• Jun 18, 2009
Click above to watch the video after the jump

The 2010 Opel Astra has an impressive exterior and an overhauled interior, but it's also important that the upcoming C-segment hatchback can hang with the competition. The guys and gals at Vauxhall wanted to show just how competent a handler the Astra is, so they brought a pre-production tester to the Millbrook Proving Ground test track in Bedfordshire, England.

Hit the jump to watch the next Astra take on the twists and turns at Millbrook, and while you're at it, make sure to keep an eye on the MKVI Golf and the Euro Focus. You'll have to really pay attention here, though, because the Astra passes them without much of a fight. Sure, that may have something to do with the fact that the Astra is piloted by Vauxhall's own BTCC pilot, Fabrizio Giovanardi. For all we know, the Golf and Focus could be driven by students from the local driver's ed academy.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've driven the Golf (in Rabbit guise) and the Astra and I have to say I enjoyed the Golf more. It's interior was nicer and the it felt a bit more peppy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Considering that both the (non-GTi) Golf and Astra in North America come only with one engine option a piece and one has a far larger engine capacity than the other, that's a ridiculous comparison.

        In Europe, all three cars in this test come with a variety of petrol and diesel units in the 1.3 to 2.5 litre range, making them far more comparable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with Bloke. And to go further, you've driven the current-gen Astra, not the next-gen one that is being built on a new platform (the same as the Chevy Cruze I believe) so I don't think that anyone here can make a valid comparison.

        Then again a video made by vauxhall/Opel might not be the best reference.

        The clunking sounds are probably because this is not yet a production version of the car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Bloke
        It doesn't matter. If I am an average consumer in the market for a hatchback in the mid to high teens, I will look at the Mazda 3, the Rabbit, the Astra and the few other hatchbacks that exist and then I will COMPARE their interiors and how they handle. I could care less that it is somehow unfair to compare the peppyness due to the differences in engine sizes. Thats GM's fault. Ultimately it comes down to the dollars and perceived bang for your buck, and in my opinion the current Astra fails compared to the Rabbit and the Mazda 3. I have no control over what the automakers put under the hood but I do have control over what I put in their pockets.
        • 5 Years Ago
        FSM - if you're comparing a 138bhp 1.8 with a 170bhp 2.5 with an extra cylinder, saying the latter is more peppy? Of course it is. Use some common sense. Price similarity has no bearing on power.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @FSM: who gives a flying noodly appendage what you think? The article is about UK spec Astra, UK spec Golf, and UK spec Focus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        FSM - let's use some common sense, ok?

        You say that a 2.5 litre 5-cyl 170bhp C-segment hatchback of similar weight to one with a 1.8 litre 4 outputting 138bhp is peppier?

        Well thanks for stating the obvious. Thing is, you wouldn't even have to drive the two to determine that.

        You have to compare like-with-like. Compare a standard 1.6 litre Golf with a Focus or Astra with their respective 1.6 litre units and THEN see which is "peppier." And THEN you can determine their price to see which is the better deal.

        It is staggering how bloody stupid some people on here really are.



        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Bloke
        Its a ridiculous comparison to compare 2 naturally aspirated hatchbacks with close price points where each only has one offering in the US?
        • 5 Years Ago
        And FSM - if there's a choice between the Golf with the (old) 2.5 litre 5-cyl unit and the Astra with the standard non-turbo 1.8, you have a choice don't you? Get more power from the Golf, or more fuel economy from the Astra. Having spent time with many Astras, including one with that 1.8 unit in it, you should easily be able to average 32-35mpg (US) in it depending on how you drive.

        The Mazda 3 is a fine car with an excellent chassis, but its bland design has no character compared to the Astra, Golf or Focus.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It just reminds me of a Mazda 3 of recent history, and the clanking makes me worry a little. That being said, it did get some air over the hill...I guess there are only so many versions of a four-door hatchback that can be created, but I think that this is more like it...http://www.automobilesnews.com/2009/01/05/porsche-panamera-to-officially-debut-at-shanghai-show-in-april/

      http://www.gearite.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        You linked to the Panamera. You just lost credibility. Ew.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Small? Isn't the Panamera based on the Cayenne?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, but it is a four-door hatchback. Sorry, "small" was the incorrect word. I should have left it at four-door hatchback. Regardless, my point is that it is refreshing to me that somebody is trying to break the mold on four-door hatchbacks. Perhaps you would be happier with the A5 Sportback, it will take your mind off of the obviously inferior Panamera...http://www.gearite.com/2009/06/at-2009-north-american-international.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, at least it gives a small four-door a different look, which was my point. The new Opel Astra, Mazda 3, Toyota Matrix...the list goes on...all look a lot alike. I just want to know when someone will come out with something fresh...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pro-mo video, this wasn't rigged
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can you say fixed? Amazing how easy it was to catch the competion , then .....
      work to pass . Looks fixed to me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Sure, that may have something to do with the fact that the Astra is piloted by Vauxhall's own BTCC pilot, Fabrizio Giovanardi."

      Something? No. Everything? Yes. Go hit the track with a professional driver, give him a much weaker car, he'll destroy you. But it makes for good marketing. If EVO et-al do a shoot out (similar to the one they just ran where the Focus RS loss to that fugly RS.R) they I’ll be quite glad to see the Astra bringing it’s A game and giving the others some gruff. Put TK in the GTI and then we’ll have even more entertaining TV, hell or any of the VAG drivers that do the 24 hours of the ring, and lemans and dtm.


        • 5 Years Ago
        Absolutely. The other drivers don't look like they even understand the
        basic concept of how to take turns quickly. This video says nothing about
        the cars themselves.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Even if it's legit there is a new Focus on the way. It's the one the US market is getting next year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Skeptical....just a tad...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah just a little. I love the car and all. Like... really love it- just from the few pics I've seen, but notice whenever they show Mr. Fabio or whatever his name is shifting, he just happens to be right on the tail of the next car.


        hmmm curious.
      • 5 Years Ago
      lol- I loved the little jump over the hill.
        • 5 Years Ago
        To spookthehamster:

        Can you put in Youtube and post the link ? Sounds great !
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have a video of an Aston Martin Vanquish, DB9 and V8 Vantage jumping over that hill, filmed by a friend working there before the V8 Vantage was released.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll be honest... I wouldn't have watched the video if it didn't say "Ford Focus" in the title. :
      • 5 Years Ago
      If NVH hasn,t been solidly addressed, unlike the current model, keep it inder vaterland.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This was great. I spent several years in England and that is the perfect car for the roads over there. Looked to me like it handled very well on those turns. Of course after may more jumps like that he may want to visit this site. URL http://www.tirekingdom.com/Tires.aspx URL
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