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A weekend with a Astra VXR and a comparison

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  • A weekend with a Astra VXR and a comparison

    A weekend with the Astra VXR and a comparison.
    A quick call to my dealer and it was arranged. I requested to borrow a Astra VXR for a couple of days and Tony Levoi in Lakeside where only too willing to help. Okay so I have bought 10 cars from them in the last 6 years, but they where very happy to help me out.
    So having picked up the car Friday afternoon, I headed off home. I have to say that Levoi’s have done a good job of getting the car to look like the BTCC car and it does attract attention with all those strips and stickers. Perhaps not my cup of tea if I was to own it, but it was very funny driving it around for a couple of days, even if a friend did insist on going round the one way system close to my home and stopping outside MacDonalds, oh please I’m 45 years old, don’t do this to me.
    Anyway, once I had adjusted all the bits in the car the one thing that stood out so much for me was the height of the seat. I felt more like I was sitting on the car rather than in it. However, adjustment of the base tilt facility did help to get rid of some of this feeling. The seats where extremely supportive, and did give the impression of being smaller than the Vectra. The Astra and Vectra seats are difference in shape so I guess this answers that question. All the controls are the usual Astra/Vectra so it did not take too much time to get use too them. The space in the back of the Astra is not great, but lets be fair this is not a family car really is it?
    Heading off down the road and the very first thing that came to the forefront was the initial brake pedal application. Even though the Vectra brakes are larger, the Astra brakes seem to be better on initial take up. The brakes seem to bit as soon as you touch them. This gave plenty of confident in the system. Don’t get me wrong the Vectra brakes as well as the Astra but it that initial take up. The Vectra feels better under very heavy braking but it is a different set-up and requires just more initial pedal movement.
    As the trip home is fairly straight forward, being mostly dual carriageway, it was pretty uneventful, well apart from the police helicopter running along side me on the A12!!!
    The weekend gave a good opportunity to explore how the car handled and performed. Although the weather was poor, it stayed mainly dry apart from an hour or two.
    The Astra’s handling was very good, as most of you will already know from experience or from all the reports, but what I did find is the difference between the Astra and Vectra. The Astra’s steering is more responsive, supplying feed back which flows from bend to bend, giving you the feeling of being in-touch with the ground. As you move from one corner to the next the Astra just directs itself as if it knows what your thinking. Movements of the steering are positive and accurate, never being too sensitive. The suspension seems to restrict the body movement without being over stiff, and whilst cornering the bumps do not seem to move the car off line. I think given the option however the Astra is better suited to the 18 inch wheels, as is the Vectra, where the 19 inch wheels look good but don't offer as much tyre flexibility and also having a different offset helps on the 18's. The 19 inch wheels do a good job but it can be bettered.
    In comparison, the Vectra gives a totally different feedback You feel you are floating over the road rather than in contact with it. In the Astra when things start to go wrong you are fully aware of it. In the Vectra you have to be very good in knowing when it’s going too go wrong. Both cars have enormous amounts of grip and handle very well, but the Astra is the drivers car. If you want the more relaxed drive, the Vectra has it.
    The Astra’s performance is, as well all know, very strong. The car has a very well ratio’ed gear box, coupled with that strong engine. I did feel the engine was starting to become very restricted at high rpm, and had a jet aircraft sound to the exhaust. I hope the Miltek sorts this out. The upper rpm range never seems to sound very refined. In comparison, the Vectra’s engine is superior in sound and is silky smooth. The exhaust note never seems to be gaspping for breath and it revs to its hearts content.
    I did find that neither the sports mode nor the normal mode to be a problem when driving, so think the press just didn’t take time to learn it. I did find, however, that blipping the throttle when on change downs worked better with the sport mode selected, allowing the engine to rev quicker than in normal mode.
    Fuel consumption was extremely good for offering such high performance and the car was quiet and comfortable on the motorway. The performance at motorway speeds was not as good as the Vectra with initial acceleration being slightly slower.
    The overall impression of the Astra is a well constructed car. In comparison to the Vectra the Astra is pumped up on steroids, but you never notice it unless you jump from one to the other.
    I very much enjoyed driving the Astra, but sorry folks I’ll stick with the Vectra. It’s just personal taste. The Astra is very accomplished and will make a mark in the history of the hot hatch. Many thanks to Bruce, Simon and Simon at Tony Levoi’s for the loan on the car.

  • #2
    Hi Mark
    Any pix of the touring car replica?

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    • #3
      Come on, where are they? I've show you how to post pics, pull your finger out old man
      He must of gone to get is blue rinse topped up (Probable in the shade of Arden)
      | Find | Watch | Follow |

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      • #4
        So not only do I write boring driver reports, I am also old, need a rinse, drive slowly, and take too long to post things.It look me all night, as the fingers don't move too fast these days - BEING OLD, to write the report. Pressure pressure pressure. I will post pics tonight.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sheriff
          Come on, where are they? I've show you how to post pics, pull your finger out old man
          He must of gone to get is blue rinse topped up (Probable in the shade of Arden)
          Arden blue rinse LOL pleased I'm not the only one who calls him driving Miss Daisy !!! :P
          That said I only wish I could drive like him on the race track , mind you if he carried the speed on the road that he can carry on the race track the police would have needed that helipcoptor to get him behind bars. !!!
          And I dont think thay would ever let him out on the road again !
          sigpic
          29 Years as Vauxhall Tuners

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          • #6
            Originally posted by A11VXL
            And I dont think thay would ever let him out on the road again !
            Not a bad thing, we had to put him in the passange seat Sunday so we could actually get to where we where going the same day
            | Find | Watch | Follow |

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            • #7
              pics please Mark :wink:

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              • #8
                and I still had problems with the Tom Tom

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                • #9
                  Some pics as requested




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                  • #10
                    now thats advertising :wink:
                    good pics mate

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                    • #11
                      Thanks chap, Some will say its shaking hands that makes the blurr on the pics due to my age ( i thought I would get it in first) but I blame the camera.
                      I re-wrote part of the report to make more sense, well at mid-night wot you expect.
                      Oh and Dougie, don't get any funny ideas of adding the graphics to my Vectra !!!!

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                      • #12
                        can now see why that helo was following you mate
                        cant half miss that car

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                        • #13
                          Actually I copied the Maloo grahics onto your Vectra Thought at least they looked a bit more stylish hahhaa

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dougie
                            Actually I copied the Maloo grahics onto your Vectra Thought at least they looked a bit more stylish hahhaa
                            LOL: Oh please let that be true :wink: :
                            sigpic
                            29 Years as Vauxhall Tuners

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                            • #15
                              Unlucky he wouldn't dare!!!!

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