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NEW Vauxhall Astra GSe Review: The Astra Takes On The Golf R? | 4K

NEW Vauxhall Astra GSe Review: The Astra Takes On The Golf R? | 4K


this is the Vauxhall Astra GSC and it’s Unique because it’s a plug-in hybrid designed not just for efficiency and practicality but also for performance and pleasure yes this might be the world’s first plug-in hybrid hot hatch that I know of voxel isn’t strictly calling the Astra GSC a hot hatch but they are saying GSE is a dedicated performance sub brand so technically what we have is a performance hatchback and that is interesting we’ve seen tons of plug-in hybrid sports cars dating back as far as the McLaren P1 but performance plug-in hybrid hatches that are also vaguely affordable have been pretty thin on the ground although I use the term affordable quite Loosely because this thing starts at just over 40 000 


pounds and that puts it in direct competition with some pretty big hitters I’m talking about the Golf R Audi S3 and Mercedes A35 Punchy how does it compare I’ll tell you in a minute but let’s talk about the looks first of all because it’s quite an attractive car I think but it starts life as an ordinary Astra and then it’s beefed up slightly with this more aggressive front bumper which has quite a cheeky smile about it the rest is pretty standard it’s still got this black visor section across the top with a blacked out Vauxhall badge and then very distinctive LED L’s on top of some adaptive headlights around the side you go 18 inch lightweight Commodore alloy wheels the same as you get on the Vauxhall Manta GSC concept Vauxhall please build that car very cool it’s also been slammed by 10 millimeters to give it a slightly nicer stance but the rest of it is pretty standard Astra to be honest you’ve got black door handles black contrasting roof little sharks fin just up here and then around the back very similar to the standard car apart from the GSC 



badge on the rear question how do we feel about this new GSC badge do we like it is it as good as the old GSI and GTI badges from back in the day no is the answer not a fan [Music] so the big news is that this is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or a p HEV or a hybrid that in an Ideal World you plug in every single night essentially it’s the same powertrain you get in the standard Astra plug-in hybrid that means it’s got a 1.6 liter petrol engine which is backed up by a small electric motor that in the standard car delivered 180 horsepower but in this car shape delivers 225 horsepower now that is a big jump but what does it mean for performance well not an awful lot because nauta60 takes 7.5 seconds and that’s only 0.2 seconds quicker than the standard Astra plug-in hybrid it’s also got the same torque 360 newton meters which is a decent amount and the top speed has been bumped up from 140 miles an hour to 146 miles an hour but honestly it 



doesn’t feel particularly quick in fact even if I drove this car and it’s baby brother the standard car back to back I think I’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two maybe I’ve got the wrong end of the stick here Vauxhall said GSC is their performance sub brand and therefore I was expecting a bit more performance shall we say when you look at its rivals in the price bracket anyway the Golf R the Audi S3 the A35 from Mercedes all of those cars offer 300 plus horsepower and will do not to 62 in under five seconds they will all leave this thing for dead foreign how does it compare to previous hot asterisk well the Astra vxr was faster lighter and more powerful and slightly disappointingly this Astra isn’t even the fastest of voxels new gses that honor currently goes to the Grand land GSC which uses twin Motors makes 300 horsepower and delivers naughty 62 



in 6.1 now obviously straight line performance isn’t the be-all and end-all hot hatches also have to be good in terms of handling when it comes to the corners so what’s it like when you show it a Bend earlier I said it was lowered by 10 millimeters which in theory gives it a bit of extra body control but the suspension is also very clever it’s provided by a company called Kony who a dab hands in the world of Motorsports cast your mind back to 1958 when Kony supplied Ferrari with a suspension for their Formula One car they didn’t win but fast forward a little bit and they supplied Tyrrell Ford with suspension and that car in the hands of Jackie Stewart won the drivers championship in the new Astra they’ve supplied something called frequency selective damping which uses an extra oil valve in the dampers to adjust the damping level based on the forces applied during driving in the Astra the suspension is pretty good it’s not the same as a proper electronic adaptive suspension system the DCC system you get in the Golf R for 



