News : Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer unveiled

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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Vauxhall’s smart new British-made Astra Sports Tourer made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new car, which is 200kg lighter than the old model and packs some interesting technology for the market sector, is set to increase production volumes over those of the outgoing model at the Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire.

The latest generation Sports Tourer is the same size as the old car, with a length of 4702mm and a width of 1871mm (so it’s still not exactly small – about the same length as a Rover 800), but Vauxhall says its roomier inside and has a larger load area. Like the Ford Focus, you can now open the tailgate without a touch or a remote control, just kick under the rear bumper, and you’re away.

Like the hatch, the Sports Tourer is offered with a wide range of engines including petrol and diesel units ranging from 98 to 197bhp, including an all-new 1.4-litre ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo and the recently-launched 1.6-litre CDTi Whisper Diesel. Its completely new vehicle architecture plays a major role in the weight reduction – the body shell weight alone was reduced by 20% from 357kg to 280kg.

It’s connected with OnStar, a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery alert. The Sports Tourer is also one of the first vehicles from a mainstream manufacturer to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available through a new version of the IntelliLink infotainment system.

Gallery

 

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

11 Comments

  1. A smart looking car, as is the current Astra Sport Tourer. Getting bigger though – in these shots it looks as big as an Insignia… I think modern cars are all getting too large… and car parking spaces aren’t.

  2. Looks nice enough, but then the previous generation Astra was one of the best looking ones, it was the engines/transmissions that let it down

  3. Shedding 200kg will do the Sport Tourer no harm at all! That means the new one, with me, the missus and the the boy in it will weigh no more than our current one without!
    Hope they’ve done something about the lifeless steering as well.

  4. That’s a good looking car. I’ve always thought the Insignia (awful name) was also a great looking estate car.

    Unfortunately, I’d only buy Japanese cars these days so GM wouldn’t be getting my money. Sorry guys.

  5. Very smart. Bet that foot operated tailgate will be part of a £1000 technology pack or something, even though it probably costs less than a fiver to fit. At some stage manufacturers will give up trying to charge a premium for all these electronic assistant aids that nobody except their own press fleets specify and just chuck them in as standard. As happened to heated rear windows, hazard warning flashers, rear fog lamps, sun roofs and air-conditioning.

  6. I like the ‘floating roof’ impression which is similar to the Adam. It would be nice to know if Ellesmre Port will supply all sports tourers for GM Europe.
    On the subject of size I’d just like to say how compact and easy it is to park the MG3.

    • Bruce, I’m getting used to my MG3 in this respect but jump back into my ZR (now for sale, folks) and the visibility is heaven by comparison!!

      • Found that comment amussing as the MG3 deselected itself as possible
        Wifey’s runaround for being a few mm longer than most rivals and too big for the parking space we have available.
        In the end we chose something similar space-wise, but shorter and a tad narrower with better, (if still not great) visibility.

  7. So Nige, why do you only buy Japanese cars these days especially when some of the better ones are now built in the UK ?
    I think that GM have moved in leaps and bounds with their recent offerings especially with the “Whisper Diesels”.

  8. Can’t knock the logic of buying Japanese, (built) if you’ve been
    a satisfied customer a few times over and have memories of more
    iffy European offerings in the past – which I suspect Nige has.

    For my liking GM still can’t make the majority of their cars handle,
    ride and steer to satisfactory standards, no matter how pretty they
    often are or powerful the engines.

    In broader terms Vauxhalls in particular have long had a poor image
    IMO – they always seem to be playing ‘catch-up’ with other makers,
    (as Audi did for so long chasing BMW/Mercedes) and the typical owner
    in the UK drives as if they got their licence from a cereal box…

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