Review: Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016)
Same size as previous Astra Sport Tourer but with 80 litres more loadspace, up to date engines and latest in-car tech. Peugeot engines from Autumn 2019.
Not as good to drive as its rivals.
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Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016): At A Glance
- New prices start from £24,315, brokers can source from £15,104
- Contract hire deals from £162.05 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 10–21
- On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure
Like its hatchback stablemate, the Vauxhall Astra K Sports Tourer is a step forward over its predecessor. It boasts more space for your luggage, better looks, reduced weight and a lower price. It 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.
Overall, 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.
What does a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016) cost?
Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 540–1630 litres
For those familiar with the outgoing model, the biggest change to the new Astra’s interior is the centre console. Gone is the baffling, crammed, confusing selection of buttons, knobs and switches that had been dumped there by someone having a bad day at the office. Instead, there’s a more uncluttered design to enjoy.
It’s not perfect, though. Take the big blank space above the transmission tunnel. That’s a storage compartment, right? Er, no. That’s a blanking plate for the fuses. Whoops. Even better, when the car has the OnStar system fitted this area gets a new plastic … thing … stuck to it. It looks like a handle for a storage compartment so you can open it. Oh, wait... fuses.
As you can see, there’s plenty of tech in the cabin. From the SRi model up, you get the aforementioned OnStar, which turns the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot (it also contacts the emergency services with the car’s location if an airbag is deployed). You also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – software that effectively casts your smartphones display on to the car’s touchscreen. It also reads your texts aloud, so you can make the car insult the driver. Not that we'd do that, of course.
New Astras also get trick LEDs. These use the front camera to detect light sources up ahead and deactivate individual LEDs that could blind other drivers.
So what about the space? The new Sports Tourer has has 540 litres of luggage space with the seats up and 1630 litres with the seats up down. That compares favourably to the estate versions of the Focus (476 and 1502) and the Golf (605 and 1620).
The entry-level Design trim is well kitted out with 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth, air-con, cruise control, automatic lights, trip computer, LED daytime running lights, and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.
Tech Line adds a leather steering wheel, premium speakers and a European sat-nav system with 8in touchscreen.
SRi gets 17 inch alloys, front fogs, sports-style front seats, rain sensitive wipers and On Star.
Top of the range Elite gets a heated leather steering wheel, electronic dual-zone climate control and electric parking brake.
Child seats that fit a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016) like to drive?
Let’s start off with the good bit, namely the new 1.6-litre BiTurbo diesel engine. If you’re buying an estate because you’ve got stuff to cart about, then you need an engine that’s got plenty of grunt to get the job done. And this new twin-turbo unit has got the power exactly where you really need it.
From just 1500rpm, there’s 350Nm of torque available while further round the rev range is 160PS. You don’t have to worry about all those numbers, instead you can just enjoy the smooth and even power delivery. While the 0-62mph time might not set your heart on fire, you’ll be able to dispatch lorries on uphill overtakes when your five up with and carrying a bootful of stuff. And that’s what really matters.
Despite its unfortunate name (the creepy-sounding ‘whisper’ diesel), the engine does offer excellent levels of refinement. Vauxhall has done plenty of work to reduce noise and rattle from the powerplant and improve noise insulation in the cabin. It’s lighter, too, which improves performance and fuel economy.
If you want a diesel, then there’s a range of them available – as long as it’s a 1.6-litre, because the only displacement available. Petrol power comes courtesy of 1.0-litre, 1.4-litre, and 1.6-litre engines.
As well as working to improve the engines, the boffins have striving to improve the Astra’s ride and handling. And although it’s better than the car it replaces, we found the Tourer a touch crashy with no weight over the rear suspension – but it’s by no means a dealbreaker. Just annoying when you hit one bump too many on a poorly-surfaced. On the motorway, it’s a happy cruiser.
Press on and there’s more grip at the front than you’d expect. But your expectations will be low because of the steering - for all its overly sensitive directness, it’s not very good at telling you what’s really going on. You’ll get used to it after a few hundred miles, but until then you might find it a bit twitchy and annoying.
|1.0 Turbo 105||59–67 mpg||11.7–12.9 s||96–105 g/km|
|1.4 100||50–51 mpg||12.9–13.9 s||124–131 g/km|
|1.4 Turbo 125||48–51 mpg||9.6 s||124–128 g/km|
|1.4 Turbo 150||46–50 mpg||8.7 s||128–130 g/km|
|1.4 Turbo 150 Automatic||49–52 mpg||9.4 s||125–128 g/km|
|1.6 CDTi 110||64–83 mpg||11.4–11.9 s||85–116 g/km|
|1.6 CDTi 136||55–74 mpg||10.1 s||99–126 g/km|
|1.6 CDTi 136 Automatic||58–63 mpg||10.1 s||119–130 g/km|
|1.6 CDTi BiTurbo 160||69 mpg||8.9 s||108 g/km|
|1.6 Turbo 200||44–46 mpg||7.7 s||146 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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