Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer in blue

Extended test: 2023 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer GS PHEV

Is it sporty? Is it good for families? And does it make more sense than a petrol or pure-electric Astra? Tina Milton finds out

More Info

Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer GS PHEV specifications

  • Model: Astra Sports Tourer GS, Plug In Hybrid 1.6 Turbo (180PS) 8-Speed Auto
  • OTR Price: £40,135
  • Price as tested (with options): £41,033
  • Colour: Cobalt Blue
  • Cost options fitted: Tri coat premium metallic paint £700; large dog mat £62.48; dog cage £133.51
  • Engine: 1.6-litres, 4-cylinder petrol engine plus 81kW electric motor
  • Transmission 8-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
  • Battery: 12.4kWh capacity with 3.7kW on-board charger
  • Max power : 178bhp @ 1,750rpm (combined)
  • Max torque: 265 lb ft @ 6,000 rpm (combined)
  • Electric-only range: Up to 42 miles (WLTP)*
  • Top speed 140mph
  • 0-62mph 7.7sec
  • Fuel consumption (WLTP): 256mpg**
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 23-24g/km
  • VED (road tax) £0 for first year; £155 thereafter
  • BIK tax payable (2022/23) 8%
  • Insurance group 27E
  • Gross weight: 2,170kg
  • Luggage capacity: 516 litres / 1,553 litres (seats up /down)

* Expect real world electric range to be less, especially in cold weather, on hill routes and when driven at high speeds. Read on for real world results.

** Achieving this official fuel consumption figure is unlikely in the real world, though depends greatly on individual use cases. Keeping the battery charged and using mainly electric power will result in a higher economy figure. It will also mean fewer in-use emissions.

Test details

  • Test period January – July 2024
  • Starting mileage 284 miles

Test updates

April 2, 2024: How great is the estate?

Estate cars are a fond part of my childhood. I remember them as huge vehicles that swallowed up the full family loot we used to take on summer holidays. Bags, suitcases, toys, you name it, the sturdy estate swallowed it all. Sometimes, when our extended family travelled with us, I became part of that loot, excited to sit in the boot with a rear-facing view. My Dad would meticulously pack every last centimetre of space with Jenga-like precision.

I was therefore delighted and intrigued to take on the Vauxhall Sports Tourer for an extended test, so I could reacquaint myself with the virtues of an estate car in a world that has become obsessed with SUVs. And as this version is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), there is a lot to explore and discover to see if it’s fit for modern family life.

First impressions are firmly positive and the car that rolled onto my driveway definitely exceeded my expectations of the Vauxhall brand. The Astra, which replaced the Viva in 1980, has been tweaked over many refreshes but its latest visual reboot is striking. The black stripe across the nose gives it a confident edge (although the badge is rather camouflaged), which is echoed by the black roof colouring. This detailing is accentuated by the striking Cobalt Blue metallic paint (a £700 option, I should add), which no doubt will stand out in a car park full of grey and silver crossovers.

Vauxhall has supplied me with the GS spec of the Astra Sports Tourer. This is technically the mid-spec version, and one up from the entry-level Astra Design, but is considered the sporty-looking option. At the top of the range is the appropriately-names Astra Ultimate.

The GS comes with plenty of luxuries, though, including dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control and an upgraded parking camera. All very welcome features that will no doubt add to the driving experience.

Estates appear to be a sub-group often overlooked by car buyers caught in loops of trading one SUV for another. A few savvy manufacturers have continued to invest in this space, though, realising there is still a market for them due to the practicality and space they afford, as well as the fuel efficiency benefits of not being a high-riding SUV.

The most direct competitors to the Astra Sports Tourer are the Seat Leon e-Hybrid Estate and Skoda Superb Estate (which is due as a PHEV soon). Both boast potential efficiency and value for money.

If you were to punt a little further upmarket, the BMW 3 Series Touring Plug-in Hybrid and Audi A6 Avant TFSI e both emerge as premium competitors. However, the perceived high end badges come with pricetags to match.

Taking the Astra Sports Tourer on this extended test also meant investigating the installation of a EV home chargebox, because unless you keep a PHEV’s battery topped up, you won’t get anywhere near the advertised fuel economy. Vauxhall has plenty of support and advice in this area and pointed me in the direction of Ohme, one of its electric vehicle partners and one of the UK’s fast-growing tech companies.

After navigating the Ohme site to see the choice available and answer some of my initial questions, I selected the Ohme ePod. This is Ohme’s most compact unit, which means it is less obtrusive in appearance on the front of my house. It’s also untethered, meaning the wire can be detached and stored separately, another way to minimise visual impact.

Ohme ePod electric vehicle wallbox charger

The installation process was relatively straight forward. An online questionnaire provided Ohme with all of the key information needed, such as ease of access to the mains power supply and its proximity to where the car is parked.

Interestingly, Ohme also asked what other high-powered electrical equipment the house might have running, no doubt to ensure the circuit isn’t overloaded when the car is plugged in. I think my husband’s dream of a hot tub might have to go on pause.

The installation took place via the helpful team at Pro EV. Our engineer did a very tidy job including all required drilling, plus he added in some trunking so the cabling was safely and neatly tucked away.

Ohme’s ePod retails from £949 (including install) and is pretty competitively priced from an online search of similar products. I also purchased an Ohme Type 2 to Type 2 (the plug type that has become the standard in Europe) single phase (as opposed to three phase, which can handle faster charges) five metre cable, which is a one-off cost of £169. While most hybrid or electric cars are supplied with cables, I wanted to ensure I have my own quality cable that is designed for use with our wallbox.

Tina Milton smiles from the driving seat of the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer PHEV.

So with home charger capability ticked off, I’m all set to give the Astra Sports Tourer a full extended test across a range of typical family activities. We have a few longer trips planned to help give it a thorough workout and I’m curious to see how the PHEV systems works across short, medium and longer driving distances.

  • Mileage this month 601 miles
  • Miles to date 601 miles
  • Average economy 134mpg

For more information on Ohme home chargers, visit

Have a question for Tina? Use the comments section below.

Related articles

Latest articles