Frugal, Quick and Ready To Mod

"150bhp Diesel Astra Sport Hatch"

Diesel Hot Vauxhall

For years the Astra has been a staple for the young tuner. Cheap, reasonably quick and plenty of tuning parts and styling kits on the market. Plenty of GSI and SRI Astra's grace most cruises and modified car shows.

The problem however is that they aren't really that "special". They're ok, but considering how much you can pick up a second hand Impreza or Skyline, it becomes increasingly hard to make a case for one.

All that changed with the launch of the VXR Astra a few years ago. A car so utterly bonkers that only a lunatic would buy one to 'tune' up. Now we have the diesel option. Granted it isn't badged a VXR, and it isn't quite as bonkers as the VXR. With 150bhp and 0-60 in 8.3secs it still has plenty of pace and opportunities to tune and modify.

The VXR Astra was launched a few years ago. A car so utterly bonkers that only a lunatic would buy one to 'tune' up. Now we have the diesel option.

The first thing that hits you about the new Astra sport hatch is the sharp challenging looks. Without doubt the best looking Astra ever, this car will lift you out of the average and in to the 'get noticed' crowd. You may even begin to forget your driving a standard Vauxhall. From every angle this car suggests it's quick and aggressive.

The stats while not earth shattering are reasonably impressive and leave room for the Torquecars member to attain significant power and acceleration gains with simple and cheap mods. For example a chip from "Chiptuningdirect" promises 26% increases in bhp and torque, bringing the Astra to an impressive 189bhp and 397Nm for just £200.

Looks and performance are not everything. The Astra does not disappoint in the handling department, which is a surprise. We found the 5 door hatch to be dull and tedious to drive, plenty of power but no communication or excitement. The sport hatch seems to have solved those gripes. Lowered and stiffened suspension with sports dampers and springs as standard make for a far more confident drive at speed. Good brakes and decent size wheels mean the Astra sport hatch diesel can be used out of the box. Still we can think of plenty of great mods.

A new set of wheels would make a great start. I reckon that 18's with ultra low profile tyres would look awesome and fit the arches nicely. PSG offer a tasty bodykit too. Add a good quality diesel chip or remap and we'd have a fast 200bhp diesel returning 50mpg!

Have a chat with some of our forum members to see how they have got on with tunes or remaps on their diesel engines.

Newer diesel engines are much much cleaner, they have better fuel management, and pollution reduction measures but lots of short journeys can lead to clogging up of the DPF (Diesel particulate filter). See our guide on how to clean a DPF for more info.

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