Vauxhall Astra VXR Arctic Edition review

Limited edition Vauxhall Astra VXR Arctic hot hatch, only 500 being made

Evo rating
Price
from £23,595
  • Old-school excitement
  • Old-school ergonomics

While the all-new Vauxhall Astra sweeps up fleet sales, the previous-generation car lives on in three-door ‘Sport Hatch’ form, with this Arctic Edition version effectively a run-out special for the hot VXR. Just 500 will be made, each with a white and black paint-job, 19in wheels and leather-trimmed Recaro front seats.

First the bad news: it feels its age. The interior is visibly dated while the driving position is far from best in class. Better news is how it drives. There have been no engine or chassis tweaks, so the driving experience is ‘as you were’, and the Astra VXR’s old-school feel is really quite fun. There’s little turbo lag but noticeable torque-steer and plenty of bump-steer (thanks to a rock-solid ride), but it all adds up to an involving drive, even at cruising speeds.

Tackle a corner and there’s a disconnected feel from the steering that belies the impressive amount of grip that is actually available. But learn the VXR and you’ll soon be pitching it into bends with confidence and getting from point to point quicker than you’d dare imagine – with amusing exhaust pops and the whoosh of the turbo as accompaniment. It mightn’t be smooth progress, but it certainly won’t be dull.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1998cc, turbocharged
Max power237bhp @ 5600rpm
Max torque236lb ft @ 2400rpm
0-606.2sec (claimed)
Top speed152mph (claimed)

Most Popular

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed
MY22 Nissan GT-R T-spec – front quarter
Nissan GT-R

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed

Two new special editions and the return of some iconic colours are the highlights of the Nissan GT-R’s MY22 update
14 Sep 2021
A dead Ferrari F40 in Switzerland – evo Archive
Ferrari F40
Ferrari F40

A dead Ferrari F40 in Switzerland – evo Archive

The story of a Ferrari F40, a flat battery, Swiss chocolate and sex toys…
7 Sep 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo

Tesla has now recorded a Nürburgring lap time with its Model S Plaid, if that matters
10 Sep 2021