Vauxhall unveils latest Astra Sports Tourer with a bold promise of perhaps its most comfortable ride ever, says RAY MASSEY

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Vauxhall has unveiled a new version of its popular family property with the bold promise of the most comfortable ride ever.

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The ergonomically designed front seats of the stylish new Astra Sports Tourer are certified by Germany’s Campaign for Healthy Backs, providing optimum comfort and support, vital for long trips.

The new Family Load-Lugger will be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain from launch, making it Vauxhall’s first ‘electrified’ estate.

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Accessory: The new Astra Sports Tourer features ergonomically designed seats

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To ensure versatile performance, the boot offers up to 608 liters of space with the rear seats folded down, and up to 1,634 liters when folded flat.

An underfloor lithium-ion battery reduces this to 548 liters and 1,574 liters in the plug-in hybrid.

The petrol and diesel variants can be specified with an optional movable load floor ‘IntelliSpace’, which can be set as high and low positions and can be tilted at 45 degrees.

The rear tailgate has a convenient 600 mm loading height.

At launch the 225 hp plug-in hybrid is expected to combine a 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a 12kW battery set-up as well as an eight-speed automatic gearbox – and will cost around £34,000.

A 1.2 liter 3 cylinder turbo petrol priced at £24,000 and a 1.5 liter turbo diesel is also expected in the power range from 110hp to 130hp with a six-speed gearbox as standard.

The sharp futuristic ‘face’ is what Vauxhall calls its visor design, which also houses LED headlights and a front camera.

Inside is a ‘digital cockpit’ with 10 in the driver’s instrument cluster and 10 in the digital touchscreen.

Open the order book in February with accurate pricing and specifications for early summer delivery. A pure electric variant is expected to follow.

Will it fit in my garage? New Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

open command: February

first delivery: start of summer 2022

cost: From £24,000 (PHEV from £34,000). TBC

Make: Russellsheim, Germany.

Length: 4,642 mm

Width: 1,860 mm

Height: 1,480 mm

Powertrain: Petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

PHEV: 225 horse-power (HP) plug-in hybrid version featuring a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 12.kW battery set-up

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard – price from around £33,000.

petrol: 1.2L 3Cylinder Turbo Petrol (110HP to 130HP) TBC

diesel: 1.5L Turbo-Diesel (130HP) TBC

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox standard.

Rear Cargo Space: Rear Seat: 608 L (PHEV: 548 L)

Folded Flat: 1,634 liters (PHEV: 1,574 liters)

Loading Height: 600 mm

Number: 60 mm shorter than the previous generation

57mm long wheelbase

Vauxhall has committed to selling only fully electric vehicles by 2028. Its British factories in Ellesmere Port and Luton produced 120,000 vehicles in 2019, accounting for 7.5 percent of the UK market.

Important settings like climate control can still be selected directly via physical switches.

Notes Vauxhall: ‘For even greater convenience, the retractable boot storage cover can be placed when the moveable floor is in the upper as well as the lower position.’

This can make life easier even in the event of a flat tire as tire repair kits and first aid are stored in underfloor compartments accessible from the boot or rear passenger seating area: ‘this means the kit has to be fully loaded. way open boot can be reached without the need.’

It also offers smartphone connectivity, including wireless Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto as standard.

Although slightly shorter than the previous generation Astra Tourer, the wheelbase is slightly longer, thanks to the shorter front overhang.

Although Vauxhall is a British brand, Astra is made in Russellsheim, Germany, where its sister brand Opel is home.

In July, Stelantis announced a £100 million investment in Vauxhall’s Elsmere Port manufacturing plant to transform the site for a new era in electric vehicle manufacturing.

Ellesmere Port will become the first Stellantis plant to produce fully battery-electric models in both commercial and passenger versions, by the end of next year, including the Combo-E and Combo-E Life, for both the domestic and export markets.

The Luton plant continues to manufacture Vivaro and Vivaro Life for Vauxhall, as well as vehicles for its Stelantis sister brands, including Citron and Peugeot.

Road Atlas Still King

Satnav is ok to go from A to B. But nothing beats a traditional road atlas to give you an idea of ​​where you are.

Still, although two-thirds of drivers have one, most aren’t updating them often enough to keep up with the changing travel infrastructure, a new AA survey says.

On the right track: A survey of more than 15,000 drivers shows that nearly one in five admitted they never updated their Atlas

On the right track: A survey of more than 15,000 drivers shows that nearly one in five admit they have never updated their Atlas

A survey of more than 15,000 drivers shows that almost one in five admitted they never updated their Atlas – and more than one in ten took more than five years to buy a new version. Seems like.

Only 1 in 14 renews their atlas every year, as recommended by the AA. AA said its 2022 range has been relaunched, with around 500,000 copies now sold as UK drivers return to the roads for post-lockdown travel and stays.

AA president Edmund King says: ‘Many satnavs try to get you back on a blocked road, while atlases can show you alternative routes.’

Peugeot hoists the flag for the power of petrol

Electric cars dominate the spectacular seven finalists for this year’s European Car of the Year – a lone lucky Peugeot flying the flag for petrol power.

There are six battery-powered zero-emissions finalists: the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Korea’s Kia EV6 and its sibling the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the Skoda Enyaq iV, all on sale in the UK, as well as Spain’s sporty Cupra Born hot-hatch. and the Renault Megane e-Tech, both of which come out next year.

Fast forward: electric cars dominate the spectacular seven finalists for this year's European Car of the Year

Fast Forward: Electric Cars…

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