Excellent Review, totally unbiased which is very difficult to do when writing about your own car sometimes. I have a ZS 180 and saw one of these today. On looks alone it won me over - stunning. Hope you have a happy trouble free time with it.
Excellent review, very well written and I agree with almost entirely with what you say.
I would have the VXR over the common and bland Golf GTi or the Focus ST any day. The Astra VXR is easily the best hot hatch out there at the moment and in my opinion by quite some considerable distance too - especially in terms of fun.
I have been lucky enough to test one of these out at Oulton Park back in May on a VXR Race day I was invited too. Ignore the usual press comments about the way it drives - a badge is the one and only thing which makes a car in their world - they can't stand to see anything else with a so-called 'lesser' badge win. Having tested it around the track, I find it a ferocious accelerator in any gear at almost any speed and understeer in my opinion was minimal. It really is a hard car not to like and I am seriously considering upgrading my current Astra Sport Hatch SRi to the VXR within the next couple of years.
Would be good to compare against my 300bhp integra type r turbo, would prob be good race.
Currently I own a MK4 Sri Turbo which has the 200bhp Z20LET variation of the VXR engine. I test drove the VXR and found it to be no quicker than my current car - admittedly the engine was under 100 miles.
I look forward to trying a loosened up version to see what it can do, I just feel it was an opportunity missed by VX as this Astra weighs nearly 1400kg whereby the Mk4 weighs 1250kg and the old MK2 was 1000kg exactly! Seems a shame that the weight of all these cars are going the wrong way.
Astra 2009 should weigh the same as a current Monaro!
I currently own a 330ci Sport BMW, and I've been offered a new VXR as a company car, but will I be going backwards? I've test drove the car and the car isn't as well built interior reliability, but in the sense of power will I miss it? I've seen the statistics and the two cars are exactly the same, but the BMW is so easy to drive with bags of torque all over the place. I had this problem with the Type R as I had to race the nuts off it to get similar performance.
'I currently own a 330ci Sport BMW, and I've been offered a new VXR as a company car, but will I be going backwards?'
I would say that is very much a backward step. A 335 (d) coupe would be a better choice.
I would go with the VXR, have a change, a bit of excitement. It may not be as luxurious as the 330 but I expect its quicker and a lot more fun.
With all due respect, comparing a BMW 330Ci and an Astra VXR isn't exactly comparing apples with apples. The Astra is what, about £19K, and the BMW is the wrong side of £30K. There'd be something very wrong if the BMW wasn't a better car!
At the end of the day, the 330ci is a BMW, and the VXR is another Vauxhall. Anyone would choose the beemer over the VXR, it's just in a different league. The VXR compares to cars like the Focus, Skoda etc.
In real life I find the 330ci is the same. No turbo lag and brilliant handling. Also the VXRs are worth less and less by the second. I got shot of mine. Never had any major problems, I just thought the whole "mega fast Vauxhall" image tends to wear off after a while. In today's world of traffic and speed traps everywhere, you're hard pushed to find a place safe enough for a quick blast - take the speed away from the Vauxhall and you're left with a Vauxhall. In short I'd have the BMW; it's a lovely car and as the previous comment says, the BMW is more expensive for a reason.
I've got a VXR and could have gotten a 330 if I had wanted to, but then a 330 doesn't turn as many heads, does it? It also looks very bland and boring (as is the interior). However, the new 3 series 2 door coupe looks a lot better, and I would maybe consider the 335.
If I could choose any car id have a nice black 54 impreza, which I have. But id much rather have the VXR over a boring 330. If it was an M3 well that would be different. But he's right, the 330 doesn't turn many heads and the VXR is quicker.
330ci does 0-60 in 6.9.
That's a lot slower than the vxr; you can also get so much more power out of the vxr for a few hundred pounds.
A 330 will never overcome the limitation of being bland and blending into the crowd. It is just another car.
A blue VXR turns many heads, is much better looking, is faster, has much more cornering grip and the interior is a much nicer place to be. Just go on auto trader and look at the interior of the old 3 series. It is shocking.
OK, so the BMW is rear wheel drive, which is great for getting the rear end out, etc. But it is still driving only 2 wheels so it wouldn't be better than the VXR for traction off the mark, would it?
Yes - under acceleration you get a rearward weight transfer which aids a RWD car, and hampers a FWD one.
There is a reason why drag cars are always RWD.
Apart from the chav image... oh and the crap fuel economy... oh and the really high insurance.. oh and the crap interior.. oh and the understeer when pushed hard into a corner.
But yeah, apart from that, best of both worlds.
Chav image? Are you saying an Impreza has more of a chav image than an Astra? People of all ages go for the Impreza; family men, old men, women, but only young kids seem go for the Astra. And it makes me wonder how you think an Astra will handle better than an Impreza??? The mind boggles!
No I don't think the Astra will handle better than the Impreza. I personally don't like the Astra or the Impreza. Just saying a huge amount of Imprezas are seen week in, week out driving around town with a baseball-capped youth behind the wheel trying to impress the young girls with the volume of their dump valve, and the 5 inch tail pipe poking out the back. Face it, the Impreza has a chav image.