Last year’s class champion is still one of the best cars in this division. On towing ability, it’s a match for the Passat Estate, with exceptional stability at speed and composed performance in the lane-change test.
There’s no shortage of poke. The 158bhp engine pulls car and caravan from 30-60mph in 12.2 seconds. A little more pull from very low revs wouldn’t go amiss, though. The push-button parking brake held the outfit on the 1-in-6 test hill, and the Astra pulled up the slope easily in first gear and reverse.
The boot was far too small to cope with our holiday luggage. However, the compact spare wheel may be used when towing.