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Astra GTC has eyes on top spot in coupé sales tableDriven Vauxhall Astra GTC 2.0 CDTi SRi - on sale nowBy Simon HarrisTwo door handles and a roof aerial are the only bodywork items the GTC has in common with other Vauxhall Astras.Like the Astra SportHatch before it, the new GTC is targeting compact coupé rivals rather than being a three-door version of the prolific Astra hatchback.Vauxhall wants to target Volkswagen Scirocco and Renault Megane Coupé drivers and even believes it could tempt some away from three door versions of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.It might seem a tough task for a car with a volume badge, but the old Astra SportHatch was no stranger to the top of the coupés sales tables.As well as extensive differences to the suspension set-up compared to other Astra models, UK versions of the GTC have steering tuned specifically for our roads."We obviously test cars in many different countries, but the UK's severely undulating and heavily cambered roads often reveal handling traits that would otherwise be hidden on smoother surfaced and more predictable continental roads," said Gerry Baker, chief dynamicist at Vauxhall Engineering Centre, Millbrook. The GTC has also been tuned for the worst rutted and broken surfaces, even with its optional 19- and 20-inch wheels (18-inch wheels are standard).The engine line-up includes three diesel choices: a 1.7 CDTi with 110bhp or 130bhp outputs, as well as the 165bhp 2.0 CDTi. Petrol versions include a 120bhp or 140bhp 1.4T and a 180bhp 1.6T, but only the former of these have CO2 emissions below 160g/km. All but the 1.6T are available with stop/start technology.While the ride is as firm as you might expect in a racy looking coupé, it's not exceptionally harsh. For those who believe they can feel the difference in electronic damping systems, FlexRide is available as an option and this has a 'comfort' setting.SpecificationPrice £22,430Engine 2.0-litre diesel, 165bhpPerformance 0-62mph 8.4 secs; top speed 131mphTransmission 6-sp manualEfficiency 58.9mpg; 127g/km CO2RV (3yr/30k) 33%Rivals Renault Megane Coupé

By Tom SeymourNot many cars look better as an estate, but Audi has created a slimmed down A6 Avant which is ultimately more desirable than its saloon sister.The Avant has always been an aspirational model for families looking for something stylish that is still practical and the Audi badge brings with it a starting price of £32,100. That's pretty competitive against the equivalent BMW 5 Series Touring costing £33,465.The German brand has taken 70kg out of the car to help improve efficiency and engineers have streamlined the body to boost fuel economy up to as high as 56.5mpg on the 2.0-litre TDI 175bhp model.The majority of the engine line-up is diesel. Four variants are on offer with power ranging from 175bhp to 313bhp in the 3.0-litre V6. There's one petrol option in the form of a 3.0-litre V6.The 2.0-litre TDI will be the biggest seller, particularly with company car users, who will welcome the steps to improve efficiency and reduce CO2 which is now down to 136g/km.The 2.0-litre diesel offers a good amount of power and steering feels nicely weighted and precise. Despite being quite a lengthy estate, it handles well with minimal body roll and ample grip. Slimmed down Avant is an estate to be desiredThe Avant has 565-litres of boot space with the seats up and 1,680 litres with the seats down.Two trims are on offer: SE and S Line. The SE will be the volume seller and it features a generous amount of standard kit, including alloy wheels, leather upholstery, cruise and front and rear parking controls, sat nav, Bluetooth and rain sensors.The cabin is roomy, comfortable and like all Audis, expertly designed, with solid switchgear and well stitched high quality leather.The centre point of the Avant interior is the new 6.5-inch MMI monitor which customers can use to operate the audio, Bluetooth and SD card-based satellite navigation system, which comes as standard. On board internet access is the new technology making its way on to many new cars now and the Avant follows suit. Customers can connect up to eight devices to the car's own wireless local area network.New optional features include an automatic boot which opens if you poke your foot in and out underneath the tailgate. Handy if you're laden with bags. Customers can also specify a hi-tech night vision camera system, Bang & Olufsen sound system and park assist. SpecificationPrice £32,100-£43,480Engine 2.0-litre TDI 175bhp, 3.0-litre TDI 202bhp, 3.0-litre TDI 243bhp diesel; 3.0-litre TFSI 298bhp petrolPerformance 5.6-9.0 sec 0-62; 134-155mph top speedTransmission 6-sp man, 7-sp auto, 8-sp autoEfficiency 34.4-56.5mpg; 132-190g/km CO2RV (3yr/30k) 36-42%Rivals BMW 5 Series Touring, Mercedes-Benz E-Class estateNew car marketNewsDealerprofileNew carnewsUsed carRecruitmentanalysisNewsdigestShowroomFirst drive Audi A6 Avant