Dressed for success

The As­tra is a po­tent ri­val for the Golf

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - ROAD TEST -

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

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