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Vauxhall Astra VXR
The Top Gear car review:Vauxhall Astra VXR
What is it like on the road?
The Astra VXR has one of the most sophisticated chassis setups in this class. It has a clever mechanical limited-slip diff, HiPer Strut front suspension, FlexRide adaptive dampers – and it all combines to give a far more rounded feel. The wretched torque steer has been dialled back, the wheel never bucks in your hands and both steering and chassis give the feedback you need. There’s just a lovely balance to the VXR: it’s more reassuring and much more confident in itself.
The whooshing, gushing engine is predictably immense. After a bit of low-rev lag, it really gets into its stride, rushing you onward, perhaps with a little less subtlety than you’d like but with undeniable awesomeness. The limited-slip diff means impressive traction, allowing full use of its class-leading 280bhp, with all that torque playing a fine supporting role when it’s time to sit back and relax (or when you’re bored of stirring the slightly sloppy six-speed gearbox).