Hi all. I came to this thread late, felt it didn't need commenting on and then saw it's being posted to again. So, here goes.
When I decided to move my RS on last year, I bought a nearly new Astra VXR. For what it's worth, here are my views:
1. It isn't as fast as an RS, but then it's at least 10% down on power. It is still pretty quick, and does handle well, although it feels a bit heavy at times. The HyperStrut doesn't eliminate torque steer, but is pretty good. As good as the RevoKnuckle? Not quite in my opinion, but others may disagree.
2. The paintwork is very soft and prone to stone chips and minor scratches. However, the really bad stone chipped examples seem to be confined to the earlier cars and even then not every car was affected. I have a few, but then I had a few with the RS. I certainly haven't seen the road rash problem that my RS skirts had.
3. Don't buy it as an investment. The way the RS holds it's value will not be repeated with a Vauxhall. Or a lot of hot hatches come to that.
This is a Ford forum, so there were bound to be "it's a Vauxhall, I'm out" type comments. There will also be comments such as "the gearboxes fail" etc, based on one or two threads from the VXR forum. Undoubtedly, some VXR owners have had problems. But then when I bought my RS and came on this forum the posts that stick most in my mind (apart from Mike's excellent alacantra interior) related to plenums disintegrating and clutch pedals sticking. Every performance model has it's problems, particularly if you have an early build.
Having owned both cars, I can honestly say that the VXR is a good car, it's just not a great car. Mechanically it doesn't compare to the RS, but the interior is leagues ahead. If the RS was available in a more modern shape with a modern interior that's probably what I would have bought.
Just my two penneth, but feel free to bring on the flames :facepalm:
Don't do it depreciation is the thing which made us turn away. There is a demo up north on Drive vauxhalls website 63 plate with 2k miles going for 19k so that's is 8 month old or close to?
4 year old focus RS is worth more than a 8 month old GTC :lol: or being nice 1 year old :lol: crazy depreciation.
I've owned both so I can say from experience rather than what I read on the internet.
If you go on any forum you will see people complaining of issues they have, this doesn't mean every car has them.
1. yes some VXRs have had serious paint issues, enough to warrant a respray. But then again, how many RS have had thin paint on the side skirts chipping off? Mismatched colours between bodywork and bumpers.
2. yes some VXRs have gearbox issues but again only some. How many RS have had warranty issues? Some people have issues, some don't.
3. I've driven both and with regards to torque steer they drive the same.
4. The VXR doesn't "feel" as fast due to being more refined and quiet. The RS noise does help it feel faster and I miss it, but the VXR is just as fast.
5. The RS holds it value due to being an RS. VXRs dont have the heritage or reputation so they depreciate like a bomb, good news for people buying
6. VXR not as mechanically good, erm...adjustable suspension and Brembos as standard.
They are both good cars with good and bad points.
People say the VXR has thin paint but my VXR has held up better than my RS did especially the side skirts.
The fit and finish of the VXR under the wheel arches etc. is better than the RS.
The VXR interior is about 20 times better than the RS even in standard form. Other than the RS seats the rest of the interior is just nasty focus.
The RS engine is truely awesome, as is the noise.
The looks....well thats each to their own. I like both but the RS front end is better out of the box.
The RS has much more tuning options available as the VXR numbers are very small in comparison.
It's simple really:
Good looks, good performance, RS badge, awesome engine, good depreciation = buy an RS
Good looks, good performance, awesome brakes, good leather interior, awesome value for money = buy a VXR.
Honestly, both are good cars just for different reasons.
I've just sold my VXR so I'd thought I'd revise my info slightly.
I still stand that the VXR looks amazing (especially with some carbon trims and a front splitter) but not as good as a green RS.
The VXR front brakes are way better than the RS.
The RS interior just can't compete with the VXR heated electric leather seats.
And the VXR is cheap (aka buy used, defo don't buy new as the depreciation is horrible).
Unfortunately I have found the VXR to be some what disappointing.
I love to drive, but the VXR is simply not a drivers' car. Yes its fast in a straight line and it goes round roundabouts amazingly well (when its bone dry and you have new tyres on) but it is simply impossible to get it off the line quickly.
And it has the worst gearbox I've used in 20 years of driving.
And it has no character. The engine noise sounds good outside the car but you get nothing inside.
And this is where the RS wins (for me). It has an amazing 5 pot sound and drives really well.
Slightly late but I have a history with VXR's and considered an Astra GTC VXR and had a good 30 minute+ test drive and here is my opinion.
Good looking and from some angles amazing, interior is lovely and it is a nice view from the ****pit.
So the drive, I did town, country and some park way giving it alot and in all honesty? It felt dead and lifeless I put it in VXR mode and it really changed nothing yes it is a quick car as the speedo climbed quickly but steadily there is no urgency or thrill and it was way to docile and relaxed almost like a big bear it could rip your arms off but chooses not to.
The RS is the exact opposite to this, it is a roided street thug who wants blood and that is what drew me to it and what makes it so special in my opinion even going to the shops is fun.
As a car the Astra VXR is amazing but as a performance car? It is terrible and boring in my opinion.
No match for the RS, and i'm not saying that because I bought an RS, I bought an RS because i'm saying that.