Vauxhall Astra GTC -

Used Car Review

Vauxhall Astra GTC, front action
Vauxhall Astra GTC, front action 2
Vauxhall Astra GTC, side action
Vauxhall Astra GTC, rear action
Vauxhall Astra GTC, dashboard
Vauxhall Astra GTC, rear seats
Vauxhall Astra GTC, sat nav
Vauxhall Astra GTC, badge

THERE are many of the last model Vauxhall Astra to choose from on the secondhand market with specs to suit most drivers from a very wide range.

But the GTC three door coupe version is rarer, and you might have to hunt to find the model you want.

It was launched in 2015 and production ended in 2018 so with regular updates it's close to recent ICE (internal combustion engine) coupes from other car makers.

It's also engaging and fun to drive, but while the five door and estate are eminently practical the GTC is more limited in its appeal.

Try getting small children into rear mounted child seats in a three door car and you'll see what I mean.

Although I've said there are less on the road, don't be fobbed off with one that comes without service history unless it's cheap as chips. You need to know that your ‘new' car has been properly taken care of before your ownership.

Even though it's basically an Astra under the skin, the GTC did not use that name in this last model. It was simply called the Vauxhall GTC.

All have a good reputation for reliability and they are also cheap to fix just about everywhere.

Petrol engines are all turbos and they start with two versions of the same 1.4T with 125 and 150bhp, getting to 60 in 8.6 and 7.8 seconds respectively.

These are quick cars, but they are still reasonably economical, both giving a best of 48mpg and low emissions driven carefully.

Next comes a 1.6T turbo with 200bhp and it storms to 60 in 7.3 seconds while still managing 42mpg.

Performance flagship of the range is the VXR, and that has a 2 litre engine boosted to no less than 280bhp. This brings the sprint down to an electrifying 5.8 seconds with best economy of 36mpg.

There are two versions of the same 1.6 Whisper diesel engine used across the Vauxhall range plus range topping 2.0-litre.

These give a choice of 110, 136 and 160bhp outputs, and even the slowest covers the 60 sprint in just over 10 seconds.

Add the company's Ecoflex fuel saving measures and it's claimed to do no less than 85mpg with low, low emissions.

This one is, perhaps surprisingly, great fun to drive, with a smooth and punchy power delivery.

The more powerful models have are obviously quicker but less economical. The 136 reaches 60 in 9.4 seconds and the 160 brings that down to 8.4.

The GTC most definitely has the emphasis on driving enjoyment, so it's fitted with the high-tech front suspension from the Insignia VXR, and also has a wider track, both of which make big improvements to handling and roadholding over the standard Astra.

Comfort is reasonable at slower speeds but the suspension smoothes out almost everything above 30 miles an hour.

Inside, all have good levels of technology, and there are just four trim levels to choose from, making things very easy indeed when it comes to buying.

The four are Standard, Sport, SRi and VXR, and mid-range SRi has remote audio control, cruise, traction control, alloy wheels, heated electric mirrors, sports seats, alarm, climate control, hill start assist and six airbags.

Safety additions that help it to a top 5 star Euro Ncap rating include active head restraints, cornering brake control and emergency brake assist.

Pay about £7,950 for an ‘18 18-reg 1.4T SRi, or £10,900 for a '19 68-reg 1.6CDTi (136bhp) Edition Ecotec.

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