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Expert Review

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Estate (2022 - ) review

The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer has as much style as the hatchback, but with added practicality

The Free Trader UK expert verdict:

4

Available new from £25,865

The Vauxhall Astra has shaken off its staid image in favour of something more contemporary and desirable. Even in this Sports Tourer estate form it still turns heads and has a decent set of diesel and petrol engine options, along with a plug-in hybrid. A fully electric version joins the range in 2023, too. It has plenty of luggage carrying capability and a simple grade structure. Standard equipment levels aren’t bad either, helping make the Astra Sports Tourer one of the more desirable mid-size estates around.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickPractical features
  • tickGood hybrid option
  • tickStylish design

At a glance:

Running costs for a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

Both the petrol and diesel engines are modestly powered and are reasonably economical to run, though it’s the plug-in hybrid that is the most attractive
At launch there are four engines across two equipment levels to choose from, with a third, range-topping trim joining in due course. The ‘price walks’ between the grades are reasonable, especially when you consider the competitive monthly finance deals on offer. Both the petrol and diesel engines are modestly powered and are reasonably economical to run, though it’s the plug-in hybrid that is the most attractive if you’re a company car driver, thanks to the more attractive Benefit In Kind rate. For private buyers, the plug-in hybrid doesn’t look so appealing as it’s the most expensive model, but beyond the purchase price, running costs will be low so long as you use it as it was intended and charge the battery frequently.
Expert rating: 4/5

Reliability of a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

Vauxhall includes a three-year warranty, though several competitors offer longer warranty cover periods
Vauxhall is now part of a wider group of brands that includes Fiat, Citroën and Peugeot and the Astra shares its engines and platform architecture with the latter’s 308. Why does that matter? Well, in recent years the French brand has greatly improved its performance in customer satisfaction and reliability surveys so that should extend to the Sports Tourer. Vauxhall includes a three-year warranty, though several competitors offer longer warranty cover periods in conjunction with scheduled dealer visits for servicing and maintenance. Buyers can choose to add a three-year service plan to their monthly payment to spread out the cost.
Expert rating: 3/5

Safety for a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

Upgrade to the GS Line and you gain traffic sign recognition, 360-degree cameras, forward collision alert at all speeds and adaptive cruise control
There are multiple safety and driver assistance systems available for the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, though not all come as standard. On the entry-grade Design model there are many of the expected features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, eight airbags, low-speed forward collision alert and high-beam assist for the LED headlights. Upgrade to the GS Line and you gain traffic sign recognition, 360-degree cameras, forward collision alert at all speeds and adaptive cruise control. Vauxhall’s IntelliLux LED Pixel Light technology works particularly well in darker rural areas, maximising illumination without dazzling other road users.
Expert rating: 4/5

How comfortable is the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

The Sports Tourer has a longer wheelbase than the Astra hatchback, so rear passengers have more legroom and headroom
Highly supportive front seats get the nod of approval from the respected German ‘healthy backs’ body known as the AGR. GS Line models get larger side bolsters for more of a sports seat style, but they’re still hugely comfortable. The standard wheel size is 16 inches, which is good ride comfort as there’s plenty of tyre sidewall to absorb road surface imperfections. The GS Line gets 17-inch rims as standard and larger wheel options are available, but these result in a stiffer ride. The Sports Tourer has a longer wheelbase than the Astra hatchback, so rear passengers have more legroom and headroom. However, as is the norm in the segment, the middle seat wouldn’t be comfortable for an adult.
Expert rating: 4/5

Features of the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

The native infotainment system is reasonably easy to navigate, though many will make use of the wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity
In the march towards the digitalisation of cars Vauxhall strikes a good balance between impressive screen real estate and practical functionality. A pair of 10-inch screens make up the so-called ‘Pure Panel’ dashboard design, which looks impressive. Saying that, physical buttons for frequently used features such as temperature settings is welcome. The native infotainment system is reasonably easy to navigate, though many will make use of the wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Other standard features on the Design trim include cruise control, lane keep assist and front and rear parking sensors. However, you’ll need to choose the GS Line to get a (360-degree) parking camera, contrasting black roof, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry. While hybrid versions of the Sports Tourer lose a little boot space to the battery pack all versions get 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats and - on non-hybrid versions - there is a moveable boot floor. Another convenient touch is that the retractable luggage cover can be stowed within the car when it isn’t in use.
Expert rating: 4/5

Power for a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

It’s the plug-in hybrid that delivers the quietest and most refined experience
The powertrain options for the Astra Sports Tourer are quite simple. A 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine comes in 110 and 130 horsepower outputs, the latter available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. There is a single 130 horsepower 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel, which exclusively uses the eight-speed auto. A plug-in hybrid with a total output of 180 horsepower is available in GS Line trim. The 130-horsepower petrol isn’t underpowered as such, but it does get more vocal when you put it under heavier load. Its best performance comes when paired with the automatic gearbox as you do need to work the manual a bit more to keep the engine in the right zone - and the gear shift action isn’t as slick as in some competitors. The diesel makes is an appealing option for those doing big distances regularly, but it’s the plug-in hybrid that delivers the quietest and most refined experience. With up to 42 miles of electric driving and two-hour charge times, it can prove cheap to run if you regularly charge the battery. It switches over to the petrol engine without fuss so long as you aren’t driving it in a hurry.
Expert rating: 3/5

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