Vauxhall VXR8 saloon (2007-2017)
"With bold looks to match its muscle-car personality, the Vauxhall VXR8 is as raw as modern high-performance saloons get."
- Lots of fun to drive
- Very comfortable for a fast car
- Interior quality is better than ever
- High running costs
- Similar price to German rivals
- Automatic gearbox is slow and awkward
Powered by a 6.2-litre V8 petrol engine, the VXR8 isn't short of power. With bold looks to match its muscle-car personality, the Vauxhall VXR8 is as raw as modern performance saloons get. It takes only only 4.2 seconds to go from 0-62mph and has a top speed of 155mph. Poor fuel efficiency and a high insurance rating means running costs are very high, but this has always been the case with the VXR8.
The steering is precise, handling is direct it rides very comfortably for such a fast car. Inside, cabin quality is better than ever, but the VXR8 is still some way behind its European rivals here. At £50,000, the latest version isn't the low-cost alternative to a BMW M5 its predecessor was, but it still represents good value if you're looking for a comfortable, spacious and very fast saloon.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The current Vauxhall VXR8 costs £50,000, so it's no longer a bargain-basement alternative to European rivals and it has terrible residual values. Expensive insurance and prodigious a thirst for fuel make it expensive to run, too. It's also worth noting that the rear-wheel-drive VXR8 goes through a set of tyres quicker than most cars, further adding to the high cost of ownership.
CO2 emissions for the VXR8 stand at 363g/km, with the automatic producing 373g/km, meaning both versions cost £505 per year in tax. Fuel economy stands at 18.5mpg and 18mpg respectively, so the VXR8 in both its guises will be a very expensive to run.
Engines, drive & performance
The VXR8's 6.2-litre V8 engine delivers 425bhp and takes only 4.2 seconds to accelerate the car from 0-62mph. The car handles better than ever and you simply won't believe how quickly it can acclerate at high revs. The steering is accurate and nicely weighted, while the current VXR8 also boasts the biggest brakes ever fitted to a road-going Vauxhall, ensuring you can keep all that power safely in check when necessary.
The six-speed automatic gearbox delivers reasonably smooth shifts in auto mode, yet responds crisply to the steering wheel mounted paddles. Low speed response ins't as sharp as the manual car, as the automatic gearbox dulls the initial acceleration
Interior & comfort
Like it or not, the Vauxhall VXR8's V8 engine is seriously loud. Resonating throughout the cabin, it can get a bit noisy even when you're cruising along in sixth gear. There's a bit of wind noise and the large tyres generate a fair amount of road noise, too, but it’s the least you would expect from a powerful muscle car. Refinement aside, the VXR8 is extremely spacious and very comfortable for such a high-performance car.
Practicality & boot space
There are very few fast cars that offer as much space as the VXR8. With more than enough leg and headroom to seat five large adults, the VXR8 really is one of a kind in this class. The boot is as big as a regular family saloon's, too.
Reliability & safety
Vauxhall reliability has been steadily improving in recent years and the latest version of the VXR8 has the best record so far. Interior quality is better than ever, too, although the VXR8 still feels a bit cheaper inside than rivals from Audi and BMW. However, it still looks and feels great and is a very solid effort all round.
Price, value for money & options
With its 6.2-litre V8 engine, a chassis that’s more capable than ever and huge amounts of character, the VXR8 is a lot of car for £50,000. It's unlikely to win over buyers used to a high-performance Audi, BMW or Mercedes, but it's the perfect choice for those who like to make a statement and prefer not to run with the crowd.