Skip advert
Advertisement

2012 Vauxhall Astra CTDI Biturbo review and pictures

Vauxhall's new twin-turbo diesel Astra Biturbo reviewed in GTC, hatchback and Sport Tourer form

Evo rating
Price
from £23,925
  • Sharp styling, talented chassis
  • Not as quick as it looks, expensive

What is it?

The Vauxhall Astra Biturbo. Not a fire-breathing hot hatch, rather the most potent diesel Astra ever. Equipped with a 192bhp 2-litre twin-turbo diesel, it costs from £23,925 in GTC three-door form, and has the VW Golf GTD in its crosshairs.

Technical highlights?

Biturbos get a unique exterior styling package (which looks very VXR-like if you choose the three-door), special interior touches and a 6mm drop in ride height.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The engine comes from the Vauxhall Insignia, but requires a more compact setup to squeeze into the Astra’s engine bay. A smaller turbo deals with the low-rev stuff – and provides 80 per cent of the 295lb ft maximum torque from just 1250rpm – with a larger one joining it and then taking over beyond 3000rpm.

The Astra Biturbo’s stats look impressive, combining a 7.8sec 0-60mph time with 129g/km CO2 emissions and 57.7mpg fuel economy.

What’s it like to drive?

We’ve long praised the finely judged ride and handling of cooking Astra five-doors and Sports Tourers, and that remains the case with the Biturbo, feeling keener still with lower suspension. Better yet is the GTC three-door, whose HiPerStrut front suspension brings a sharper, more incisive front end. It’s a great base for a diesel warm hatch.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Sadly, the resulting thump in the back you might expect is missing, and it never feels quicker than that Golf GTD, despite a 24bhp and 37lb ft advantage. Refinement is also an issue – rev much past 3000rpm and you’ll hear a vocal and gravelly soundtrack, though the low-rpm torque band does mean this can be remedied.

It’s a brisk car and one with useful roll-on acceleration thanks to its chunky torque figure. There just aren’t the fireworks its sporty styling and ‘Biturbo’ badging might suggest.

How does it compare?

It’s over £1000 cheaper than the Golf, offers an extra 2mpg and sits a tax band lower. It also looks more exciting and boasts a Sports Tourer in its range – there’s no GTD estate. Yet the Golf feels more polished and isn’t left standing by the Astra, despite a decent gap in the pair’s performance figures.

Anything else I need to know?

The Biturbo arrives as the Vauxhall Astra receives its mid-life update, with the inevitable new headlights and bumper designs and a host of new technology. European Opel Astra buyers also get the choice of a new four-door saloon model.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1956cc, twin-turbo diesel
Max power192bhp @ 4000rpm
Max torque295lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm
0-607.8sec (claimed)
Top speed139mph (claimed)
On saleNow
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Fast Ford heaven: a tour of the ultimate Ford garage
Ford Heritage Collection tour
Features

Fast Ford heaven: a tour of the ultimate Ford garage

Who doesn’t love a fast Ford? Prepare for a nostalgia overload as we get a guided tour of Ford UK’s magnificent, newly rehomed Heritage Collection
7 Jul 2024
Speed limiters are now mandatory, but you can turn them off
80mph motorway speed limit
News

Speed limiters are now mandatory, but you can turn them off

The use of mandatory speed limiters on all new cars was approved by the European Parliament in 2019, and they're now coming into force
5 Jul 2024
Analogue Lotus Elise v Alpine A110 R: £100k lightweight specials go head-to-head
Analogue Elise and Alpine A110 R
Group tests

Analogue Lotus Elise v Alpine A110 R: £100k lightweight specials go head-to-head

No-expense-spared restomod Elise by Analogue Automotive makes an intriguing pairing with the lightweight, track-focused A110 R
10 Jul 2024