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Opel Astra GTC 1.4T

 
Interior of the Opel Astra GTC

The Astra GTC is one of the most stunning cars around, so does it live up to its good looks. We find out…

 What is it?
A three-door sporty version of the Astra Hatchback it is designed to  give a more driver- oriented appeal.

Who is it aimed at?
Definitely more suited to those willing to make a few compromises, like space or back seats, but if such considerations are not an issue you get sleek looks, good performance and all for less than €24K.

Styling?
The stylish exterior and slopping lines are stunning from every angle and this is car with “must have” appeal. The GTC is wider and lower than the regular Astra hatchback which really enhances its looks.

Under the Bonnet?
Our test car was powered by a 1.4 turbo petrol which gives a reasonable amount of power  (140bhp) and fuses just the right mix of economy and performance.

What about Inside?
Inside the GTC is nearly identical to the Astra so it shares the same cluttered interior and tiny fiddly buttons but it is comfortable and has gorgeous sports-styled seats. Despite being a sporty looking car it is also actually roomy.  There is more than ample space throughout and the back seats while not large will accommodate a passenger or two, depending on size and definition of comfort. We did manage to squeeze two car seats into the back but to be honest it was all a little too cosy!. Boot space is good, again given the design of the car and is 370 litres  with all seats taken, while 1165 litres of volume is available with the rear seats folded. 

Opel Astra GTC

On the Road?
The GTC drives just as good as it looks and adapts well to any road surface, always a big plus on Irish back roads.  The 1.4 petrol engine has to be worked hard and the bigger engines would be our choice but it is fun to drive and the gearbox is slick and smooth.

And Safety?
Given the top 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating the GTC will keep you and yours safely cocooned.
There are airbags all round (front, side and curtain) .

What about fuel economy?
Fuel consumption on a combined cycle is 5.9 litres per 100km (47.9mpg).  CO2 emissions are 139 g/km so the price paid for a petrol engine is Band B with regard to Motor tax and that comes with an annual bill of €225. 

Okay so the Verdict?
The Astra GTC is no hot hatch but it is genuinely sporty. It looks great, drives well and Opel have definitely injected just the right amount of zest to make it feel like a totally new car. A three door car is a compromise but if you are in the market for one the Astra GTC is worth more than a second look.

Why you’ll buy one? Stunning styling; must have appeal; fun to drive.

Why you won’t? Dreadful visibility, cluttered interior .

LAST WORD:  One of the best looking cars around the GTC is a very smart and appealing option. 

Competitors: VW Scirocco; Renault Megane Coupe.

 Opel Astra GTC Sri Seashell 1.4T (Petrol) 

Factfile  

Engine:  1364cc engine putting out 103kW @ 4,900 – 6,000rpm and 200Nm of torque @ 1,850 – 4900rpm
Max speed : 201km/hour
0-100km/h: 9.9 seconds
Emissions (motor tax) : 139 g/km (Band B – Road Tax €225)
Starting price:  €23,495 (Test car €25,995, €31,861 including options)
Model price range
 : €23,495 – €30,995
No of Doors: 3
Euro NCAP:  5 stars
Fuel type:  Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 5.9 litres per 100km
Boot Capacity Seats up (seats down):  380 litres (1165)
Car Seats: Isofix points for two car seats, difficulty to use given the tight space in the rear.
Length: 4466 (mm)
Width: 1840 (mm)
Height: 1482 (mm)
Wheelbase: 2695 (mm) 

 2nd May,  2012

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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