Tremendous pace, keen handling, purposeful styling
Performance delivery lacks polish, drab interior, uncomfortably stiff ride, lacks feelgood factor
This is the high performance version of the Astra - a car that competes alongside the likes of the Ford Focus ST and venerable Volkswagen Golf GTI. It certainly has the right performance credentials thanks to a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that produces 240bhp. The styling is suitably hot hatch-esque too with a bulging bodykit, a central exhaust and large alloy wheels.
But while it looks good, the VXR isn't that enjoyable to drive. The ride is simply too firm, the power delivery is anything but smooth and the steering lacks feel. While it is undoubtedly hard-edged, other hot hatches offer more enjoyment and refinement.