Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Biturbo
This model's 192bhp diesel engine is good for 0-60mph in 8.0 seconds, but still keeps CO2 down to 134g/km. Average fuel economy is 55.4mpg.
There's just one trim, called Biturbo, and prices start at £25,115.
What's the 2013 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Biturbo like to drive?
As the name suggests, the Biturbo's engine uses two turbochargers, although these kick in at different points in the rev range.
The result is a remarkably smooth power delivery; while many high-powered diesels feel flat until the turbo kicks in around 2000rpm, the Astra Biturbo pulls from much lower revs.
The second turbo takes over higher up the rev range, ensuring there's no drop off in performance. This is a car that lets you overtake with confidence.
However, the engine isn't very refined. It sounds gruff at low speeds, and never really settles down – even at a steady cruise. What's more, you feel quite a lot of vibration through the pedals. It's a pity, because the cabin is well insulated against wind and road noise.
The Biturbo comes with a sports suspension set-up, which gives confidence in corners, but doesn't result in a rock-hard ride. It also deals well with poor surfaces.
What's the 2013 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Biturbo like inside?
The Astra's cabin looks smart, but the dashboard is covered in small, poorly marked buttons. As a result, the entertainment system and air-conditioning are harder to operate than they should be.
The interior plastics could also be better; while they seem durable enough, the cabin doesn't feel particularly luxurious once you start poking the dashboard and buttons.
In the front, the Biturbo has bespoke sports seats that are more for aesthetics than their figure-hugging qualities, but they feel sufficiently supportive and comfortable for everyday use.
Further back, the Astra Biturbo is like any other Sports Tourer. This means you get a decent boot, which – at 500 litres – is a similar size to its rivals'. The rear seats fold to create a long, level space and a pair of quick-release buttons in the boot make dropping the seats easy.
Despite its price, the Astra Biturbo doesn't come that well equipped. Even Bluetooth costs an extra £220.
Should I buy one?
At any price, a performance estate is a car with niche appeal, but the Astra Sports Tourer Biturbo's £25,115 starting price is likely to seriously limit its attraction.
True, hefty discounts should be available, but you'll need to raid the options list to get some equipment that really should be standard.
The Biturbo is also let down by its gruff engine, while the interior plastics don't feel worthy of a car of this price, which makes this range-topping Astra Sports Tourer difficult to recommend.
What Car? says…
Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi 163 Titanium X Estate
Peugeot 308 SW 2.0 HDi 150 Allure
Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Price from £25,115
Torque 295lb ft
0-62mph 8.0 seconds
Top speed 140mph
Fuel economy 55.4mpg
CO2 g/km 134g/km
By Tom Webster