Originally Posted by expostdelirium
As for the pictured Astra, it looks great. I don't know how much it sells for, but there are other great looking hot hatches out there. Mazda ones look like that to me. For utility's sake though, I want 5 doors...
When I was at the Frankfurt Auto Show a few months ago I looked at all of the hatches. I still think the Opel is the best looking, but the overall winner in my eyes is still the Mazda3--handsome design, lots of interior space, very clever layout, very high quality fit and finish, and excellent driving dynamics, if not somewhat underpowered.
Looking at photos and reading about it, I thought I would really love the new Honda Civic hatchback, but it was really uncomfortable, the interior was low quality, the stereo system was incomprehensible, and the shifter feel was shockingly poor, I used to own an old Jeep that had more positive shift feel. I haven't had a chance to drive it yet, but based on first impressions it's amazing that a brand new car could compare so poorly to the much older Mazda.
My other old favorite was the previous generation Renault Megane, but the new car just looks odd and I think they've taken a big step backwards with the interior. It's a real shame because the old car looked great, especially the Renaultsport models.