Most petrol heads like a bit of grunt from their cars. They like the noises from the likes of the SEAT Leon Cupra, the Golf GTI or even the Focus ST. Most of them therefore should like the Opel Astra OPC for all of its noises. This is a serious car that offers plenty of growl.
The Astra OPC comes with a 2.0 litre engine with plenty of grunt. This offers 280 hp and will bring you from 0-100km/h in just 6 seconds. This petrol model, we're told, has a top speed of 250km/h. It comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox which is so much fun to use. Opel reckons that the average fuel economy on this machine is 8.1 litres per 100km. We'd tend to this agree with that figure and say that we returned more than 10l/100km. Still though, it's performance is immense fun.
This car handles brilliantly, but we can understand that many people would say that there is more involvement with the Focus ST and the Golf. However, its grip is very tight and when you do want to just sit back and cruise, the Astra OPC lets you do just that. I suppose, the same can be said about the Golf GTI and the Focus ST.
This car is only as refined as it should be. Any owner of a performance car like this wants to hear the engine growl and feel more at one with the road. The engine noises are sweet.
The interior of this car is made up of good quality stuff. Unfortunately, it doesn't benefit from the button free interior of the new Astra. It still has too many buttons, which can be confusing. The sports seats are excellent though, and the cabin is very nice - except for that infotainment system.
The Astra received five stars in the 2009 NCAP. This car has plenty of safety equipment including; Continuous Damper Control, Switchable Electronic Stability Control, Drexler Limited Slip Differential and Brembo 4-piston front brakes with cross drilled discs.
In terms of space, there is plenty of room to the front. The boot offers just 380 litres. The back row can be annoying for taller people because of the sloped roof, and the fact that this is a three-door indicates that back seat passengers were not top of the priorities list!