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Opel Astra GTC Sport 2012 review

Wow, what a good looking car. Opel's new Astra Sport hatch is right up there with the best of them in terms of style. It really cuts a fine silhouette on the street, especially the one we were driving - the top of the range Astra retailing for $33,490 for the six-speed manual.

Price

Our drive car was a $40 grand plus proposition with six-speed auto, Flex-ride chassis and adaptive forward lighting all adding two grand apiece as well as another $700 for metallic paint and a grand for the 19-inch wheels over the standard 18s.

We were somewhat sceptical about Opel Australia's mission to lift itself into the premium category but this car could carry it off. It offers a premium drive feel, the interior is attractive and functional and build quality is at least the equal of the competition.

But at the money, it's going to struggle against the likes of Mazda3 SP25 (two grand less), Lancer VRX (four grand less) and Ford Focus Sport (nearly six grand less).

Equipment

This is the newest car on the block featuring a swag of goodies including lowered sports suspension and sporty steering, rear spoiler, dual zone climate control, premium audio, satnav, seat heaters, chiropractic seats, Bluetooth phone with voice control, auto dim rear view mirror, auto wipers and head lights, cruise, electric park brake and a speed limiter among its generous equipment.

But there's no paddle shift and it has a space saver spare. Minor complaints in the greater scheme of things.

Engine

Power comes from a turbo 1.6-litre petrol four rated at 132kW/230Nm output. It goes better in Sport mode offering quicker throttle response and a more “live” feeling from the chassis. Fuel economy is a creditable 7.3-litres/100km for the manual, a little more from the auto which does a 0-100kmh sprint in 9.0 seconds.

Driving

Comfortable with a sporty edge is how we'd describe Astra's ride which also makes the car quite handy in the twisty bits. Love the seats and the large load space but rear seat legroom is a bit tight with large front seat passengers.

From the driver's seat it's all positive - nothing to complain about - goes well, plenty of roll on acceleration, smooth, quiet, controlled.

Verdict

It's just the price that's the issue... because the competition is stove hot.

Pricing Guides

$9,990
Based on 21 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$8,995
Highest Price
$13,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.4 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $9,588 – 9,999 2012 Opel Astra 2012 1.4 Pricing and Specs
1.6 Select 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,020 – 12,760 2012 Opel Astra 2012 1.6 Select Pricing and Specs
1.6 Sports 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $10,120 – 13,860 2012 Opel Astra 2012 1.6 Sports Pricing and Specs
CDTi 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $8,250 – 11,550 2012 Opel Astra 2012 CDTi Pricing and Specs