What's the used Vauxhall Astra like?
Among family estate cars, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer stays true to its maker’s hallmarks of mass-market appeal, ease of use and good value.
If we are being picky - and due to the talents of its rivals, we think that’s justified - we’d say there are a number of areas it could be better. But for the money, the Astra Sports Tourer is a sound used buy.
The main reason why most people go for an estate car is boot space, and the Astra Sports Tourer scores well here, being more spacious than its peers, and even outdoing Vauxhall's larger Insignia Sports Tourer in terms of capacity with the rear seats folded down.
The Astra also gains points for its use of that space, as there is a small cubbyhole under its boot floor to secure valuable items like laptops and tablets, and buyers could even specify a neat system to divide the boot floor up by using a rail-mounted net. Then, when you do need to fold the rear seats down, they lie completely flat, which is really useful when you're loading longer items.
The rest of the interior is also spacious; not as much in the rear as rivals like the Volkswagen Golf Estate, but there's lots of room in the front. The front seats also have plenty of adjustment, especially if the car is fitted with sports seats.
There are a few too many buttons on the Astra Sports Tourer's dashboard, which means the infotainment isn’t quite as easy to use as rival systems. It’s also quite dark inside, with thick windscreen pillars blocking the light coming in and also obscure your view out.
The driving experience lets the Astra Sports Tourer down, and it isn’t a patch on the Golf Estate, let alone the scintillating Ford Focus Estate. Vauxhall fitted a more advanced rear suspension to this generation of Astra, but it doesn’t help it to outhandle its contemporaries. The ride, at least, is comfortable; in short, the Astra Sports Tourer is tuned to cope well with potholes and speed bumps rather than to be fun on a winding B-road.