Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer (2010 – 2016) At A Glance
Vauxhall may have dropped the 'estate' description of this Astra in favour of the more flash 'Sports Tourer' name, but whatever you want to call it, this is undoubtedly the practical load carrier version of the impressive Astra. It's well styled for a smaller estate and has to be if it's to sway people away from buying its most obvious competitior - the excellent Ford Focus Estate.
It has a usefully large boot that can accommodate up to 500 litres of luggage (and anything else you want to throw at it) which is more than similar size estates such as the Ford Focus and Renault Megane Sports Tourer. Folding the rear seats down - which is easy thanks to handles inside the boot - and flipping up the rear seat cushions creates a flat load floor and it's genuinely surprising just how much stuff you can get in the Astra Sports Tourer. This is one practical load lugger.
It's decent on the road and very comfortable with an impressively forgiving ride which smooths out rough and uneven road surfaces. It's not as impressive in corners as the steering feels very artificial and lacks weight, but it still grips well and is reassuring enough. However, drive it back to back with a Focus Estate and you'll find the Vauxhall lags behind the Ford in terms of handling and poise.
The cabin design neat but it's somewhat lacking in quality and finesse. Some of the plastics feel a little hard, the buttons on the central console aren't that pleasant to use and the gear change is springy. As a result, while it does very little wrong, it's not an especially enjoyable car to drive. That said, it comes with some very efficient engines including the 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX that averages a claimed 68.9mpg.
Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer 2010 Road Test and Video
Vauxhall Astra 2010 Road Test and Video
Long Term Test Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.7 CDTI
What do owners think of the Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer (2010 – 2016)? Check out our Owners' Reviews
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Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer (2010 – 2016)
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Reviews for Vauxhall Astra Sport Tourer (2010 – 2016)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
We need a reliable 'dogmobile' with a low load height for our Labrador. Can you suggest something cheap?
"I'm looking for a 'cheap' estate with a very low boot lip to use a a dogmobile for our Labrador. She’s reluctant to jump into anything too high. What’s a reliable runner for around £5000? It will be a second car only for dog use. Cheers."
Estate versions of the Skoda Fabia or the bigger Octavia could be a good choice. They're very practical for their size, have low boot lips and offer good value for money. Avoid diesel engines, though, as they can be unreliable if used for short journeys. A Vauxhall Astra Estate represents excellent value for money, too, as does a Dacia Logan MCV.
Buying a medium-sized family car - what would you recommend for £7.5k?
"I'm looking for a second hand, medium-sized family car for a budget of around £7500. I plan to use an auction broker to find a good used example (2/3 years old) once I've chosen the model I'd like.
My shortlist is a Citroen C4 Picasso 1.6 EGS, Vauxhall Astra Estate 1.6 Techline or Toyota Verso 2.2D (all diesel). The vehicle needs to cope with a 300-mile round trip to see family at the weekend and long drives during the week. An essential requirement is a large, flat load area to carry my equipment as a touring musician. "
Citroen C4 Picasso 1.6 HDi EGS: Engine issues, awful automated manual transmission avoid
Vauxhall Astra Estate 1.6 Techline: I don't think you'll get the new 1.6 diesel engine for £7,500.
Toyota Verso 2.2D: Not a very nice engine. The 1.8i Valvematic with the Multidrive S automatic transmission is much better.
The best car with the PSA/Ford 1.6 HDi/TDCi is the Mazda 5 TS2, which I ran for a year and really liked for its combination of excellent steering, handling and ride comfort: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/mazda-5-16d-ts2/
Remember if using an auction broker you have to pre-commit to pay him for whatever car he sources for you. He is acting as your agent in sourcing the car, so you have no consumer rights against him.
Vauxhall Astra stuck in gear - what's the fault?
"I own a 2012 Vauxhall Astra 2.0 diesel Sport Tourer. However, I'm having problems when driving down hills. The car seems to stay in a low gear and revs very high, is this normal? "
If you select a low gear manually to descend a hill, the box will remain in that gear until you select a higher gear.
Which reliable estate car do you recommend?
"I drive about 8000 miles a year in an 8-year-old Astra estate and would like a newer, similar size estate car and since I am in my late seventies, it might be my last. I have a budget of about £12,000 so wouldn't mind newish secondhand, preferably a UK or European make but I value reliability more than modern gizmos and image."
You can get a newer Astra Sport Tourer or a Meriva for £12,000 which are best with the 1.4 140PS turbo engine, which heats up very quickly from cold starts. Or, for a basic estate, wait for the new Dacia Sandero estate, arriving soon at prices starting well below £10,000.