Firstly I need to clarify I am no motor head but what I am is a little obsessive about cars, before the birth of my first son cars never lasted more than 6 months with me and I took great joy in trying new cars at the drop of a hat.
Now I have far more commitments than back then and have a husband who can be more stringent on the purse strings than me, which is probably just for the best.
Our current cars have been great but with more and more costs now to keep them on the road we have been throwing around the idea of getting a new one but we would need to make sure it was 100% percent right for us.
The family car we normally drive for family days and travel as a family with is my old shape Vauxhall Zafira, which to be honest has worked like a dog over the years but with a UK holiday planned and a 5-year-old and baby in tow we were beginning to panic that we would have to load up the back seats between the kids, which we know could be a safety issue in an accident.
Needless to say we were really excited when the team at Vauxhall offered to loan us their new Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer to see what we thought about it and after checking out the boot space on-line I was even more excited!
The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is Vauxhalls new family sized mid range estate car that launched in March this year and comes in various engine sizes, however like I said although I love driving cars I am not a petrol head so the facts and figures do tend to go over my head, but fear not if you are looking for facts and figures about the car I have been test driving they are:
Max Power: 110PS @ 3500 rpm
Max Speed: 121 mph
0-60mph: 10.6 seconds
Fuel Tank Capacity: 48 litres
Rear Seats Up: 540 litres
Rear Seats Down: 1630 litres
Fuel Economy (MPG)
Urban Driving: 74.3
Extra Urban Driving: 91.1
Combined Figure: 83.1
Co2 Emissions (g/km): 89
The standard features on the vehicle include: 16-inch Alloys, rear spoiler, chrome effect upper window trim, black roof rails, comfort front seats, steering wheel audio controls, Navi 900 intelliLink system, Air Con, cruise control, multi function trip computer, electric windows,adjustable/heated door mirrors.
Using Packing The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
Before we actually got to do any driving the job on any holiday trip is to pack the car.
As I had said earlier this is normally the stage of the UK holiday that I start to hyperventilate and the stress levels start to rise but thankfully the holiday packing was a breeze,
With clothing for all 4 of us for a week, along with the essentials for a baby too it was great to get it all in the boot as opposed to packing in the kids like sardines. We were even able shut the boot cover too!
Ok so next on the list is fitting the car seats and for a parent that is always looking for the kids to travel as safely as possible I was really pleased the car had easy access to the isofix points for the car seats.
After the car seats were fitted it still felt fairly roomy inside the vehicle.
Before setting off it was great to not have to attach my sat nav as the system inside the care is super, it has a touch screen and can even be accessed on the steering wheel controls.
Its super easy to navigate and includes sat nav, audio link up, traffic warnings and phone connection amongst other things.
Driving The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer
The seats were super comfy and the height adjustment on the driver’s seat was great even for a 5ft er!
The 6 speed gear box was great to work going up the gears, although I am not sure if it’s just me but the 5th to 4th gear was a little bit niggly on the way back down, However this could totally be down to me and my driving.
Driving such a long distance really was for the first time in a very long time, fantastic, it was so smooth and the hill assisted breaks were an absolute god send on the tiny horrific lanes in Littlebeck near Whitby. Going up and down such high hills before would have had me on the edge of my seat but the Vauxhall Sports Tourer took them in its stride.
Another thing that I loved while driving was the start stop technology, the first few times it kicked in I literally had to look at the dashboard as I thought I had stalled it!
The only thing I really didn’t like about driving the vehicle was the handbrake, Its located in-between the front seats but predominantly more towards the driver’s seat and being a ‘big’ lady I felt like it was catching on my seat, although again this is just my personal opinion.
What I did absolutely love about the driving experience was the Vauxhall OnStar system that is installed above the windscreen. It’s a simple push button that you can press if you are in need of assistance with the headquarters based in the UK.
OnStar not only works as a Wi-Fi hotspot so you can connect your devices to it while you travel but the system also responds sending emergency services if the airbags deploy and the team at OnStar can’t connect with anyone in the car. The Wi-Fi and OnStar service is currently available free for the first 12 months as a trial period.
I downloaded the free app for the car and loved the fact the car can be located on the app and it also gives lots of information like below:
Another super handy feature is the ability to use the app to pop in a postcode and send it directly to the car even if you are not with it so the next time you start the car it asks you if you want to set your destination with it! … it was fantastic for last-minute organising once the kids were in bed!
As a family we were all really sad to see the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer go back, having accompanied us on holiday it really did feel like part of the family, it tackled sandy beach junk, down hill and up dale driving, pushchairs and holiday packing and all it took in its stride.
We personally LOVED the vehicle and the OnStar system was a total swinger for me, the knowledge that I am not alone when on the road was priceless.
As a package it has everything we would be looking for in a family car and it totally handled all aspects of our UK family holiday.
Disclaimer: This review is based on using this car for our family holiday and our thoughts based on that alone. All thoughts and opinions were independently formed by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse.