Vauxhall Astra Sports TourerSussex Business Times’ motoring correspondent, Simon Skinner reviews Vauxhall’s Sports Tourer as it flexes its muscle in tourer class

The first Vauxhall to grace the forecourt at SBT Towers in some time, and since hearing such great things about the Astra Sports Tourer from our industry friends, it’s great to have the opportunity to put it to the test for a week.

Ours for testing is, we believe the best example of the range, the 1.6-litre diesel which offers up a significant 135bhp and offering an impressive combination of economy, performance, and cost.

Alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio, the Intellilink infotainment system controlled from a seven-inch touchscreen, air-conditioning and cruise control are standard on all models

 There are six trim levels available; the Design, Tech Line, SRi, SRi Nav, Elite and Elite Nav, all of which are nicely loaded with tech and general creature comforts. Alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio, the Intellilink infotainment system controlled from a seven-inch touchscreen, air-conditioning and cruise control are standard on all models.

To drive, it’s a car that lives up to the hype. OK, you could argue that it’s quite an ‘ordinary’ car, but take a look at the price range. This is firmly in the ‘ordinary’ bracket, which serves so many families and business types, and actually, perhaps with the aesthetic from the side-on, it’s a great looking car with the best angle, like so many things, being from the rear.

Vauxhall Astra Sports TourerYou could also argue that Ford Focus Estate more nimble to drive and the Volkswagen Golf Estate offers more comfort, but the Astra sits firmly in the middle of these, combining the best of both worlds and offering a great all-round motor.

The Astra is a little flatter in the general driving stakes if compared to, say, the Focus, but the Astra resists body lean in corners impressively well and has plenty of grip, too. You can tell that a lot of weight has been shaved from this model and it’s generally sharper than its predecessor.

The brakes take a little getting used to as the feel in the pedal is slightly odd, but once you do get the hang of them, you’ll find that they’re impressively powerful.

We believe that this car will be a hit with fleet drivers and reps that are busy crisscrossing the country on a daily basis as the comfort is at a level, which definitely suits heavy mileage. The general drive is smooth and you really get the feeling that you could clock up many a mile without regretting your buy.

Suffice to say that the Astra one of the best cars in its class to drive. It’s quiet and comfortable and we believe sits happily amongst its competition, which would include the likes of the Ford Focus Estate, the Kia Cee’d SW and Toyota’s Auris Touring Sports. No more is the Astra an also-ran in its class. It’s suite simply one of the best cars you can buy.

Engine Size: 1598cc

0-60mph: 9.5 secs

Top Speed: 127mph

Alleged Economy: 72 mpg

Road Tax: £20

Seats: 5

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY