All round visibility with the roof down is very good but with the roof up vision over the shoulder is compromised by the rear ‘C’ pillars which accommodate the roof mechanism.
Ease of Use
All round visibility with the roof down is very good but with the roof up vision over the shoulder is compromised by the rear ‘C’ pillars which accommodate the roof mechanism. Forward vision is also a little hampered by the reinforced front windscreen / ‘A’ pillars.
You could not talk about the Astra TwinTop without discussing the folding hard top:
Unlike soft top convertibles Vauxhall have thoughtfully decided to give the Astra TwinTop a steel hard top. With the roof up you nearly have the same wind/weather protection as a conventional Astra, then at touch of a button (you have to keep your finger on it) you have an open top in 26 seconds. The hard top folds into the boot, so it reduces your effective boot space. Press the button again and you have your hard top Astra back again. We should add that we found the position of the button to be in the wrong place at the top of windscreen which made it awkward to use, plus the roof opening/closing isn’t that quick.
You can lower and raise the roof on the move at speeds of up to 18 mph, which is probably not the best idea as you cannot see out of the rear too well whilst the manoeuvre is being carried out. On the Sport and Design models you can also lower and raise the roof using the remote key fob, but this is a bit of a pain as you have to keep your finger on the button (but it is rather a good party trick).
The roof is operated by five electric motors, eight hydraulic cylinders and thirteen sensors, it is extremely clever, although the willingness to demonstrate can wear a little thin. We don't know how reliable the roof will be in the future (it has been tested 20,000 times by Vauxhall’s engineers) but Vauxhall have quite a bit of experience of hydraulic roofs so it should prove to be durable, if serviced/maintained regularly. The roof has been designed by the same company that works with Mercedes-Benz on their SLK and SL convertible models.
We liked the fact that Vauxhall have thought about loading the boot with the roof down. There is a button located on the boot loading sill which will raise the roof by 25cm so that you can slip your shopping under the lowered roof, without having to raise the whole roof.
With the roof up you get a surprising 440 litres of luggage space, which compares to the 350 litres of a 5-door Astra. We were able to fit our three wheel pram into the boot, albeit with the wheels off. Although the boot on paper is quite large, the boot floor isn’t that large. Unfortunately with the roof down the space reduces to 205 litres, probably enough space for two adults to get away for the weekend or the weekly shop for two. There is a useful ski hatch between the rears seats and boot, which we used to fit in a stroller pram.
Vauxhall Astra Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Vauxhall Astra TwinTop 1.9 CDTi Sport|
|Colour||Black Sapphire Pearlescent|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||132 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||55.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year/60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 27/06/07)||£20,815 OTR|