Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016) Review

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Like its hatchback stablemate, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is a step forward over its predecessor. It boasts more space for your luggage, better looks, reduced weight and a lower price.

+Good to drive, decent space and large boot, efficient engines with strong diesels.

-Not as good to drive as its rivals, firm ride, some penny-pinching in the drab cabin.

Insurance Groups are between 10–21
On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure

Vauxhall has managed to close the gap between the Astra and its main rivals. And in some cases, it’s even overtaken them. But competition is fierce in this market and while Vauxhall might benchmark Ford and Volkswagen, smart buyers will be comparing it to the SEAT Leon and the Skoda Octavia. And those are both better options.

The Astra Sports Tourer costs from around £16,500. But is Vauxhall’s new British-built model good enough to give rivals like the Volkswagen Golf Estate and the Ford Focus Estate a run for their money?

On paper, it certainly has a lot going for it. It might be almost the same size as the model it replaces, but Vauxhall has manged to increase interior space. In fact, this car can take three child seats across the back. It also has 540 litres of luggage space with the seats up and 1630 litres with the seats up down.

In fact, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer seems to have been designed with young families in mind. For the first time on a Vauxhall, the boot can be opened by sweeping your foot under the rear bumper – ideal for those moments when you’ve got your hands full with shopping, sleeping children, or your priceless vinyl collection.

Even better, the estate’s load area is devoid of any silliness. There are no wraparound lights that eat into the load space or trick rear suspension turrets that compromise the load bay. It’s just a good, old-fashioned, fuss-free square space.

Making its 2015 debut in the Astra Sports Tourer was Vauxhall’s new 1.6-litre BiTurbo diesel engine. With 160PS and 350Nm of torque, it’s got plenty of poke. Even better, it can achieve up to a claimed 67.3mpg and emits 112g/km of CO2.

Like the rest of the car, it’s competent – but it won’t set your heart alight. Behind the wheel, this Astra lacks the sense of driving enjoyment offered by the Focus, or the sense of quality offered by the Golf (although in both departments it is well ahead of the outgoing Astra).

There’s plenty of engine choices and also plenty of trim levels to choose from. Even driver’s on a budget won’t feel too hard done by. The basic Design model gets alloy wheels, Bluetooth, air-con, cruise control, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, LED daytime running lights and automatic lights.


Ask Honest John

What's a good family car on a £10,000 budget?
"We need to buy our first family car. We have two small children, so need room for a buggy. It will be mostly used for short journeys, but with some longer trips. Our budget is up to £10,000. We’d prefer automatic and aren’t keen on SUVs. And I am very short, so want something where I can easily have good visibility. "
We'd recommend a Honda Civic Estate. It's very practical and your budget will get a 2016 model with a reliable 1.8-litre petrol engine and automatic gearbox. Also consider a Peugeot 308 SW (estate) with the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine or Vauxhall Astra Estate with the 1.4-litre turbo.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Should I have to pay for a software update on my car?
"I bought a 2016 1.6 Astra ST last year, and on the whole have been very pleased with the performance. After a recent second recall for a brake issue, the radio and now dashboard power have intermittent failures. I was very surprised and annoyed that I would have to now pay £99 for a software diagnosis and probably a 'patch'. As the car is just out of warranty, it is my cost. It was described to me as similar to a fault you might accept with a TV at home after three years. I don't know where to go with this. £99 seems a lot for a quick diagnosis and software update. In my simple view, if a software update is needed to fix a fault, this is a manufacturing error. Should this be covered by Vauxhall"
Not your cost. Sale of Goods gives you a "reasonable expectation" of six years life from a high-cost consumer durable such as a car. The fault is evident. You no more have to pay for diagnostics than you do for someone to tell you that you have a nose on your face. Demand the dealer fixes it FoC, or take the matter to Small Claims:
Answered by Honest John
I can't fit a dash cam behind my mirror - can I turn the in-built road sign detection camera into a dash cam?
"I have a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer. The casing for the in-car, road-sign detection camera is so large that I can't fit a regular dash-cam behind the mirror. Is there software available that would enable the existing camera to act as a camera - or is there another solution?"
I don't know about any software, but you can always put a small dash cam a little bit lower. I have my Aukey DR01 in the middle of the windscreen because it blocks my lane departure camera otherwise (I'm currently running a Suzuki Ignis). As my dash cam is fairly small, it doesn't block my vision of the road.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
What is the OEM specification for the engine oil in a 2016 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.6 diesel?
"Can you tell me the OEM specification for the engine oil in a 2016 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 diesel? After hearing rumours of emission upgrades, I'll be having my car serviced at my regular garage (non franchise). At the moment it runs like a dream with regular fuel returns of 65mpg."
I had my Renault Kadjar with the same engine serviced by an excellent local Renault dealer in May. He used RN 0720 5W-30 SYNTHETIC. Of course, unless the servicing by your local garage is carried out precisely to Vauxhall specification and you can prove it with a detailed invoice, your Vauxhall warranty will be voided.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016) cost?

Buy new from £20,310 (list price from £20,320)