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Oi_Oi_Savaloy

Original Poster:

1,934 posts

146 months

[news] 
Monday 10th September 2012 quote quote all
So I'm in the lucky position of looking for another daily. Max is £7,000. Now I've always been led to believe that the Astra VXR isn't as good as Focus ST/Renaultsport Megane R26 etc etc but I want to hear from people who've actually owned one or have one now. I'm not sure if the VXR is worse, maybe just different.

I've sat in one (horrid gear stick aside I quite liked it) but what are they like to live with?

My commute has changed recently (it's now 20 miles of motorway and 20 miles of B road).

I'm looking for something that is fun, quick when I want it to be, is an event to drive (ie, you actually want to get in it and drive!), will do 30+mpg if you're careful, you cant tune it, and most importantly will actually handle crap B roads.

So over to you! Does the engine take high miles? Can you live it with on a daily basis? What should I look out for if I go and have a look at some?

steve vxr

38 posts

61 months

[news] 
Tuesday 11th September 2012 quote quote all
Check for smoke from the turbo on idle and cold start also the gearbox for any whining noises and movement in the gear stick, I get 28mpg from mine it's got Remus exhaust system and stage 2 map. Go for one with 18inch wheel cheaper tyres

Michelob

1 posts

27 months

[news] 
Wednesday 12th September 2012 quote quote all
I had one for 2yrs and loved it. Bought it from new with the 19's on and although they do look good the car certainly handles better on 18's which I changed to after about a year. I also had the Remus fitted and do this day I still miss the noise that makes. A cheap mod which I would recommend would be to fit a RARB as that also helps through the twisty stuff and makes it more fun.
I was getting about 28-30mpg most of the time that combine driving miss daisy style (very infrequent) and should I call it spirited driving.

I probably would still have it today but someone else decided differently.

Having been a passenger in an ST I felt it was no where near as fun but I will be honest I was wearing my VXR tinted sunglasses and as for the Renault only ever sat in one that was not moving.

Crafty_

7,585 posts

86 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
28-30mpg is easy enough.

Worst bit is the throttle sensitivity, mines mapped and far better than stock. Note: not all maps are the same. I've driven most of them at one time or another and am very happy with the one I picked.

Rear visibility is crap, fine on the road, not good in crowded car parks, you get used to it.

There are loads out there, so take your time and buy a good one, lots of crap out there.

Never been near the Renault but I thought the ST was too reserved and subtle, has stacks of body roll and the torque felt peaky - was just getting going and then... nothing.

rear anti roll bar makes a big difference, coupled with some springs its like a different car.

Wacky Racer

22,199 posts

133 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Mrs WR has a VXR arctic with 8000mls on the clock...averages around 33mpg usually she tells me.
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Pixelpeep

2,792 posts

28 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
have a standard 2009 model..

i average 17-19mpg on pure stop start town driving, i do not hang about when the opportunity arrises.

Bad points..

- mine suffers really badly from lift off oversteer, in the wet it's a complete nightmare round tight roundabouts, the backend will try and overtake you at anything over 25mph. If you feel the front go, just stick with it or the back will also go .. lol..
- MPG.. im sure the higher figures are achievable if you NEVER have it on-boost. even if you drove it carefully for 30 miles and gave it a 10-20second boot your MPG drops like a stone.
- tramlining - i have the standard 18" wheels and on ridged roads it can be a nightmare getting the power down.. you have to proper wrestle it. (or let off the gas obviously)
- traction from standstill - getting the full power down from standstill is a fine art, i cant bring myself to sheer the teeth of the clutch which i suspect is the only way to get anywhere near the claimed 0-60 times.
- Throttle - VERY sensitive, this is apparently due to an aggressive map from Vauxhall.
- no real turbo whistle (i know this is a real lame bad point but thought i would mention it)

Good points..

- seats are really comfy and extremely supportive, i fractured my spine 20 odd years ago and normally get back ache sitting in one position for too long, not had any problems so far in the astra
- Power/Torque - 70-130 happens surprisingly quick and makes for effortless overtaking.
- first stage tuning is very reasonable, 30/40bhp for around £250 which also sorts out the original aggressive map
- It will make you smile - every time you push the accelerator into the carpet,,,
- The missing turbo whistle has been replaced by a very 'jet' like whoooooosh sound when flooring it (induction type sound, but very loud)


If i was to sum up my ownership...

I really enjoy the car,all its faults are small ones and pale into nothingness when you've just dropped some idiot in his BMW/AUDI thats been up your chuff whilst you had slower cars in front of you and i don't regret buying one but probably wouldn't have bought it if i had my time again.



Also like to add that no doubt a lot of the bad points could be greatly reduced with some money/upgrades thrown at the car.

HTH

Crafty_

7,585 posts

86 months

[news] 
Monday 24th September 2012 quote quote all
Sub 20 mpg ? you must be ragging it everywhere! I've only managed that round thruxton hehe

Pixelpeep

2,792 posts

28 months

[news] 
Tuesday 25th September 2012 quote quote all
Crafty_ said:
Sub 20 mpg ? you must be ragging it everywhere! I've only managed that round thruxton hehe
paperbag

akz0rrr

93 posts

32 months

[news] 
Tuesday 25th September 2012 quote quote all
I've had one for 4 years from new. Although I'm selling mine for something a bit cheaper to run, I still love it and would keep it if I could.

I have the 19s on mine and the tires are expensive. So I'll echo the above comments and say go for one with 18s. A friend of mine has them on his and the handling is noticeably better. Again, as said above, rear visibility is poor. Even after 4 years, I still have to use the force when in a crowded carpark or squeezing into a tight spot. Definately look out for smokey turbos. Mine went after a year of ownership, although had no problems since I had the new one fitted. I spent 3 years driving mostly on deserted B-roads at the weekends (No commute - YAY!), and it handles them well in my opinion. The brakes are very good. Torque steer is an obvious problem, but its not as disastrous as some like to make out. In the spirited driving days I'd average around 26-28mpg. But since starting a new job in February with an actual commute I've got my average up to 31mpg, but that's driving very sensibly.

It's certainly doable to use one as a daily but its definately more suited to less commute miles, and more fun miles.

Pixelpeep

2,792 posts

28 months

[news] 
Wednesday 26th September 2012 quote quote all
starting to think either mine has a problem or my version of spirited driving is a little more, er, extreme. :-/

Dizeee

12,923 posts

92 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
I wouldn't worry, I just cannot understand how anybody claims to be achieving 25mpg +. I had mine for almost 4 years and drove it in all manner of different ways, the best I ever had was an average of 24.1 and the worst 19.
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