New Opel Astra vs Kadett E GSI: Was everything better in the past?

The new Opel Astra is definitely not a retro car. Nevertheless, here and there it makes reference to its predecessor generations: The gills on the C-pillar were similar to the Kadett D and when I get in, the standard 10-inch display in front of the steering wheel immediately reminds me of the digital speedometer from the Kadett E. The speed is in the middle, next to it is the oil temperature and tank level. Individually configurable and graphically sharper in the new Astra, mouse cinema in the Kadett.
The Chancellor's Kadett - Opel Kadett E GSI (1991)
The mouse cinema in the Kadett GSI was ahead of its time.

Although there are more than 30 years between these two cars, wind noise in the Kadett GSI is not much louder than in the new Astra. The drag coefficient of 0.30 for the GSI was already sensational back then. However, the Kadett does not come close to the good insulation of the new Opel Astra. He has nothing more to offer than carpet. But it weighs just under a ton!

The flow resistance of the GSI is a bit better than that of the normal Kadett E.

And the quality is also not comparable. While nothing creaks in the Astra, the dashboard of the Kadett groans with every gear change. And the comfort and upholstery of the seats naturally separate decades from development. For me, the fabric seats in the new Astra currently offer the best comfort in the compact class.

Of course, the new Astra leaves the Kadett E far behind in terms of quality and technology.

New Opel Astra and Kadett GSI both bring mood while driving

When driving, both generations come together again. The high-torque 2-liter petrol engine in the Kadett growls and bites harder with every speed, moving the three-door with 115 hp effortlessly. In the new Astra, the 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol engine has less torque and builds up pressure quickly enough. And fortunately, the 130 hp engine can be controlled with a crisp and precise 6-speed manual transmission, which is becoming increasingly rare.
Threatened with extinction! Fortunately, there is still a manual transmission for the new Astra.

Opel Kadett GSI with prominent previous owners

Speaking of rarity: The cars of the 90s are becoming more and more valuable to me. With each additional year, more and more memories of the Golf 3, BMW 3 Series E36 and Opel Kadett awaken. The cars of my youth, they shaped the streetscape in our small town. Top models like the Kadett E GSI were rare and even rarer as original as the GSI from Opel Classic.

Original Kadett E GSI are rare today. The even more powerful 16V is a unicorn.

From 1991 to 1996 it belonged to the late former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (read the whole story here), who bought the car at the age of 73. What a statement! Today I cannot imagine a politician in a Ford Focus ST or Renault Megane RS. So feel free to take an example! However, it will be difficult with an Opel Kadett GSI, which can only be found with a lot of luck if it is in good condition. It’s easier to check into the new Opel Astra, which is also available as a (still) eligible plug-in hybrid.

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