New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: Opel Astra GTC Turbo

2008-08-01 07:59

Riaan Weyers

Opel, GTC

I am the owner of a 2006 Opel Astra GTC Turbo and the vehicle has covered 33 000 km in this period.

When I bought it, the GTC was very well equipped at the price, offering excellent value for money.

Some of the standard items include heated front seats, xenon headlamps, hill start assist, full leather trim, 18” alloys, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, on board computer and striking good looks. After two years the car still attracts a lot of attention.


The performance of this car is excellent! During my peak hour city commute, my average fuel consumption is 10.3 l/100 km. I have managed 8.5 l/100 km with some careful driving, but this can quickly go up to 12 l/100 km with some enthusiastic driving.

There is almost no turbo lag and I find myself changing gears from as low as 2 000 r/min. When accelerating hard, there is plenty of power from 2 000 r/min to 6 000 r/min. Under hard acceleration with the loud pedal being firmly pushed away, there is an "overboost" function between 5 000 r/min and 6 500 r/min. Once in this band, very few rivals are able to match its pace. The engine is very smooth and has lots of torque available from 1 800 r/min to 6 000 r/min.

Handling is also there to back up the great performance. It’s firm, but not uncomfortable, and easy to live with. With the sport button activated, the steering firms up and the throttle becomes like an on/off switch; you can not wait for the next mountain pass to put the car through its paces.
Maintenance Plan

I have had no problems with the vehicle. It has a very comprehensive motorplan that includes a lot of wear and tear items. All costs were covered with the 15 000 km and 30 000 km services and even the brake pads and discs were replaced at 30 000 km at no cost.

Nit picking…

Entry into and out of the car is difficult. The car is wide and the front seats are deep and low down. This means you need to take a big step to climb into or out of the car. And when parked close to something and the door can not open wide, it is even more of an effort.

Being a two door, the reaching the seatbelts are also a stretch. I am 1.9m tall and with my seat far back it is still difficult for me to reach.

The one ventilation knob is placed low in the centre console. To adjust this you need to take your eyes off the road. This is the only ergonomics issue that, for me, would need some attention.


When I was test driving cars, most were "nice cars". But as they say, the old lady across the street is also nice.

The GTC Turbo was awesome. This car puts a huge smile on my face every time I drive it. Great looks are complemented by an excellent engine, great handling and a huge fun factor!! This is one car I will drive for a very long time!!


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