Vauxhall Astra VXR hatchback (2012-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

The Vauxhall Astra VXR is extremely quick and generates plenty of grip

Carbuyer Rating

3.2 out of 5

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Owners Rating

4.8 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

If you’re looking for an extreme hot hatchback version of a mainstream car, then the Astra VXR is seriously worth considering. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces 276bhp and can get the car from 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds.

It feels very much at home on twisty roads, as it offers a huge amount of grip – so much, in fact, that it's almost impossible to unsettle the car at road-legal speeds. The steering is suitably precise and responsive, giving you lots of feedback through the wheel. All these traits work together to make the Astra VXR an excellent car for those who enjoy driving quickly.

An adaptive suspension setup means you can switch between various settings to make the Astra sportier or more comfortable. In ‘normal’ mode, the ride isn’t rock-solid and the car’s potentially sharp edges are softened somewhat. Pressing a VXR button on the dash does the opposite, making the suspension harder, the throttle response sharper and the steering weightier – this is the mode to choose if you want to explore the VXR’s full potential. Be warned, though – any imperfections in the road will be felt by everyone in the cabin and passengers really won’t thank you for selecting this setting on a long journey.

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