Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Review logo

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Better than you might think”

Best bits

  • Impressive engine range
  • Sharp driving experience
  • Attractive exterior design

Not so great

  • Ride quality is overly firm at times
  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • Better all-rounders in the segment

Read by

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Front Side View

Overall verdict

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Back Car Seats

On the inside

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Left Side View

Driving

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Bootspace

How much does it cost to run

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"If you want to be a big player in the car market you have to have a few essentials. One of those is a compact hatchback- a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus competitor essentially, and almost as important is that you have an estate spin-off of that car too."

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Front Side View

Vauxhall has long been the key rivals for the Ford, particularly in the UK, and just as its Vauxhall Astra hatchback is aimed squarely at the Focus, it also has the Sports Tourer version ready to take on all those other compact estate cars.


Using the Sports Tourer tag rather than plain-old Estate moniker suggests a bit more style and less a box on wheels, and you’d have to say that on balance this is a fair judgement on the Astra Sports Tourer. 


There’s a line that flows directly from the bonnet and rises along its waistline to the tailgate, and in many ways it’s better looking than the hatchback that spawned it. Whether that means interior space is compromised as a result of this sacrifice to good looks is another matter.


Step inside the Astra Sports Tourer and the first impressions are good. You could almost say that it has a traditional approach in here. Rather than screens everywhere, you are presented with clear analogue dials, a modestly-sized touchscreen sat on the top of the dashboard and a series of buttons below it and down the centre console. 


Whether that is a good thing or not is something of a personal preference, but at the very least you should be able to find the function you need pretty quickly.


In terms of engines, the Astra Sports Tourer is bang on trend with the downsizing movement. The largest capacity unit you can buy is a 1.5-litre. The core of the range is made up of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit available in three power outputs - 110PS, 130PS and 145PS, and there’s also a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol available with an automatic CVT gearbox only. 


There are two diesel options also, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit available with 105PS or 122PS. If that doesn’t sound like much, then the more powerful 1.5-litre diesel has more punch than you might expect, with 300Nm of torque it is certainly capable of pulling heavy loads and towing trailers.


Driving the Astra Sports Tourer may also spring a surprise or two, as it is one of the better handling cars in the class. The suspension is slightly on the firm side, which means it resists body roll very well and is willing to turn into a corner with great enthusiasm. The downside of this is that it is more sensitive to road imperfections - the ride isn’t harsh, but neither does it offer quite the same balance of both ride and handling as the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.


The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is a highly-capable estate car, with an impressive range of engines, good space for passengers and luggage as well as an engaging driving experience. The main issue is the quality of the competition. The Sports Tourer is not exceptional in any one area, nor is it the best all-rounder.


Is the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer right for you?

Anyone seeking a bit more space than a regular compact hatchback that doesn’t want to upgrade to a massive wagon will find the Astra Sports Tourer a suitable choice. It’s no more demanding to drive than the hatchback version, so it’s a sensible purchase if you’re trading up to a bigger car, especially if you have a growing family, and there’s good space inside for everything that goes with being a parent.


Where the Sports Tourer may not be such a strong choice is if you are looking for the most comfortable option. Its ride quality can be quite niggly on some surfaces, and cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf are better in this respect.


What's the best Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer model/engine to choose?

All of the Astra Sports Tourer’s engine options are impressive, with a good balance of performance and fuel economy. Of the petrol options, the 1.2-litre 130PS is the sweet spot - it has the same claimed fuel consumption as the 110PS version but the same torque figure as the more powerful 145PS version, so you’re getting the best of both. As for the diesel options, the more powerful 122PS version is your best bet, as it has useful extra torque over the less powerful version and offers very similar levels of economy.


The standard specification SE model is well equipped, with the 7-inch touchscreen, DAB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air con, cruise control and automatic headlights, and for most people this would be enough. The Business Nav model simply adds navigation - which you don’t necessarily need if you have a smartphone - which just leaves the most expensive SRi model. 


What other cars are similar to the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer?

It’s all the usual suspects here, with almost every brand both mainstream or premium having some kind of compact estate. The cars to beat in the class are the Volkswagen Golf Estate, Ford Focus Estate and Skoda Octavia Estate, but there are also strong contenders in the shape of the Peugeot 308 SW, Renault Megane Sport Tourer and the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. The latest SEAT Leon Estate (which car formerly known as the Leon ST) is a sporty alternative.


It’s a matter of deciding if you want the most space, the best driving experience, the lowest running costs or the best all-rounder, but whatever you want there is something to suit your needs.


Learn more

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Back Car Seats

On the inside

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Left Side View

Driving

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Bootspace

How much does it cost to run

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification