Our cars: Vauxhall Astra GTC - April 2012

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Vauxhall Astra GTC
Vauxhall Astra GTC
Vauxhall Astra GTC 1.6 Turbo 180 Sri

Week ending April 27
Mileage 11,450
Driven this week: 26 miles

Vauxhall Astra GTC review

I was greeted to a rather alarming message when I turned on the ignition in the GTC the other day – 'Theft Attempted', declared the display.

I switched the engine off and on again and all was restored to normal. A check around the car revealed no sign of forced entry. The car park was security monitored, so maybe my face just didn’t fit on that particular day. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation anyway.


Week ending April 20
Mileage 11,424
Driven this week: 524 miles

The Astra GTC has had its second uncomfortable rating from a member of the What Car? team.

Data editor Rosie McMahon complained of a bad back after driving it in February, and has steered clear ever since, and after spending a fair bit of time in the GTC this week, chief road tester Pete Tullin, returned to the office clutching his lumbar, too.

Considering our long-term GTC is fitted with the £1050 leather pack, which includes orthopaedic ergonomic six-way adjustable sports seats, that’s not a good sign. I’ve never found it a particularly twisted ride myself, but after others have taken the car for a spin, it does take me a little while fiddling with the settings to get back to the perfect driving position.


Week ending April 13
Mileage 10,900
Driven this week 150 miles

The GTC seems to have become the What Car? office vehicle of choice for airport runs. Its in-your-face paint job makes it easy for pick-up passengers to spot no matter how long the arrivals queue, and after even the most bleary-eye inducing flight there’s no chance of losing it in the car park either. Thus proving that yellow is the most practical, and indeed efficient car colour, for the discerning frequent flier.


Week ending April 6
Overall mileage: 10739
Driven this week: 149 miles

How many What Car? staffers does it take to shut the Astra GTC’s boot? Three, apparently. Last week the latch got stuck for the second time, leaving the boot lid flapping open in the breeze, and catching out our unsuspecting photographer, John.

Luckily boot-lid caper MKII happened in the office car park and not out in the wilds with a trunk load of expensive camera kit. If you know how to un-jam the mechanism – a quick jab with the Astra’s key does the job – it’s not a big problem; if you don’t, you’re stuck, along with the latch.

This time around, happily the key trick did its job, and a liberal spray of lubricant will hopefully prevent it from happening again. A third offence would mean more serious measures - a trip back to the dealer.

Emma Butcher

Our cars: Vauxhall Astra GTC - March 2012


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