Looks great inside and out, strong standard kit list
Slightly less boot space than rivals, lacking in character, PHEV is pricey
What is it?
It’s the long-roofed, big-booted version of the eighth-generation Vauxhall Astra – a car we very much like in its generic but handsome hatchback form. It might not be the most exciting thing in the segment, but the Astra ticks all the boxes for those looking for trusty transport. At first glance that looks to have translated through to the Sports Tourer too.
Looks good, doesn’t it? Vauxhall’s new signature is the striking Vizor front end which incorporates the badging and lighting in one full-width blacked-out section. Then you’ve got the sharp creases on the bonnet and over the wheel arches as found on the hatch, plus a redesigned rear end with the numberplate moved up onto the bootlid to give a larger rear opening. Clever. The wheels – even the larger 18-inchers – can get a little lost in the mass of metal down the side though.
What engines can I have?
As you might expect, the powertrains on offer in the Sports Tourer match those in the Astra hatch. The single petrol engine is a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder that – in its most basic form – comes with 109bhp and a six-speed manual gearbox. Super simple. Want more power? It also comes in 128bhp flavour with the option of the same manual or an eight-speed auto.
Isn’t there a plug-in hybrid hatch?
There is, and you won’t be surprised to hear that you can have it in Sports Tourer form too. That pairs a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a single e-motor and a 12.4kWh battery for 178bhp through the front wheels and 37 miles of all-electric range on the WLTP cycle.
Or you can step up to the sort-of sporty GSe trim for 222bhp from the same PHEV powertrain. Those holding out for a full-fat VXR might be waiting a while. Come on Vauxhall – bring back the torque steer just for us.
Is it nice on the inside?
It is. More big strides have been taken here by Vauxhall in recent years, with both the quality of materials and tech keeping pace with the rest of the market (and crucially leapfrogging VW’s latest effort with the Mk8 Golf). Like the hatch, the Astra Sports Tourer gets something called the ‘Pure Panel cockpit’ which combines two 10-inch screens into one large glossy panel. More on that later, though.
How big is the boot?
Simple question, but here’s a complicated answer just for good measure. The new Sports Tourer is based on the EMP2 V3 platform, which allows for a longer wheelbase than the previous generation (70mm longer in fact). A shorter front overhang means it’s actually 60mm shorter overall than the last Sports Tourer, though. Lower too.
And so to the boot space. With the rear seats up there’s 597 litres of room back there, or 516 litres if you go for the PHEV with its electric gubbins and battery under the boot floor. Drop the rear seats and you’re looking at 1,634 litres for ICE powertrains and 1,553 litres for the PHEV. Want to know how that stacks up against rivals? Click through to the Interior tab for more.
How much will I have to pay?
Again there’s more info over on the Buying tab, but Astra Sports Tourer prices start at £28,160 in the UK. That’ll get you into the base spec Design trim with the lesser-powered petrol engine. The entry-level PHEV is a hefty £39,135 that includes a step up to GS trim.
What’s it up against these days?
Ah yes, we mentioned rivals didn’t we. We know the world has gone SUV mad, but there’s still a fair few estates on the market. VW Group’s equivalents to the Astra ST are the Golf Estate, the Octavia Estate and the Seat Leon Estate. Using many of the same Stellantis-sourced powertrains as the Astra is the Peugeot 308 SW, and then there’s things like the Ford Focus Estate, the Kia Ceed Sportswagon and the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. Plenty of choice.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
Like the hatch, the Astra Sports Tourer isn’t something you’ll be writing home about, but that’s not to say it isn’t a very worthy, good-looking and complete package. It’s well-priced if you take into account the kit that comes as standard and the pure combustion powertrains are reasonably efficient and well-refined. It's handsome too: Vauxhall’s design department really is on a roll at the moment.
The PHEV compromises slightly on luggage space and represents a big jump in cost that we couldn't justify, but then it is still more practical than a crossover and Vauxhall reckons you’ll get 42 miles of city driving on all-electric power, so there’s no doubt it’ll work well for some and save on fuel bills.
Our advice? Have a proper look at the Astra before you pull the trigger on that Mk8 Golf Estate.