You know, I kind of liked the Saturn Astra. Not in an "I'd buy one" sort of way, but I appreciated that it was a stylish European hatchback that made it to our shores. But the one I'd really want is its successor, the Vauxhall Astra VXR, a 279-horsepower hot hatch.
Saturn may be long dead in the U.S., but the Astra soldiers on in Europe as the Vauxhall and Opel it was to begin with, and we do get its sedan iteration as the Buick Verano. What we don't get is this sweet Astra hatchback. Our pals at XCAR took that car's latest hot version for a spin and they found it to be most satisfying.
That shouldn't be surprising, considering the Astra VXR has nearly 300 pound-feet of torque, does zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, does 155 mph and also looks great.
Like a lot of new hot hatchbacks, the VXR has a ton of gimmicks to mitigate what should be bone-crushing torque steer — but not entirely, because that wouldn't be any fun, right? You need to have at least a little bit of insanity on these things.
Hey General Motors, I'd love to see this car in the U.S., maybe as a Chevrolet. Are you just gonna sit there and let the Ford Focus ST take all the hot hatch glory in America?