It may look very different from its lesser brethren on the outside, but the cabin continues a more familiar theme. There’s nothing much wrong with that, mind: the latest Astra’s cabin is accommodating and feels well built from mostly good-quality materials. 

The front is generously roomy and, given the rakishness of the roof, the rear cabin is surprisingly easy to slip into; there is 940mm of rear headroom and typical rear legroom is a decent 800mm. The boot opening is a touch narrow, but there’s 380 litres of space back there. All told, this is a functional interior. The doors are also huge, and to open them with a car parked on either side can be a struggle. 

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The navigation system is accurate and intelligent enough

However, look for sparkles of VXR-ness and, superbly supportive seats aside, you’ll find little beyond the gearlever knob, steering wheel and the diddy Sport and VXR buttons on the dashboard. When you press that VXR button, by the way, the dials turn red.

The raked A-pillars and low-swept roofline do not compromise visibility and the high beltline is liable to make drivers feel like they’re sitting lower than they actually are.

As for the equipment levels, being the range-topper you would expect nothing less than the kitchen sink included in such a car, however you may be in for a disappointment.

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The exterior of the GTC VXR is fitted with all sorts of sporting paraphernalia including a rear diffuser, side sills and a lairy rear spoiler, while inside is greeted with sports seats, alloy details and Vauxhall’s infotainment system complete with Bluetooth and DAB radio – however sat nav is optional.

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