Drive Pits Vauxhall Astra VXR Against Ford Focus ST, Renaultsport Megane RS: Video23
Hot hatches are the proverbial Swiss Army knives of cars: they’re utilitarian and stylish, while bringing a performance angle to the equation. In fact, that’s why — every day — we await for GM to bring a performance-oriented Cruze hatch to the States. But as we pass the time waiting, Drive’s Chris Harris took not one or two, but three hot hatches out on some British twisties — and tells us about the experience in the following video.
As far as the Vauxhall Astra VXR (Opel Astra OPC) is concerned, Harris found the 275 horse/295 lb-ft. of torque 2.0 liter high-output turbo-charged Ecotec (LHU) — the same engine found in the Buick Regal GS — to produce some turbo lag, with which he proceeds to have some fun by anticipating the motor’s power delivery. Meanwhile, Harris commends the Astra on it being an honest in-your-face hot hatch, while finding the seats to be nothing short of excellent.
However, Harris finds the car’s suspension to be oversprung yet underdamped — even before enabling the VXR mode, which — according to him — is when the VXR becomes “very unruly”. To that, we’d say: “are you a man, or a little boy who can’t get a grip on the car’s demeanor?”
We also find surprising that Harris criticizes the Astra’s quality-laden interior simply because he can’t figure out the purpose of all the (smallish) buttons found in the car’s center stack. “Sit in the car for a half an hour and play with the controls” is what we’d say to that assessment.
In any event, watch the video for yourself right here. All 20 minutes of it, and see who comes out on top:
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Figured it would turn out that way ….. someday GM might get it.
Sense is that the Astra is underdeveloped. Shame that.
Hmmm… the Astra is the most powerful vehicle in the shootout.
GM USA has nothing at all to compete with Ford with the newly revealed Fiesta ST and the Focus ST. It would seem like GM may not see this as a very high priority at the moment, since the Sonic RS is completely outgunned by the Fiesta ST. and the Cruz RS is just a cosmetic package. just like the Sonic RS. A Cruz SS would be a very nice addition to the Chevy line up, The Cobalt had an SS version along with the HHR SS.
but now Chevy is giving the RS treatment to more cars..Rally Sport is an appearance package only, so it would be safe to assume then that Chevy will not have an response to the ST twins…..pity but perhaps that’s Chevy’s plan all along.. : (
That’s true. However, a Sonic SS seems to be on the way, according to certain reports:
If a high-po variant of the Cruze is coming, however, it won’t be until the next-gen in 2015…
Alex. Do not let facts get into the discussion.
Did I miss something? 🙂
No, you said it. The Regal has the most powerful engine.
The st has 252 hp while the Regal has 270 hp. (and we are discussing Buick here, right?)
I thought we were discussing, in this particular sub-thread, Chevy’s compact performance offerings (or lack thereof)…
Comment was that GM USA has nothing to compete with ST. I believe the regal gs is very competitive with the focus. Yes it is a bit more expensive but it is overall a higher contented and nicer vehicle.
In the past, when GM had 50% of the market, they could compete in every segment with every division. No longer can they do that. But I am sure the next US cruze will have a hatch and a hotter engine.
Ah, I see. I wouldn’t put the Regal in the same class as the Focus ST; not only is it more expensive (to the tune of $8,000), but it’s a completely different car. It’s bigger (midsize vs. compact), heavier, and significantly more luxurious than the Focus… and given where Buick seems to be headed, it should be considered blasphemy to compare a Buick to a Ford 🙂
GM needs to solve this problem cleanly: introduce direct Focus ST and Fiesta ST competitors that are Chevys. Not only will it boost sales (insignificantly, albeit), but it will definitely raise the brand’s street cred with those who aren’t interested in a Camaro or the SS… this especially applies to Chevy in Europe.
Alex thank you for answering the question, I don’t understand how a Buick regal to be Compared to a Ford focus one is a C segment compact car the other is a midsize luxury sports sedan. My statement was that GM usa ,Chevrolet not Buick
Does not have anything that competes with the ST twins. Perhaps if Saturn still existed we would’ve had an Astra Redline. However since any Opel that makes it to America is branded as a Buick The current Asta does not exist in America. And I don’t see an Astra making it to the Buick lineup. That kind Of car segment belongs to Chevy. And they have their own models to fill that niche.
Albeit not high-performance models that is.
Whoops, I got the Insignia messed up with the Astra. I know better.
I do not understand why parts of Europe, or Europe? Prandin Prandin in coming to America changed kujul.võik models have one-to-one models in Europe and America that is.
buic Regal GS turbo has a decent machine but could also be the exact same as the Insignia OPC But buick opel logos or you’re a usasse.See all be all in favor of Europe and America.
America was not the old Ford Focus RS and Focus ST are very different from those of their olemsuelt.
