Fleet News

Vauxhall Astra 2.0i Turbo - 8,031 miles



##Coupe Turbo--right##YOU certainly get a lot of car for your money with the Astra 2.0i Coupe Turbo. How many other cars can offer the Astra's performance - with a top speed of 152mph and 0-60mph time of just seven seconds - for just £18,995 on the road?

My previous car was Fleet News' long term Volkswagen Passat 1.8T, and I was more than happy with its brisk performance and great practicality.

But stepping into the Astra Coupe Turbo is a different proposition in terms of driver enjoyment - it was then I found out just what I had been missing.

The performance is exhilarating and every journey turns into an adventure. Even a light touch of the accelerator pedal sees the 190bhp Coupé respond immediately, with instant vigorous acceleration and a seemingly never-ending surge of power - fantastic for overtaking manoeuvres and for simply getting away from any danger you might encounter on the roads.

This amazing power is coupled with taut, precise handling that allows you to exploit the performance, while the traction control system keeps any torque-steer well in check without spoiling the power delivery.

Though the doors open wide, it can be a little difficult cramming adult passengers into the back of the Astra - but then that's not the sole purpose of a fast two-seater coupe.

Suffice to say, there is ample room for four to travel in comfort, and the boot is easily capable of carrying their luggage.

No, the whole point of a car of this type is the way it drives. If it were mine, it would be worth spending the extra £1,150 for the optional leather pack which would add more class to what is a relatively bland cabin.

Though the Coupé was styled by Bertone, it's not especially adventurous in its looks, something that follows through to the interior, which is almost identical to the Astra hatchback. Only the silver finished dash console and white dials give the game away.

Surprisingly fuel economy doesn't suffer too badly despite the engine's power. I have regularly achieved 31 mpg - only slightly less than our long term Volkswagen Passat 1.8T, which managed 33.2mpg.

The Astra Coupé Turbo is also surprisingly tax-efficient. With CO2 emissions of 214g/km, a 22 per cent taxpayer driving 2,500 - 18,000 business miles a year would face a tax bill of £993 under the new emissions-based BIK tax system - down from £1,035 now - while a 40 per cent taxpayer will pay £1,806 a year. It shows you really can have your cake and eat it.

I would love to drive the Astra Coupé Turbo as a company car, but if I were a fleet manager I'd think twice about letting employees loose in such a powerful car - I'd probably have no staff left with a valid driving licence before long.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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