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I had my new MY15 R Design delivered on Wednesday last week and I'm very happy with it.

I had originally test driven an SE and was a little worried about the ride of the lowered sports suspension fitted to the D2 R Design as standard, but it is fine. It is a little firmer, but still very comfortable - much better than my BMW E90 M Sport and previous Astra H SRi in terms of comfort. I can now go over speed bumps without slowing to a crawl.

It already did a DPF regen - stop start didn't operate for a bit and the radiator fan was on for a while after stopping. It also smelt hot when getting out of the car This was at 80 miles, so I was a little surprised. I hope this process isn't a regular thing.

Differences I've spotted between the MY14 and MY15 R Design (some have been posted on this forum already) are the gear knob is not 3D, but still illuminated. The dash display is in standard colours (as per non R Designs), i.e. not in R Design Blue throughout, the seats and mats have no R Design logos on them.

Also, not 100% sure if this is a change, but my car has auto headlamps - I wasn't expecting this - was this on earlier models? Looking at the spec list again, it isn't mentioned on any car, so can I assume it is standard on all? Also - I thought the sill tread plates were a Lux fitting only (mine isn't a Lux) - is this an addition to the MY15 model? They don't have an R Design logo on them (do they normally?).

I've only been driving in and around Leicester - so very stop start driving, but still getting 46mpg, which is great. My BMW 330i got less than 19mpg in these conditions, and my earlier Astra 1.9 CDTi SRi managed around 35mpg. The BMW on a long motorway run managed 36mpg and the old Astra could push just about 48mpg. I'll be driving 300+ miles of motorway next weekend and I've got my sights on 80mpg+. I managed 75mpg in the demo car over 200 miles of slightly mixed driving, so I'll let you know how it goes.

One thing that is taking some time to get used to is the hill start feature. It basically auto brakes on a hill, but when pulling away this gives feeling of the engine bogging down and that it is about to stall. Through 20 years of driving, my brain has learnt to react to this by pressing the clutch back in and re-selecting the gear (on the assumption I got the wrong one in the first place). This has caused some confusion at junctions, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

As everyone says - the seat are very comfortable. My wife who doesn't care about cars and never comments on car things even said they were very comfortable, without me prompting her. So they really must be very very good.

The D2 engine is great. It isn't super powerful, but it is certainly more than enough to get around safely (I believe cars that are too slow are dangerous!). Torque seems great in gear, but I'll get a better chance to test this when I finally get on a motorway.

I'll get some photos up when I have a chance, although you know what a Rebel Blue D2 R Design looks like (look at the top of the page!).
 

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I picked up my MY15 SE Lux, when the full Xenon lights go on, LED lights go off!
 
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