MARKET AND MODEL
The new Astra Sports Tourer is now on sale priced from £16,585 on-the-road, with first cars arriving in Vauxhall showrooms this March after its global debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
One of the UK’s top-selling and best-loved cars, Astra is a household name for British car buyers with almost three million sold in the UK over the last 36 years, including 50,000 in the last 12 months. More than 25 per cent of British motorists have either owned or driven an Astra, so reaction to a new model will always be felt across the market.
The Astra Sports Tourer is based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture with a new design, powertrains and technology. It is built at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant in Cheshire. It is the only plant to build this body style.
The Sports Tourer has proved a popular car in the UK market, with sales making it the third most popular estate car sold in 2015 with key rivals including the Ford Focus Estate and the Volkswagen Golf Estate. With a fleet/retail sales split of 80:20, it holds great appeal as a company car, taking drivers from their daily commute to weekend activities. The Sports Tourer will also appeal to private buyers who are looking for a practical family car.
EFFICIENCY AND PACKAGING
The latest generation Sports Tourer has almost the same dimensions as the outgoing model- length 4,702mm, width 1,871mm and height 1,510mm- however, it offers much more space for passengers and luggage. While the driver can enjoy 26 millimetres of additional headroom, passengers in the rear have 28 millimetres more legroom. The new Astra Sports Tourer can take up to three child seats in the rear and can also carry up to 1,630 litres of luggage thanks to the efficient packaging.
Inside, gracefully sculpted shapes are combined with premium materials and functional clarity. Switches and controls are reduced to an absolute minimum, supporting the efficiency and ease of use that is at the core of the Astra. The centrepiece of the new Astra’s interior is the award-winning IntelliLink system. The location of the system was carefully selected to ensure both an ideal view of the display as well as easy reach and use.
For the first time on a Vauxhall, the tailgate can be opened without a touch or a remote control. In combination with “Keyless Entry and Start” a simple small kicking motion under the rear bumper is enough to open the tailgate. A further kicking motion under the bumper will close the tailgate. The clever system can detect any obstruction and stops the mechanism in case of an emergency. The tailgate can still be opened by a switch on the driver’s side of the car or via the key’s remote control.
The new Astra Sports Tourer features a range of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel powertrains. Lightweight construction sets the latest engine range apart from previous generations. They are smaller, more compact and lighter while simultaneously being more powerful and frugal. The new Astra Sports Tourer diesel with 110PS, for example, achieves 83.1mpg while only emitting 89g/km of CO2.
All diesel units have a displacement of 1.6 litres – including Vauxhall’s top-of-the-range BiTurbo engine. In combination with six-speed manual transmission, Start/Stop, the 1.6 BiTurbo CDTi with 160PS can achieve up to 67.3mpg and emits as little as 112g/km of CO2.
Performance and power generation of the BiTurbo engine are comparable to that of a 2.0-litre engine. The top-of-the-range engine develops a maximum torque of 350Nm from just 1,500 rpm. The Astra Sports Tourer with the 1.6-litre BiTurbo can reach a top speed of 137mph. Its performance is almost identical to that of the 35PS more powerful and higher displacement 2.0-litre predecessor.
Based on an all-new lightweight vehicle architecture, the new Astra Sports Tourer has stepped forward in technical development. An uncompromising focus on mass reduction and compact design has delivered a lightweight chassis with driving dynamics finely honed in key areas such as suspension, brakes and steering. This has resulted in greater agility, better handling, improved responsiveness and enhanced ride comfort. In a nutshell, this new-generation estate is more engaging and fun to drive.
The uncompromising weight reduction of the new Astra Sports Tourer befits both agility and efficiency. The weight of the bodyshell alone was reduced by 85kg. Further chassis related measures helped to shed a further 50kg. Weight of the front and rear suspension was reduced, and high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels as well as more compact subframes were used. In the Astra Sports Tourer less weight does not mean less strength – the new body structure’s torsional rigidity has not been compromised and actually registers an increase, up from 18.6 to 19.0 kNm/degree. This solid structure ensures a firm foundation for optimising the new Astra’s handling and ride characteristics, as well as helping to attenuate the passage of noise and vibration into the cabin.
The latest generation of the Astra Sports Tourer will bring driver assistance systems and comfort features to the compact class. The Astra Sports Tourer features the full LED IntelliLux matrix light as well as the latest-generation front camera with enhanced capabilities and functionalities such as Collision Mitigation Braking and Collision Imminent Braking.
A comprehensive active and passive safety concept is the basis for outstanding protection in the new Astra Sports Tourer. The rigid passenger cell ensures the least possible deformation and the largest possible survival space in crash conditions. To accommodate the impact energy in case of a crash, the front, sides and rear of the passenger compartment are surrounded by energy absorption zones that deform in a controlled manner. The Sports Tourer comes equipped with an intelligent and dynamic lighting system, IntelliLux, that automatically and continuously adapts to the traffic situation while offering the maximum lighting capacity.
Occupants of the Astra Sports Tourer can enjoy outstanding connectivity thanks to Vauxhall OnStar. The infotainment offering includes two latest-generation devices of Vauxhall’s award-winning IntelliLink system, bringing the connected world of smartphones and apps into the car. One is alreadycompatible with the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop and Apple iOS 8 (or higher) smartphones, while the other will follow suit shortly. With the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, users can access maps, message reading and third-party apps (depending on the integration system) via the car controls and its large touchscreens (up to eight inches).
OnStar, launched in the summer of 2015, is one of the cutting-edge service and safety features available in the new Astra Sports Tourer. It turns the car into a powerful a 4G/LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, enabling up to seven devices to be connected to the car network. The built-in 4G LTE structure is integrated into the vehicle’s electrical system. As OnStar comprises an independent SIM card encapsulated in its module, customers are not required to have a smartphone to use connected services.
OnStar gives access to a broad portfolio of services such as emergency services, roadside assistance and remote control through the myVauxhall App. OnStar’s key principle is that subscribers are connected to real people. OnStar Advisors are located at the high-tech Vauxhall OnStar Contact Center in Luton. They are multilingual in order to be able to answer in the subscribers’ own languages and are available 24/7, 365 days a year.
RANGE, PRICING AND EQUIPMENT
Vauxhall’s all-new Astra Sports Tourer will be in showrooms in March priced from £16,585 on-the-road.
The new Sports Tourer, built at Vauxhall’s manufacturing plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, follows hot on the heels of the highly-acclaimed five-door model and is up to £1,870 less expensive than the outgoing ST with a simplified range. The new Astra Sports Tourer range includes Design, Tech Line, SRi and Elite, with Nav versions of the SRi and Elite trims also available.
Range highlights include the 1.0-litre three-cylinder Turbo Start/Stop ecoFLEX model priced from £17,285 on-the-road. With an Easytronic five-speed automatic transmission, the same model achieves an impressive 97g/km CO2 emissions. The range-topping 1.6-litre (200PS) is available in SRi trim priced from £21,725 on-the-road. The diesel offering includes the 1.6-litre ‘Whisper Diesel’ (110PS) Start/Stop ecoFLEX model (prices start at £18,785 on-the-road) that achieves 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 89g/km.