Sat on its wider track and shod in bigger wheels, the GTC feels like a meatier presence on the road than its five-door Astra hatchback sibling. Also, though Vauxhall's retuning of the steering, the driver is offered a consistently fluid interpretation of a sharper front end.

Thanks to the new HiPerStruts, the experience is rarely corrupted by grave torque steer, and the quality of the car’s turn-in, while still not pin-sharp, has been augmented by the lower ride height and noticeably less body roll.

Vauxhall says it carried out extensive dynamic testing in the UK. We believe them

It is not ideally suited to life on the track, but the driving experience on the road is credibly fluent and, considering the extent of the modifications beneath, still surprisingly comfortable. Even burdened with optional remarkably large 20in wheels, the GTC can usually be relied upon to decipher England’s road surface conundrum with energetic aplomb.

The optional adaptive damper set-up is busy enough to be a touch too firm and noisy when seriously tested, but comfort levels resist degradation right up to the point where the FlexRide’s Sport mode is triggered. With the orange light ignited on the dashboard, the GTC requires a concrete mill pond if it is to avoid subjecting its occupants to archetypal choppiness.

The same button also activates the car’s more assertive steering setting, but the software conceit simply adds more weight to the proceedings without improving feedback, and considering Vauxhall has gone to the effort of retuning the default set-up to British roads, it hardly seems worth selecting.

Fortunately, the manufacturer has shown sufficient foresight to allow drivers to choose which options they dial in or out of the Sport button via the GTC’s on-board configuration menu. Keener throttle response aside, less is definitely more in this regard.


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