Alright, we'll concede that in five years interiors have come a fair way - and the Vauxhall's wasn't great to start with. Have a look at a new Golf GTI and this for proof of that. And perhaps the VXR wasn't the most exciting hot hatch dynamically, the handling rather safer than the boisterous looks would lead you to believe.
However, there's a lot still to recommend the VXR, and particularly with early cars now worth less than half their new price. This one seems especially good; it's being sold privately at £12,500 with just 30,000 miles recorded since 2012. Painted in the trademark Arden Blue and with the near-essential Aero Pack - look how bland it is without! - it's a fine example of a forgotten hot hatch. And you'll get the regular numberplate back on it.
Renaultsport Megane and Focus ST are available for this money, but you'll have to make do with a Mk6 Golf GTI if you require something more mature. Whatever you want from a hot hatch, there's a car out there for you at the moment. If any PHers have taken the plunge on a VXR, now's the time to shout about it...
If the Astra does fit your criteria, it does look tremendous value at the moment. Fast, stylish, rare and capable, it could be a canny buy for a hot hatch buyer willing to think a bit differently.
VAUXHALL ASTRA VXR
Engine: 1,998cc 4-cyl, turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 280@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@2,400-4,500rpm
MPG: 34.9 (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2012
Recorded mileage: 29,890
Price new: £27,010
Yours for: £12,500
See the original advert here.