Review: Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016)

Rating:

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.

Recently Added To This Review

28 August 2019 Prices of revamped 2020 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer announced:

1.2 110PS SE 6-speed manual: £20,355 1.5 105PS TD SE 6-speed manual: £22,255 1.2 130PS Business Edition Nav 6-speed manual £21,205 1.5 122PS TD Business Edition Nav 6-speed... Read more

22 August 2019

Report of 2016 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi 136 Start/Stop Elite Nav manual Estate at 13k miles going to Vauxhall dealer for clutch and brake recall. Owner objected to the emissions recall but dealer said... Read more

22 August 2019

Report of 'clutch and brake recall' on Vauxhall Astra K. Read more

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016): At A Glance

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?

List Price from £18,660
Buy new from £15,104
Contract hire from £162.05 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4702 mm
Width 2042 mm
Height 1499–1510 mm
Wheelbase 2685 mm

Full specifications

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).

Standard kit:

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.

Which car seat will suit you?

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.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
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.

Average performance

84%

Real MPG

30–70 mpg

MPGs submitted

75

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.

What have we been asked about the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (2016)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

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: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
Answered by Honest John
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