Externally the differences are slight, with a new grille design incorporating shutters, and redesigned front and rear bumpers being the most obvious changes.
Combined with various underbody improvements, including a new engine compartment cover and deflector-shaped control arms for the rear axle, the company claims the hatch now has a coefficient of drag (Cd) of just 0.26.
The wagon, which is now no longer offered in Australia, has seen its Cd cut to 0.25. Both cars are claimed to be the most slippery vehicles in their class.
The Astra also sports new headlight internals, with matrix LED technology available on higher end models.
In Europe, the standard Astra range will be available with the choice of four turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine options: a 1.2-litre in 81kW/195Nm, 96kW/225Nm and 107kW/225Nm trims, and a larger 1.4-litre with 107kW/236Nm.
The 1.2-litre engines are fitted exclusively with a six-speed manual, while the 1.4-litre mill is tied to a CVT with a seven-speed mode.
There are also three versions of the 1.5-litre turbo-diesel available. The base 77kW/260Nm unit and 90kW/300Nm motor are fitted with a six-speed manual, while there's also a 90kW/285Nm variant with a nine-speed automatic.
The interior has been spruced with new equipment, including a digital speedometer, wireless smartphone charging, and heated windscreen.
Top-spec models also feature a digital rear view mirror, and the 8.0-inch touchscreen Multimedia Navi Pro infotainment system from the Insignia. In Europe, GM's OnStar subscription has been removed and partially replaced by an emergency call feature.
The Astra's safety package has been given a boost via a new front camera system, which is able to detect pedestrians more quickly and process a greater quantity of traffic signs.
We presume the updated Opel/Vauxhall Astra will come to Australia as a Holden, but this has yet to be confirmed. In a statement, a Holden spokesperson said it's "too early" to comment on whether we'll see the update.
The company has been moving to trim its model line, and last month the lion brand axed the Astra wagon and Cruze-based Astra sedan from its range.