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Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer estate (2010-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer diesel engines are the easiest to recommend, although they aren’t as refined as the petrols

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3.8 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.5 out of 5

Much like the larger Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, the Vauxhall Astra estate is much more at home on the motorway than it is on twisting roads. Thanks to its comfortable ride and decent noise insulation, the Astra Sports Tourer is a very good long-distance cruiser, although cars with larger alloy wheels do fidget about a bit on rougher road surfaces.

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That being said, the Vauxhall is fairly enjoyable to drive, thanks to its strong grip and well weighted controls. However, if it’s outright fun behind the wheel that you’re after, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer isn’t quite as engaging to drive as the Ford Focus estate or SEAT Leon ST.

It’s worth pointing out that the SRi trim level comes with firmer suspension fitted as standard, which results in less body lean in corners and slightly more responsive handling. Since Vauxhall doesn’t make a high-performance VXR version of the Astra Sports Tourer, this is the next-best thing for buyers who want a sportier drive.

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer petrol engines

One key area where the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer range differs from the hatchback line-up is the choice of petrol engines. Although the very capable 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol can be fitted to the hatch, it’s bizarrely absent from the Sports Tourer range. As a result, the Astra estate has to make do with two competent yet unremarkable petrols: a 1.4-litre with 98bhp and a slightly more powerful 1.6-litre with 113bhp.

Although both offer decent efficiency by class standards (Vauxhall claims they’re each capable of returning over 42mpg), they’re nowhere near as frugal as the diesels. The two petrol engines also produce their maximum power output at fairly high revs, which means you need to work them hard and change gear frequently in order to get the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer up to speed.

Diesel engines

Of the diesel engines on offer, we recommend the 1.6-litre versions. Even though they’re not quite as powerful as the flagship 2.0-litre and BiTurbo options, they still have more than enough punch to get the Astra Sports Tourer up to speed quickly and they’re also the most refined diesels in the range.

They’re the cheapest to run, too: the 108bhp version in particular leads the way with its 76mpg fuel economy and exemption from road tax due to its ultra-low CO2 emissions. Although the more powerful 1.6-litres aren’t quite as efficient, they’ll still only cost a maximum of £20 to tax and should be able to return over 68mpg.

An issue that plagues all the diesels (in particular the 1.3 and 1.7-litre) is intrusive engine noise. While some aren’t quite as rattly as others, they’re still on the loud side, which – given the interior refinement of the Astra Sports Tourer is otherwise quite good – can be quite a nuisance on longer journeys.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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