It is very similar in action to a child’s Transformer (Robots in disguise) toy and small boys of all ages watch open-mouthed before grinning.
It is very similar in action to a child’s Transformer (Robots in disguise) toy and small boys of all ages watch open-mouthed before grinning. One man even asked me to open and close the roof again, “so my…er, son can see it.”
It takes 26 seconds to complete the operation and, unusually, it can be done at speeds of up to 18mph, should the weather make a sudden change. As well as the interior button, the Sport and Design models also have a remote button on the key fob.
To separate the folded top and the remaining luggage area, there is a flexible, retractable divider, which forms an interface - the roof will not work unless it is fully extended across the boot. With the roof up, the boot capacity measures 440-litres, which is 90-litres more than the 5-door Astra. When the roof is down, this is reduced to 205-litres.
There is no denying that the roof panels, however neatly folded, take up a lot of boot area. Taking advantage of the sunshine, I had left the top down whilst shopping. On my return, I lifted the boot lid to put the bags in, only to find that they wouldn’t fit between the roof panels and the lip of the boot. That can’t be right! It wasn’t, Vauxhall had clearly thought about this and installed what it calls an ‘Easy Load’ system. A button just inside the boot raises the roof panels by 25cm making it a whole lot easier.
As with most convertibles, the roof mechanism takes up space either side of the car, which means that there is only room for two seats in the back. However, in the TwinTop, they are full-size with enough room for an armrest-cum-ski flap in the centre. There is plenty of legroom and getting in and out is easy with the Vauxhall’s easy-entry front seats. Not only do they tilt forward and slide, they return to their original position when dropped back. This is nothing new but it is surprising how many cars don’t have this function. The seat belts are anchored into the sidewall behind the front seats and slide along a narrow rail just below the inner sill, so rear passengers have no difficulty in negotiating them.
The front seats are sports style and generally, fabric covered. Heated, leather-faced seats with lumbar support are available as part of the optional ‘Leather Pack’, for the Design model only. As standard across the range, both front seats have mechanical height adjustment.
Vauxhall Astra Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Astra TwinTop 1.8 Sport|
|Colour||Black Sapphire Pearlescent|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.7 Seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||45.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year, 60,000 mile warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 23/07/06)||£18,295|