Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Astra Goes into Space; like Its Hatchback Counterpart, Vauxhall's Latest More Spacious Astra Sports Tourer Estate Gets a Smarter Look, Extra Connectivity and a More Appealing, More Efficient Range of Engines. Jonathan Crouch Reports

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Astra Goes into Space; like Its Hatchback Counterpart, Vauxhall's Latest More Spacious Astra Sports Tourer Estate Gets a Smarter Look, Extra Connectivity and a More Appealing, More Efficient Range of Engines. Jonathan Crouch Reports

Article excerpt

VAUXHALL is hoping to increase its presence in the compact estate sector with the latest Astra Sports Tourer.

MPVs and 4x4s might offer more interesting options for family buyers but the solid, practical virtues of a good estate are not to be under-estimated. This one's cleaner, more frugal, more practical, highertech and sharper to look at than before. It's a better package allround.

Like the rest of the Astra Sports Tourer, the suspension is shared with the Astra hatchback. Reducing this latest model's weight by up to 200kgs has had a significant effect on the way this car drives. It now soaks up bumps better and turns into the bends more easily, aided by a stiffer chassis and torque vectoring that helps with cornering traction. As before, this Vauxhall does without the kind of independent rear suspension system you'd find on a rival Ford Focus Estate, instead favouring a neat Watts linkage system that claims to reduce sideways motion between the axle and the body of the car as you go through the corners.

Under the bonnet, those in search of petrol power have an up-to the-minute range of options.

We'd suggest you bypass the most affordable 100PS 1.4-litre engine in favour of the lighter, more responsive and much more efficient 105PS 1.0-litre ECOTEC turbo three cylinder unit. If you need more power, there are a couple of 1.4-litre Turbo powerplants offering 125 or 150PS, plus a top 200PS 1.6 Turbo option. Diesel drivers get Vauxhall's refined 1.6-litre CDTi 'whisper diesel' unit with a choice of three power outputs - 110, 136 or 160PS. The 110PS ecoFLEX variant delivers class-leading efficiency figures - 91.2mpg on the combined cycle and 82g/km of CO2.

The Sports Tourer bodyshape further extends the now-sportier styling of the seventh generation five-door model. The slightly arched sloping roofline gives this estate derivative a longer appearance - an effect further enhanced by the divided C-pillar. …

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