New Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Estate: prices and specs

Larger and more technologically advanced Astra estate will be lighter and cheaper than outgoing model

The new British-built Vauxhall Astra estate, known as the Sports Tourer, will be in showrooms from March 2016 and priced from £16,585. The all-new car will join the well-received five-door Astra hatchback on UK forecourts with a range of petrol and diesel engines, going up against rivals such as the Ford Focus estate and Volkswagen Golf estate.

While unmistakably an estate, the Sports Tourer is sleek and sophisticated looking, extending the hatchback’s pronounced and modern side creases to avoid the typical boxy looks of this type of car. With subtle chrome-effect window strips and tapering rear windows, the Sports Tourer has a more executive air than the outgoing model, making it a welcome addition to the Astra range.

While the new Astra Sports Tourer is roughly the same size outside as the old one, clever packaging means it has 2.5cm more headroom. Boot space, which was already generous in the outgoing model, has grown by 80 litres, so capacity is now 1,630 litres with the rear seats folded – narrowly beating the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf estate.

The new Astra estate is also an impressive 200kg lighter than the car it replaces, which improves both performance and fuel economy.

Other features which bring the latest Astra Sports Tourer firmly up to date include rear lights with light ‘graphics’ inside and a power-operated bootlid, activated by waving your foot under the rear bumper.

Inside, each of the three rear seats can be folded individually and Vauxhall’s optional Flexorganiser range of storage solutions is available. This includes side rails, dividing nets and assorted fasteners, ensuring you’ll have no difficulty storing your luggage securely.

Vauxhall’s recently launched OnStar system will also be available as an option. This service – a popular and long-running option in the US – provides WiFi connectivity and a ‘concierge’ service where you can call up an operator for technical help or even route planning. It’ll also alert the emergency services if it detects the car has been involved in an accident.

Performance and economy

The Sports Tourer is available with the same engines as the Astra hatchback. That means you can choose from a range of petrols, including a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo with stop-start technology that achieves class-leading CO2 emissions of 96g/km and a range-topping 1.6-litre turbo that produces 197bhp. The diesel range comprises Vauxhall’s ‘Whisper’ engine with three different power outputs, from 109 to 158bhp. The least powerful produces just 82g/km of CO2 while returning up to 85.6mpg.

Specifications

The new Astra estate comes in four trim levels: Design, TechLine, SRI and Elite.

Even in basic Design form, the Sports Tourer is a well equipped car. You get 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and a rear spoiler. Driver and passengers are well catered for inside, where all Astra Sports Tourers have air-conditioning, cruise control, electric windows and mirrors and a trip computer. Vauxhall’s excellent IntelliLink system also comes as standard, providing Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB ports and DAB digital radio – all controlled by a seven-inch touchscreen.

For another £700 or so, TechLine trim adds an eight-inch sat nav, upgraded speakers and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

The SRI model starts at £19,885 and gains a host of kit compared to the Tech Line, including larger alloy wheels, sports seats, automatic wipers and lights, the OnStar service and a Driving Assistance Pack. The latter adds a lane-departure warning system, traffic-sign recognition, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and a following distance indicator, which helps you gauge how close you are to the vehicle in front.

Top-of-the-range Elite trim costs around £700 more than SRI, with prices starting at £20,605. For this you get heated leather seats (front and rear), an electric handbrake brake and USB charging ports.

The Astra Sports Tourer estate will come with a host of safety equipment as standard. All models have anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, six airbags, ISOFIX child-seat fixtures and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.

The new Astra Sports Tourer seems to make a convincing case for itself compared to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf estates. It caters for Astra customers who are after extra space, while not losing the modern looks and style of the Astra hatchback.

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