Twin Test: Fast-looking coupes

  • We pit Vauxhall Astra GTC and Renault Megane Coupe against each other
  • Running costs, driving fun and practicality all considered
  • Find out which comes out on top

If you want a car that looks the business but doesn’t come with steep costs, then look no further than these warmed-up coupes from Vauxhall and Renault. Both talk a big game with their styling, but deliver economy with 1.4-litre petrol engines.

Vauxhall Astra GTC (2011-) vs Renault Megane Coupe (2009-)

Driving

The GTC Coupe was designed with driving enjoyment in mind, and benefits from the high-tech front suspension from the Insignia VXR. A wider track improves traction and agility. Even with the less powerful of the two 1.4-litre engines available, there’s enough fun in the chassis to keep you entertained.

The smallest engine in the line-up, Renault’s turbocharged 1.4-litre TCe unit is more powerful, quicker and fuel efficient than its 1.6-litre stablemate. This Coupe is a big improvement over the old one, with the over-assisted steering of the past giving way to surefooted cornering with high levels of grip.

Practicality


The VXR badge may shout “performance” more loudly than the GTC Coupe’s SRi offering, but the latter has been used on the boot lids of many a warmed-up Vauxhall over the years. It brings with it big alloys, front sports seats, fog lights, a centre armrest, leather covered steering wheel, tinted windows and front door sill plates.

The Megane GT Line can be distinguished by its reshaped central air intake with gloss black section, bigger alloys and a rear aerodynamic diffuser, while Malta Blue paint was an exclusive option to this model. All Coupes benefit from a 12mm lower ride height and this model features sporty front seats and aluminium-faced pedals.

Costs

The claimed fuel economy of 47mpg is an attractive figure, as is the relatively low tax. Although quite sporty on the outside, the GTC’s warm-hatch engine results in it being in insurance group 14. Vauxhall isn’t the most expensive firm when it comes to servicing and it should hold its value, too.

Thanks to a smaller engine with lower CO2 emissions, road tax and insurance for the Megane Coupe GT Line are lower than you would expect. Renault also promises an average of 44mpg, which is good for a car of this type. The initial outlay is less than the Astra GTC too, especially if you negotiate a good deal.

Stats

 

Vauxhall Astra GTC

Renault Megane Coupe

Engines

1.4-litre petrol

1.4 petrol

Power

118bhp

128bhp

0-62mph

10.2 seconds

9.3 seconds

Economy

47mpg

44mpg

Fuel capacity

56 litres

60 litres

Road tax

£130

£145

Insurance group

14

18

Boot space

380 litres

344 litres

CO2 emissions

139g/km

145g/km

Price

£6,000 - £8,000

£5,500 - £7,300

The Winner – Vauxhall Astra GTC


The GTC Coupe is not as powerful, and is slightly more subtle in its look. It is more expensive to start off with, so haggle hard for a good deal. It has a more engaging drive, and this is just enough to nudge it clear of the Megane.

Click here to read our full review of the Vauxhall Astra GTC

Click here to read our full review of the Renault Megane Coupe