ESTATE MATE (some text hidden)
BY ANDY ENRIGHT
Introductionword count: 100
Although it's hardly the most exciting car on the market, Vauxhall's Astra Estate is a model that deserves recognition. In squaring away the fundamentals well, it offers a wagon that drives small but carries big. With 1,570 cubic litres of space in the back of the Astra Estate once the rear seats are folded down, this is no marginally useful niche player. The Astra Estate offers the sort of carrying capacity that a family of four seek but rarely find in a compact MPV and used examples are less than you might reasonably expect. Just don't expect an image car.
Modelsword count: 20
Models Covered: (5dr estate 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 turbo, 1.7, 1.9 diesel [SXi, Design, SRi, Expression, Life , Club, Elite])
Historyword count: 240
When the Astra Hatch was announced, Vauxhall made great play of the fact that they could design a sleek, sexy looking car without too much emphasis on overall practicality, due in no small part to the fact that they could rely on their more practical cars like the Zafira for the more family-friendly duties. Therefore, when they announced an estate version of the Hatch in late 2004, many jumped to the conclusion that it would be something of a half measure. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we should have seen this one coming. When Vauxhall announced the Vectra Estate, they used the stretched chassis of the Signum as a basis, this giving excellent load-lugging abilities and ample passenger room. They've adopted a similar tack with the Astra Estate, using a stretched version of the Astra Hatch chassis with another nine centimetres stitched into the car's wheelbase and longer rear overhangs to give a fairly spacious luggage compartment. Although rivals from Ford, Peugeot and Renault may be able to offer more in the way of total volume, the Vauxhall counters by dint of its sheer practicality. Early in 2007, the Astra Estate range was slightly revised, with some minor cosmetic visual changes. The main differences however came under the bonnet. The 1.6 TWINPORT petrol engine was uprated from 105 to 115PS, while the 170PS 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit was replaced by a new 180PS 1.6-litre turbocharged powerplant.
What You Getword count: 176
The load bay has straight side walls and storage areas below the floor and in either side, maximising the amount of genuinely useable space available. A stainless steel rim protects the conveniently low boot sill from scratches. The rear bench seat splits 60/40, although there is an option of a nattier 40/20/40 split system. Vauxhall's optional FlexOrganiser will also crop up on some used models. This system organises the rear loading space into separate compartments and now features horizontal side rails in anodised aluminium. An automatic levelling system, a trailer stability program and Hill Start Assist were all included on Vauxhall's long options list for this Astra Estate and the used buyer should check to see what non-standard items their model's got. Flat roof rails, which will also be familiar to Signum customers, are fitted as standard. Choose between black and silver. The estate's styling is integrated and sleek, the longer wheelbase giving it real presence. The rear light clusters are distinctive, with an angular three-dimensional look that clearly differentiates the rump of the Estate version.
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Category: Spacious Family Cars
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