Dressed for success
The Astra is a potent rival for the Golf
saving for a claimed 5.9L/100km. On my primary suburban test it achieved 7.2L.
There’s not a lot of skimping with chassis gear. The Astra has a six-speed automatic with manual-shift mode, electric steering and an additional Watts link in the rear suspension to maintain ride comfort and enhance handling. The ergonomic seats, expense notwithstanding, are superb. delightful surge of torque when called on in the vicinity of 2500rpm.
The 1.6-litre turbo petrol is a better and $3000 cheaper alternative. The auto suits it perfectly and even does a decent job of countering the low-speed turbo lag, though the manual mode of the gearbox is a better remedy.
The electric steering is very good in both feel and its positive input to the wheels. Handling is good though it
Skin in the game: The Astra is taking on established rivals but the leather trim is a stand-out