11:57am Monday 28th May 2012
By Catherine Lawler
The Vauxhall Astra GTC is a snazzy car that you can have a lot of fun in.
Replacing the Astra Sports Hatch, the all-new GTC (Grand Tourer Coupe) is a striking car that’s very much eager for the off – a bit like an impatient racehorse.
Tootling around town would be a waste, though. It’s great to build up a bit of speed and really enjoy what it has to offer.
The exterior shares just two components with the five-door model – the aerial and door handles. A sloping roofline, exaggerated shoulder line, daytime running lights and spoiler all add to the GTC’s stylish looks, as does the 18-inch wheels, which come as standard.
There is a choice of six engines – three petrol and three diesel. I drove the 1.4 model, although the 2.0 CDTi SRi is expected to be the best-selling car.
Rivals include the Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane coupe, although the Astra tends to have the edge in terms of space. Saying that, getting in and out of the Astra GTC is far from elegant, although once you’re in the sporty seats are extremely comfortable.
There is an attractive, rather futuristic dashboard, but rear visibility isn’t great.
The car handles exceptionally well, steering is precise and there is plenty of grip – you can tell this car has been designed specifically for British roads.
Although it would never be billed as a family car, there are still Isofix fasteners in the back for child seats.
The Astra GTC is available with a variety of advanced electronic options and safety features. There are front, side and curtain airbags and, standard on all GTCs, active safety head restraints.
On SRi models, there is Hill Start Assist, which helps prevent you rolling back on a slope by keeping the car’s brakes applied until just the right moment.
Dual front seatbelt pre-tensioners and a pedal release system are also standard.
At a squeeze, the GTC will accommodate five adults, but its luggage compartment provides between 380 and 1,165 litres of volume – over 200 litres more than some of the competition.
All new Vauxhalls are eligible for the ‘Vauxhall Lifetime 100,000-mile Warranty’.
Car: Vauxhall Astra GTC 1.4i 16v Turbo
On the road: £20,345
0-60mph: 9 seconds
Top speed: 125mph
Fuel: 47.1mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 140g/km
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