example can be set up with a tremendous amount of bandwidth you can make it as soft or as hard as you want it basically this doesn’t do the same thing it’s kind of set up in one setting but it’s a good setting it’s soft and plush enough when you’re traversing rough roads and firm enough and stable enough when you’re going through corners there isn’t actually a lot of body roll in this thing it’s reasonably impressive for what it is as for the rest of the Driving Experience well the steering is apparently a little bit faster than the standard car I can’t really feel it it still feels a little bit sluggish a little bit vague the brakes are pretty decent they do a good job of blending regenerative braking and physical braking and it’s consistent and strong and as for the sound Vauxhall say they’ve engineered a 



GSC specific engine note but it sounds a bit like a hair dryer if you ask me one thing I do really like are the gear changes in sport mode so if I select Sport and then accelerate and change gear with the paddle you get a nice little thud between gear changes a bit like a a baby Aventador the gear shifts are a little bit on the slow side but there’s a little bit of fun to be had in changing gears yourself inside voxel has tried to increase the level of sportiness for the GSC but that’s restricted to Alcantara trimmed performance front seats which are very supportive and comfortable and Alcantara in the rear to get more of an idea on practicality technology and more go and check out our review of the standard Astra in the link below but to be clear pretty much everything in this car is the same as that one and that includes the boot space and here it is what you’re looking at is 352 liters of space not a lot but it’s actually bigger than what you get in a golf R reason being the Golf R is all-wheel drive with some of its drivetrain components underneath if you want even more space there will be an estate version or Sports Torah of the Astro GSC coming in due course that will offer around 500 liters the 

NEW Vauxhall Astra GSe Review: The Astra Takes On The Golf R? | 4K


reason this isn’t any bigger is because underneath you’ve got all the electrical stuff the batteries and wires and transistors and other things that make it very very efficient the Astra GSC is incredibly Frugal voxels say you’ll get 256 miles per gallon whilst it’s 12.4 kilowatt hour battery pack is charged charging from the standard 3.7 kilowatt onboard charger takes four hours but for an extra 500 pounds the optional 7 kilowatt charger can reduce that to two hours [Music] I’ve always said that plug-in hybrids have their Pros as well as their cons the advantages are obviously efficiency I did a range test this morning and on a full battery pack this thing did 39 kilometers on battery power alone that’s around 24 miles so if your daily commute is 15 miles or so you could theoretically drive this car on electric power only and very rarely have to visit a petrol station the downside is that when you run out of batteries or you don’t charge it in the first place efficiency falls off a cliff I managed around 30 miles per gallon in this thing which is okay but it’s nowhere near the 200 plus you can achieve if you drive it 



sensibly with a full battery the other downside is perhaps driver engagement outside of the supercars like the McLaren artura or the Porsche 918 I’m still waiting to find a plug-in hybrid car that really gets my pulse racing this is competent and capable but as long as there are rivals in a similar price bracket like the ones I’ve mentioned earlier then this car will always feel like a tiny bit of a disappointment in performance times foreign so who is this car for and would I recommend it well if you’re running a business and you’re looking for a car that offers low benefit and kind and good tax breaks this thing does make a lot of sense in fact it makes way more sense than the likes of the Golf R this is the kind of car that your accountant would recommend is it the kind of car that I would recommend well tax and efficiency aside I think you can probably do better ultimately the Astra GSC is a good car but slightly lacking in the performance I’d expect for a car at this price point for me it doesn’t offer much over the already 



brilliant standard Astra plug-in hybrid and if it’s raw speed and funnier after there are plenty of hot hatches for this money definitely worth considering [Music] hey guys thanks for watching all the way through to the end of this video really appreciate that if you want to see more then why not check out our full review of the standard Astra plug-in hybrid and also our review of the Volkswagen Golf R plus if you want to find out more about the Astro GSC head over to autotrader.co.uk where you might be able to buy one for yourself trade in your existing used car for an instant cash offer and upgrade to a brand new vehicle delivered directly to your door courtesy of us plus as always if you enjoyed this content make sure you like subscribe hit the Bell icon and I’ll see you again soon

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