I suppose, for the person to whom this would appeal, it is a big deal that you’d look more like a company man than a minicab driver

‘Sports-style front seats,” brags the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer. “Chrome-effect upper window trim.” It is the smallness of the boasts that makes them sound so Alan Partridge, that and the fact the seats aren’t sports style in any meaningful sense; and if they were, they would look radically dissonant against the car itself, which is about as sporty as a flesh-coloured surgical truss.

The emerald green of mine is the kind of colour that conveys status to people who play golf. Elaborate alarm systems complain constantly about factors over which you, as driver, have no control; a person walking behind you in stationary traffic will unleash the beeping of imminent catastrophe; parking is like an atonal symphony. Visibility isn’t great, owing to the rather thick and overcautious window pillars, and there is a fragrance diffuser, upon request – the very endpoint of middle-management fussiness, like having a fan on your underpants.

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Read more at Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.6CDTi car review – ‘Like a surprisingly fast donkey’

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