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BusinessCar Office Blog: 2 October 2009 - Testing times

Date: 02 October 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Vauxhall rightly has high hopes for its all-new Astra launched earlier this week.

One of the questions journalists always ask car makers when a new model comes to the market is 'which cars did you benchmark it against?'

Vauxhall went one better than just answering the question and put its money where its mouth is. The Luton firm had brought along a Ford Focus and VW Golf for journalists to drive on the same test track as the Astra.

While the Astra missed the steering feel and connectivity with the road that the soon to be replaced Focus possess, the level of comfort from the Astra's suspension was equal to the Golf, impressive indeed.

However, the big disappointment for the new Astra is that the 1.7 diesel comes in with an 18% benefit-in-kind tax banding, when there are similarly powered Focuses, Golfs and 308s at 13%.