Used Vauxhall Astra Gtc
Vauxhall are known for producing quality and affordable everyday cars, but they also have a proud heritage in the racing world. The Astra GTC is the first serious attempt made by Vauxhall to combine these two worlds in years, since maybe their Calibra from the late 80s/early 90s.
Launched in 2011, this is not a dressed up Astra hatchback but a completely new design that builds on combining these different motoring worlds and well, just look at it. The Astra GTC was designed to be a direct rival to models like Volkswagen's Scirocco and while its badge might not have the same style and prestige it is one of the best and most practical driving experiences in the compact coupe class.
Bang for your buck
Many people will probably dismiss the approved used Vauxhall Astra GTC on paper because they wrongly assume that it is just a punchier Astra. They couldn't be more wrong. The car is longer, wider and lower than the standard Astra and it doesn't share any of the same body panels except for the door handles.
Despite the fact the GTC for sale actually shares many of the same engines from the range it still feels like a completely difference driving experience. Vauxhall have concentrated on improving the driving experience by working on things like the steering and a completely new suspension system that makes this feel like a completely different car.
The standard trim level comes with everything you could want, like air-conditioning, mp3-compatable CD player, remote alarm system, cruise control, DAB digital radio and even 18-inch alloy wheels. There is quite a range of engines choices available as well, from the lower end 1.4-litre petrol models up to the sport VXR and 2.0-litre CTDi diesel cars, so there is bound to be one that will suit you best.
Being larger than the standard Astra the GTC is also one of the most practical and comfortable cars in its class. Even on long journeys two adults can sit in the back comfortably with loads of room for them and their luggage, not something you would normally associate with similar sized cars. Combine all this with both competitive fuel consumption and emissions, the Astra GTC is a fantastic drivers compact coupe that is also practical enough for everyday use. What more could you want from a car?
What you'll pay
The cheapest models with the smallest 1.4-litre petrol engines can be found from around £11,000 and go up from there depending on the trim level you go for. The size engine you want is probably what will affect the price most, with the most powerful and higher end models likely to set you back around £17,000. Only being on the market for the past two years however these prices are subject to rapid change over the next few years.
What to check
Being a Vauxhall you can trust the Astra GTC to be reliable. There aren't any big issues to look out for, but when viewing used cars it is worth remembering this is a driver's car. Look for signs that it may have been abused by a previous owner and check the alloy wheels. You probably won't have to worry though, as most serious drivers do look after their cars anyway.
As the Astra GTC is such a new car the majority of the used ones on the market will still be covered by their warranties, so you shouldn't have too much worry about. The parts and engines are all similar or identical to those used in other Vauxhalls, so when you do have to replace parts you won't have the hefty price tags that come with other higher end manufacturers.
How it drives
Put simply this car is probably one of the best driving experiences of any compact coupe on the market right now. It might have similar engines to the standard Astra models, but the GTC feels like a completely different car that will satisfy any serious driver.
The 16v 1.6-litre petrol turbo will do 0-60 in 7.8 seconds and go on to 138mph, so there is plenty of speed for petrol heads out there. Even the smaller 1.4-litre turbo engines that will probably be most popular with buyers will do 0-60 in 9 seconds. Sporty and practical never looked this good.