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2013 Vauxhall Astra VXR

Published July 25, 2012

There’s a good number of performance hatchbacks on the market right now and the 2013 Vauxhall Astra VXR is one of them.They’re not leading the class with this car but they’re most definitely keeping up with the pack. It wide and muscular looking and authoritative.

If you’re searching for that small hatch with power you’ll be impressed to hear about the 2.0 liter turbocharged is producing 276hp and pulling 295 ft/lb of torque. And the VXR’s 0-62mph time of 6.0 seconds isn’t too shabby either. There was a time when VXR stirred memories of joy killing torque steer. Unfortunately that hasn’t changed much as the limited slip differential still causes a lot of that same torque steer that keeps you so wary it takes some pleasure away from the driving experience. But despite that the VXR is not as bad as former models. It’s set up with hydraulic rather than electric steering and a mechanical limited slip differential. Which means you can actually throttle into corners and have confidence the car will stick to the road. But the surface had better be smooth or you’ll discover the unruly side of the VXR. The car sits 10mm lower than the GTC version and its suspension is 30 per cent stiffer. The VXR comes standard with FlexRide and also receives the Insignia’s clever HiPer Strut front suspension. And for just under two grand you can pimp your ride with 20-inch wheels, side body flares and the rear spoiler for a finishing touch. When you change to VXR mode the dials glow red and the suspension is stiffs. The steering gets heavier, and the throttle response sharpens. The car grips the road with great satisfaction and it will take the line you choose. Responding with eager lust.

The car is also practical with huge cargo space as well as loads of room for adults seated in the back. However it might not be as fun as many cars in its class especially in the low end of the VXR. It can be a stiff and loses its composed ride on rougher surfaces. Which doesn’t make it ideal for many back roads you’d be naturally tempted to take VXR out on for a good run. However I’m sure that will be addressed on the rally version of the VXR.

The 2013 Vauxhall VXR is ideal for many drivers who can handle the brattier side of this car and even have enough in common to appreciate it. It’s not available in North America but you can be that at some point there will be counterparts produced by the Big Three in the coming years.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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