FOR sheer driving fun the new Vauxhall Astra GTC is up there with the best of
FOR sheer driving fun the new Vauxhall Astra GTC is up there with the best of the modern coupés. It is a small car with a lot of heart that beats low and powerfully as it gets into its stride.
Once on the open road this car loves to fly: this side of its character will appeal to motorists who enjoy a car with a strong performance that builds as you drive.
I was sceptical about the GTC’s ability to step up to the mark when facing some tough competitors in its sector. These modern coupés seem to vault along motorway lanes as if born to run.
But several long drives in the GTC proved that this Vauxhall delivers what it promises. It may not be the best of this type of coupé on the market, but Vauxhall has done a fine job with the GTC â?? particularly with its new improved engine.
The test car colour â?? a vivid yellow â?? might not be to everyone’s taste, but then Vauxhall’s faster steeds could never be accused of understatement.
As well as its lively livery this Vauxhall also had big macho wheels and tyres to match its aspiration.
And as I said, after several days’ driving I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
The GTC is now available with the refined and powerful 1.6 CDTi Whisper Diesel engine.
It is the latest model to benefit from the economical new engine, following its introduction in the Astra, Meriva and Zafira Tourer.
The engine replaces the 1.7 CDTi, providing 320Nm torque (up 20Nm) and 136PS (an increase of 6PS) for refinement and economy that matches its performance, delivered through an improved six-speed manual transmission.
Available in Sport, Limited Edition and SRi trims and equipped with start/stop plus a braking energy recuperation system as standard, the GTC 1.6 CDTi delivers fuel economy of up to 72.4mpg on the combined cycle and has CO2 emissions from just 104g/km.
The already Euro 6-compliant 1.6 CDTi is one of the best engines in its class for noise and vibration thanks to an efficient combustion process with multiple injection, re-designed components and the use of acoustic covers.
“We are delighted to see the 1.6-litre ‘Whisper Diesel’ introduced into our flagship GTC model,” said Stuart Harris of Vauxhall. “The new 1.6-litre engine is a result of significant investment and provides an exceptional blend of performance, refinement and economy.”
The GTC can be ordered with the new engine for prices starting at £22,260.