Although the Astra has been around for a couple of years, we had an opportunity during the recent SMMT Test Day at Millbrook to try the latest 1.6 litre diesel unit, dubbed the “whisper diesel” by the manufacturer. In truth, whilst noise levels at idle and cruising were muted, under acceleration there was a pronounced diesel “boom”.
Dynamically, the car felt a little disappointing, with acceleration fairly leisurely despite the claimed respectable 320Nm torque. The steering felt a little heavier than expected, with the manual gearshift being a little rubbery and lacking in precision. Releasing the handbrake identified an unexpected finger trap against the gearshift, an issue Vauxhalls ergonomics experts really should have spotted and eliminated before launch.
In Tech Line trim, the Sports Tourer includes a number of useful features, such as sat-nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth, and is reasonably competitively priced at £20,525 on the road.
Not as good to drive as, say, a Golf
Feels like a bit more development would not go amiss