In this oldie comparison we face the Seat Córdoba against the Opel Astra to try to identify which was the best option in its time.
Classic cars, and others that are about to become so, are part of the history of the automobile industry. They represent the natural evolution not only of a brand, but of the market, of what its priorities were and what are the current ones. It allows us to know where we come from and where we are going. and in our comparative oldie we try to face classic models that have marked us in our lives. In today’s edition: Seat Cordoba or Opel Astra? Which was better?
Comparative oldie: Seat Toledo or Peugeot 405
Seat Cordoba I (6K)
The first generation of Seat Cordobacalled 6K, appeared on the market in 1993. It is a model based on the second generation of the Seat Ibiza, with which it shared the front, interior and mechanical section, but lengthened its body and was available in three different options: sedan with two and four doors, and family, surnamed Córdoba Vario.
Available in four different trim levels (CL/CLI, CLX, GLX and GT/GTI), the Córdoba I was equipped with five different gasoline engines. The option of access to the range offered a 1.4-liter 60 CV, secondly a 1.6-liter with 75 CV of power, both with a five-speed manual transmission as the only option. Above, the 90 CV 1.8 engine was the intermediate option between the basic levels and the most performance options.
The 1.8 liter 129 hp for the Cordoba GTI It was the most powerful option in the range, while the 2.0-litre, despite offering greater capacity, had less power, 115 CV. The five-speed manual transmission was standard across the range, while the 90 hp 1.8-liter could be associated with a four-speed automatic transmission. There were also diesel engines, specifically the 1.9 D of 68 CV and the 1.9 turbodiesel of 75 CV for the GTD version.
In 1996 Seat undergoes a first restyling (6K1) to Córdoba, which introduces minor changes, although there is an update to the range of finishes (SE, SXE and GTI). There are also changes in the mechanical section. A second version of the 1.4 engine with 100 PS is released for the GT variant, as is the 1.6-litre engine, which is now offered with 75 and 100 PS. The 1.8-litre engine is gone and the 115bhp 2.0-litre is also now available with 150bhp for the Cupra version. The diesels are also renewed with the arrival of the 1.9 SDI with 64 CV, the 1.9 TDI with 90 CV and the 1.9 TDI with 110 CV for the GT version.
Finally, in 1999 there was the second update (6K2). On this occasion, the changes in the design are more visible, especially in the headlights and taillights, now divided. This third phase of the Córdoba I modifies the trim levels and launches four different options: Stella, Signa, Sport and Cupra.
The range of engines is also renewed. In the gasoline engine section, the 1.0 four-cylinder 50 CV appears as an option for access to the range. The 1.4-litre now delivers 60, 75 and 100 PS of power, while the 1.6-litre remains unchanged (75 and 100 PS). The first turbo gasoline engine is introduced, the 1.8 T with 150 CV and 20 valves for the Cupra version. The 2.0-liter engines disappear from the range. In the diesel section there are no changes, with the exception of the 1.9 SDI that increases its power to 68 CV.
Vauxhall Astra (F)
In the case of the Opel Astra, we analyze the first generation of the model, which receives the internal name Astra F and is considered the generational replacement of the Opel Kadett E. This first generation of the Opel compact landed in 1991 with a name change that responded to the strategy of General Motors (by then owner of Opel) to standardize the range of models of its European subsidiaries Opel and Vauxhall (for the United Kingdom).
The first phase of the Astra F It was offered with a 1.4-liter engine still carbureted with 75 hp. This block would only be active for the first year of commercialization and would soon adopt injection as a more efficient solution. When the change occurs, the engine starts to offer 60 CV with a second version of 8 valves and 82 CV. There was also a 1.6 liter 75 and 100 hp, the latter with 16 valves.
Above, the 1.8-liter 8-valve engine offered 90 CV, an engine that, with 16 valves, reached 115 CV and 125 CV in the GSi version. A 2.0-liter 8-valve with 115 hp and a 16-valve with 150 hp were also marketed, both for the GSi versions. A lesser known turbo option of the 2.0-liter engine allowed to increase power to 204 hp. The changes were five-speed manual in all its configurations.
In addition, there were diesel versions based on the 1.7-liter block of Isuzu origin. This naturally aspirated engine in the early stages of life reached 60 CV of power, or 82 CV by incorporating a turbocharger.
The first update of the Astra F arrives
At the end of 1994, Opel carries out a slight update on the Astraa model that was available with a body of three and five doors, a four-door sedan, a family car and even a convertible with a canvas roof. The changes in this update were minor in terms of design, with new mirrors, darkening of the rear lights or the change of the company logo. It also premiered new upholstery and the range of engines was updated to adapt to the pollution demands of the mid-90s.
So, the range of engines It became structured as follows: the 1.4-liter 8-valve engine delivered 60 HP of power, followed by a 16-valve version of the same engine with 90 HP. The 1.6 liter delivered 75 hp, while a 16-valve version raised the figure to 100 hp. The 1.8-litre continued to deliver 115bhp, while a 2.0-litre 16-valve became the most powerful option in the range, thanks to its 136bhp. The 1.8 GSi and 2.0 GSi 8-valve versions disappeared in 1994 and, two years later, the 16-valve 2.0 GSi and the 2.0 turbo.
Meanwhile, diesels have evolved. The naturally aspirated option was dropped and a 68bhp turbodiesel was integrated. The 82 CV version was also maintained as the top of the range.