Now we will quietly bring an American FIAT500 still very cool very cool rocket Abarth auto.FIAT500.
BUICK spy photos of the Astra GTC, but when in America.
BUIC could also be Europe rohkem.LA Crosses and more.
Do not realize that the car market much.
Volkswagen of America is pretty simple.
But also do not think I offered to VW GOLF R DSG America.
GOLF R DSG MAKES FOR A PARTICULAR
BUIC HARD Europe could I gain a lot of customers to take USUN.LACROSSE yourself AUDI A6 MB E-class MBW 5 SERIE I BELIEVE LEXU
America likes to make big money because America does not want a very European machinery market your own products to sell, and it’s not too bad and wrong
set-skoda-Renault-Peugeot-Citroën is a decent and well-heated cars sports cars.
ciroen C5 VW Passat vs. Renault Laguna.
See the latest models ciroen C5 vs VW Passat vs. Renault Laguna vs. Skoda Superb and so on.
As for the interior, I have read that sort of comment from many journalists, but never in a user forum. On the contrary, avoiding multi-functional, push-and-turn buttons and opting for a one -button – one functionality approach seems to make good sense and be efficient:
” In a recent study by Auto Club Europe, the Navi 900 Europe of the Astra was found to have the lowest risk of distraction in traffic. “ACE Lenkrad”, the magazine published by Auto Club Europe, surveyed 36 people together with the University of Salzburg who had tested the Ford Focus, the VW Golf and the Opel Astra to see what potential infotainment systems have for distracting the driver. The Opel Astra emerged as the winner of the HMI (Human-Machine-Interface) tests achieving the maximum total score for the least distraction in traffic for its Navi 900 infotainment system”
It buick opel or fittings is such that you like or do not like and so are all the other cars, like the one in the mitte.seda reinforcement material and can be ordered in different colors.
But the ease of use it has been said a lot of buttons but more convenient, easier to use than I-drive one nupualt all the features.
I thought we were talking about compact cars in the Focus ST price range. If not the vette will kick the ST’s ……………. back side. Hell it may be able to whoop the Regal too.
Had occasion to spend an hour in a 2013 Focus ST a week ago and Chevy should run out and get one and reverse engineer it ! The North Am. version has a different motor (must have “Eco Boost” ) and front drive but it is a VERY, VERY good “hot hatch” ! I had a big grin on my face all of the time !
I’ll make one comment on the interior – here in Canada we can get it in any colour as long as it’s BLACK and I just don’t understand who told almost all North Am. and Japanese manufacturers that “performance” models must have black interiors ! My 2012 Civic Si is the same !! A pox on black interiors – must have contrast !!!!!!!!
Compared to Chevy’s 2.0 Eco-Tec turbo the ST has much more Torque at low revs – it feels more like a V6 but I liked my HHR “SS’s” nice kick at 5000, the Focus just gets stronger and at upper revs not much difference between the motors.
One of the biggest problems with the “SS” was it’s Saab derived 5 speed – it really sucked…no it REALLY, REALLY sucked ! The ST has a very nice 6 speed, as good as the VW GTI’s which is about as good as it gets. I was disappointed that the ST has no dual clutch gearbox available . VW has one and they are much better when swooping twisties – more reverse engineering necessary here ?
I liked the styling of the ST, it would look better as a 3 door than a 5 but still looks pretty good…especially from behind the wheel. I don’t need all the interactive computor connected stuff but the “connected generation” can’t seem to do without it…but the ST doesn’t even really need even a sound system beyond that from it’s motor ! I’d say the GTI now has a real competitor !
GM has really missed the boat here, to date they seem to have nothing but econo boxes in this class and if it wasn’t for the C7 – there would be no new Chevys in my garage until (if ?) they do… Shame on them ! They need to get some of the Corvette Engineering guys in upper management !! As it is, since the departure of Bob Lutz the “bean counters” seem to be firmly in control again !
VAG Group in VW DSG gearbox has better acceleration and better for everyday use than a standard gearbox DSG as the conditions of a competition is unable to act, and it shows the circular paths at different times around the machines.
While in automatic transmissions is the erinevaid.DSG 0-100 or 0-60 quite well compared to the VW kõik.DSG guide and it is also very expensive, and additional repairs as well.
CARMAGAZINE BIG TEST AND RESULTS
FOCUST ST 1:25:9
GOLF R 1:25:3
AUDI RS3 1:24:8
ASTRA VXR 1:23:5
MEGAN RS 1:23:5
BMW M1351 1:23:3
This is also a good test real life GOLF R DSG VS Manual
Did the same Focus ST OLD TIME WITH GOLF R Manual Focus RS AND MANUAL SAME TIME WITH GOLF R DSG and Focus RS500 the fastest.
Realistically, it is as fast as a new Focus ST GOLF GTI DSG R MANUAL.GOLF does the same periods during which the R GOLF MANUAL