This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Although not exactly its forte, there's a lot to say about Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer performance. A choice of seven engines are available on the Astra Sports Tourer. The petrol line-up starts with the 98bhp 1.4i ECOTEC-4, while a 1.6i ECOTEC-4 with 113bhp is also available. The Sports Tourer’s most powerful petrol engine is the smooth and punchy 1.4i Turbo which produces 138bhp, yet it has a green conscience as it achieves a combined fuel consumption of 46.3mpg and C02 emissions of 144g/km.

The ecoFLEX model is one of the first Vauxhall models to get stop/start technology. Based on the 1.3 CDTi 93bhp engine, the ecoFLEX also features a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to boost fuel economy and keep emissions low. There are also two 1.7-litre CDTi versions, with either 108 or 123bhp, and completing the Sports Tourer range is the 157bhp 2.0 CDTi, which combines high performance with 55.4mpg combined economy and emissions of just 134g/km.

It has a top speed of 133mph and can get from zero to 62mph in 9.0 seconds. All engines come with a smooth shifting five- or six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed auto 'box.

The Astra Sports Tourer is good to drive and, like the hatchback, the dynamics are far superior to those on the previous-generation Astra. The wheelbase remains identical to the hatch giving the engineers a good chassis to work with. However, as far as driveability is concerned it is still some way short of the handling and poise on the Ford Focus Estate.

Even though it isn’t class-leading on the road it is fun to drive especially the SRi trim models (that get lower and uprated suspension) and those with the more powerful engines. There is a little body roll when cornering but the steering is quick and there's enough grip to give you confidence when driving on tricky roads.