To be fair I have a couple of friends with Astra VXR's and the engine is pretty damn good from the factory and can be made exceptional with tweeks. However, their biggest chink to their armour is the chassis is frankly poo. Whenever I have a tussle with one I get nailed on the straights and shove them through the twisty stuff.
Even if it was the best car ever and the motoring press reigned praise upon it being a Vauxhall I would rather push a rusty engineless Lada than drive one. I have actually walked rather than drive a Corsa C before now.