Ford Focus ST vs Vauxhall Astra VXR

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Feature 17 August 2012

Today's hottest new performance hatches meet on track, as we find out which is faster, and crucially more fun, when the potent Vauxhall Astra VXR takes on the all-new Ford Focus ST.

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Comments
51

The colour of that Focus is

2 years 1 week ago

The colour of that Focus is horrendous and it looks pretty drab in that video maybe another shade would help.  Astra VXR looks spot on for me thats my choice Smile

ST v VXR

2 years 1 week ago

Compared to it's lairy predecessors the VXR is getting there so well done GM Europe - and it being so good it's kept Ford honest on it's ST pricing.  And what great commitment by GM to the sport concept by offering a three door when Ford cops out to save tooling money and placate their assembly plant by cladding the cooking five door. And have Ford forgotton their motorsport heritage which has since the 1963 Cortina Lotus been based on no rear doors to increase body rigidity and save weight? So no RS then, which may explain their Motorsport Director defecting to the competition. Five doors are OK for the boys in blue when providing a seat for the accused, but IMO is like a racing bike with a shopping basket. And what's with that gap between the front bumper and the bonnet?        

 

 

 

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Horses for courses?

2 years 1 week ago

Baseball cap or Oakely's?

Peter Cavellini.

jer

no winners

2 years 1 week ago

The Ford is more fun to drive and has a nice engine but would this compensate for the absence of surprise, delight and class. The interior fabrics look like they are from an XR3. The dash and materials are average, it just does not look 21c premium even if the price is good. The Astra has a better interior, lovely seats, love the colour. A good ride with adaptive shocks, its just not quite so sweet to drive - no backend feel and has a baseball cap reputation. Easy to see how they sell Golfs at silly money.

looks

2 years 1 week ago

the new st isnt as pretty as the vxr or the old st why

BJN

Both Good

2 years 1 week ago

Seems the Astra has upped its game in the Looks dept and easily outstrips the Ford there, and it no longer a comedy understeer monster like the old one. Ford seems to understand the subtleties of handling a lot better though, but the gap has definitely closed between the two.

No 3 door From Ford - saving the gap for a proper standalone coupe model perhaps?

I <3 FSB's (Fast Shopping Basket)

2 years 1 week ago

If a Focus is a shopping basket because it is a 5-door, the 3-door Astra is an impractical "branded" (still) shopping basket. Because that's what front engined fwd hatchbacks are regardless of the number of doors. And loving them for it.

Having seen the vid, I might very well consider an ST estate in a less garish colour. Very practical AND properly entertaining, as apparently the estate handles like the hatch according to earlier reports...

I Don't Care If The Ford Is A Bit More Fun

2 years 1 week ago

When the Vauxhall still handles superbly and looks that good, it's got this test licked as far as I'm concerned.

PAA

Shame on Ford for not giving

2 years 1 week ago

Shame on Ford for not giving us a coupe on such a capable car. Sorry but the looks of what I drive are as important as its driving dynamics. VXR gets my vote this time.

Not true competitors

2 years 1 week ago

These two are not really true competitors to each other. Ford has stated that the ST is meant to fit in below the VXR with the RS siting above it when it comes out.

There is also a big price difference between the two - the VXR starts at £27k and doesn't include leather seats. The ST starts at £22k - 5k is a big price difference for what really amounts to be a bit more horse power.

You need to remember that the ST costs the same as the Astra GTC Sri - and that has only 180ps, it really is a performance bargin.

I think you need to see the ST as an everyday, affordable, quick and practical car that you use to move the family around whilst having a bit of fun in. In many ways this is really what a hot hatch is actually meant to be. The VXR is more of a focused product, but one that I can't help but think is pitched against the £30k+ rivals.

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