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Vauxhall have released a sporty three-door version of the hatchback, the Astra GTC. The model has been given lowered suspension, a much wider track and springs towards the front, similar to those in an Insignia VXR.
For an ideal match, choose the top range 178bhp 1.6-litre turbo model. This is the most powerful engine available with a 0-62mph speed of only 7.8 seconds. Throughout the rev range, the engine provides smoothness and an abundance of power, plus a deeper note than the basic model.
Whilst this is the quickest engine currently on offer, consider it is also the most expensive. A fuel economy of only 39.2mpg means regular visits to petrol stations, on top of £265 for the first years road tax, due to its CO2 emissions of 168g/km.
Even so, the Vauxhall Astra GTC proves to be an exceptional drive. Suspension has been altered to ensure the warm hatch feel is constant travelling through bends. The widened track also maintains the car to corner flatly, with a great deal of grip. Additional dampers are available, although not essential due to how well the normal set up is.
For a market where appearance is decisive, the Vauxhall Astra GTC will benefit. Every body panel on this motor is different to the standard five door model, making for an eye-catching alteration. Still, the new looks don't retract for the cars practicality.
Inside, the Vauxhall Astra GTC is spacious, with enough room for four adults, or five at a push. The boot is also generous, and with the rear seats in place the load area is 30 litres larger than the original five-door Astra.