Vauxhall Astra GTC hatchback (2011-2016) - Interior & comfort
The optional VXR styling pack will give your Vauxhall Astra GTC Sport a real lift, but it’s expensive and you’d be better of upgrading to the SRi
Naturally for a sporty car, the Vauxhall Astra GTC’s suspension is a little on the firm side, but the ride is comfortable and quiet – more so on the smaller 18-inch alloy wheels that are standard on Sport and SRi models. The optional FlexRide system allows you to select from three different suspension settings. Although it looks racy outside, inside the Astra GTC is a little more conservative, yet still attractive, with much of the trim carried over from the standard Astra hatchback.
Vauxhall Astra dashboard
The GTC’s dashboard, which is very similar to the one in the Astra hatchback, has alloy-effect detailing to give it a lift. There are lots of buttons and dials scattered across it, but they all work positively, while build quality is impressive. The leather steering wheel with integrated stereo controls adjusts for rake and reach. In combination with the height-adjustable driver’s seat, this means you can get comfortable easily. The Volkswagen Scirocco is better equipped, however and looks a lot more stylish inside.
Vauxhall Astra equipment
The basic Astra GTC Sport is a rather dowdy affair. It does have air-conditioning, a DAB digital radio, a USB connection and cruise control, but for front sports seats, a multifunction trip computer and tinted windows, you’ll need to upgrade to the SRI. This version also has several practical touches such as rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, front foglights and a front centre armrest with storage space.
The Limited Edition model, which despite its name looks set to remain in the GTC line-up permanently, majors on exterior styling, with harsh-riding 20-inch alloy wheels, a bodykit and (more usefully) Bluetooth phone connectivity.
The BiTurbo offers all this plus lowered suspension, part-leather seats and an electronic parking brake. Surprisingly, rear parking sensors are only available as on option on the range-topping BiTurbo diesel model.
Vauxhall Astra options
The most notable option is FlexRide suspension, which costs about £800 and allows you to choose from three driving settings: Sport, Tour and Normal. It’s backed up with a suite of driving aids, including traction and stability control for safer handling. Given the GTC’s already grippy handling and smooth ride (at least on 18-inch alloys), we don’t think it’s worth the money.
Meanwhile, a range of option packs allows you to garnish your GTC at reasonable cost. Best among them is the driving assistance pack. The VXR styling pack will give your Sport a real lift, but it’s quite expensive, so you’d be better of upgrading to the SRi.