Then again and thanks to the limitations in the Astra’s suspension configuration already explained in the design section, there’s a lot of catching up to be done if it is even to come close to the standards now routinely expected of its twin nemeses, the Golf and Focus.
In the end and regardless of which model you drive – including the GTCs with their bespoke suspension tune – it’s the same story we’ve been telling about the Astra’s dynamics relative to its rivals that we’ve been telling for years: it’s close – perhaps closer than you might expect given the raw material – but not close enough to mount a convincing challenge.
Unsurprisingly the car you’ll enjoy driving most – and excepting the VXR as a special case – is the SRi. In fact we like its firm but still compliant set up quite a lot. It makes the car feel quick, controlled and manageable on a good road, backed by unfailingly precise and well weighted steering. GTCs are better still, particularly in higher powered versions where you really do notice the reduction in torque steer.