Driving report: Opel Astra Sports Tourer 1.5 Diesel: More than economical

Years ago they were very popular in the compact class or in the mid-range models.

Driving report: Opel Astra Sports Tourer 1.5 Diesel: More than economical

Years ago they were very popular in the compact class or in the mid-range models. Today, the diesel versions, if they still exist in the range at all, are parked on the fringes of the respective engine portfolio. Opel makes no exception with its Astra. While the proportion of self-igniters was once more than half of all models ordered, currently hardly more than ten percent of compact class vehicles are sold with a diesel drive. The proportion is likely to decrease from next year when the Stellantis brand with the lightning bolt on the radiator grille completes the Opel Astra range with an electric version. But especially with the station wagon version of the Astra Sports Tourer, you shouldn't steer clear of the diesel version, because the economical common rail diesel is a good solution when it comes to long distances and efficient endurance running.

The stately 4.64 meter long Opel Astra Sports Tourer is offered as a diesel only in a 1.5 liter four-cylinder version with 96 kW / 130 hp and 300 Nm from 1,750 rpm. No wonder in terms of torque and driving performance, but an interesting alternative, especially for fleet customers and fathers who travel long distances with a compact class model. Opel specifies the standard consumption as 4.9 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. So the Sports Tourer doesn't turn into a glutton when things go faster on the freeway. The front-wheel drive achieves a maximum of 208 km/h; is from zero to 100 km/h in eleven seconds. What I like is the comfortable suspension tuning and proper steering. This could not only be a bit more direct in the selectable sport mode in order to be able to give even more feedback from the road. Someone like its smaller brother, the Corsa, can do that better. Anyone who demands more dynamic sportiness from springs and dampers in the Opel Astra Sports Tourer may generally be right - but forget that this is a family station wagon and comfort plays an important role here alongside variability. Once again, the Astra ST is a load master, which with 96 kW / 130 hp is solid but never sporty motorized. The noise level of the 1.5-liter common rail diesel could also be lower in view of the built-in insulating glass at the front.

In terms of standard equipment, the Business Elegance equipment variant is the absolute minimum. In addition to LED headlights, it also offers heated comfort seats / windscreen, eight-speed automatic transmission, aluminum rims, sound system and various safety equipment. However, the standard 16-inch model seems too narrow and so it should be the 18 or at least 17-inch model that the Rüsselsheim-based company is using. For a base price of 34,100 euros, there is also a more than decent amount of space. At the front, the well-contoured seats, the non-slip leather steering wheel and the easy-to-read digital instruments, which could be a bit larger, please. Thanks to the 2.73 meter long wheelbase, at least two people can sit comfortably in the rear; for a third person there is a little less internal width due to the class. The trunk volume is more lavish than ever, with the Opel Astra Sports Tourer 1.5 Diesel having 597 liters, which is 81 liters more than the plug-in hybrid. If you fold down the backrests of the rear seat, the capacity increases to 1,634 liters and under the loading area there is hidden storage space and a storage option for the luggage blind. Depending on your driving profile, simply consider whether the Opel Astra Sports Tourer as a 1.5-liter diesel might not be an interesting choice. Who knows how long such drives will be around, especially in the compact class.