with displacements between 1.4- and 1.6-liters, doll out between 100 and 180 hp along with a new turbocharged 1.4-liter that replaces the outgoing naturally aspirated 1.8-liter and puts out 140 hp and 14% more torque, while lowering fuel consumption.