Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Vauxhall Astra GTC: Test Drive Review
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Vauxhall Astra GTC: Test Drive Review

Date: 04 November 2011   |   Author:

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £22,375
Key rival: Renault Megane Coupe

It was a bit of a surprise to learn that half of all Astra GTC sales go to the business car market, given the car's obviously sporty styling.

As this version, the third new Astra bodystyle after the five-door and estate models, will account for one-in-five Astras in the UK, that means 10% of all Astra registrations in the UK will be corporate GTC models. Given that arch-rival Ford doesn't at present deem the Focus range worthy of a three-door model at all, that's a significant figure for Vauxhall and illustrates the affection that the previous generation Astra Sport Hatch garnered.

But that's not to say the GTC is just a three-door Astra. The only exterior parts shared between the GTC and five-door are door handles and roof aerial, says Vauxhall. The touting of the car as a standalone model in the range continues to the chassis and suspension development, while the wheelbase and front and rear track are all extended versus the hatchback.

Vauxhall is listing the VW Scirocco, Renault Megane Coupe and Audi A3 as the GTC's key rivals. The middle of three diesels - the 130hp 1.7-litre with a 119g/km CO2 figure - will be the biggest seller, going up against VW's 140hp TDI Scirocco. It arrives with the 110hp 1.7 in February, so the only diesel at launch alongside three petrol models will be the 2.0 165hp driven here. Two Ecoflex-badged versions of the 1.7 diesels, both at 109g/km, will come in the second half of next year.

The 165hp diesel engine impresses for its power, even before you factor in sub-130g/km emissions, although it's only average for refinement. The car also rides and handles well, offering suitably firm ride for a sporty machine without crashing over bumps and holes in the road. It's a genuinely fun drive, and surprisingly different from the hatchback's softer, more family-focused approach, and fulfills Vauxhall's promise about setting the GTC up as a more sporting drive.

On the inside, practicality is significantly higher than coupe fans may expect. The boot, at 380 litres, is bigger than most five-door hatchbacks, and comfortably outpoints its key rivals, and while Vauxhall's claims that this is a full five-seater may be a touch ambitious, there's room for four adults to get comfy.

Further forward, Vauxhall claims interior storage space is up around 50% on the Astra Sport Hatch, especially on the higher of the two trims, SRi, where the electronic parking brake clears some of the central area.

From a whole-life costs perspective, the GTC has the best combination of price and emissions, at least in this top diesel spec. While RVs can't match the Audi or VW, the Astra's P11D advantage brings it back into play on whole-life costs and offers the cheapest driver BIK payments. All-in-all the Astra GTC is very competitive.

Vaux. Astra GTC 2.0 CDTi SRi
P11D price£22,375
Model price range£18,495-£22,375
Residual value28.9%
Service, maintenance
and repair
Vehicle Excise Duty£190
National Insurance£1760
Cost per mile54.6p
Fuel consumption 58.9mpg
CO2 (tax) 127g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month£67/£134
Service interval20,000 miles
Insurancegroup 20
Warranty first owner/100,000mls
Boot space min/max 380/1165 litres
Engine size/power1956cc/165hp
Top speed/0-60mph131mph/8.4secs
On sale November 2011
VerdictGood-looking, good-driving
and competitive
running costs


Good-looking, good-driving and competitive running costs