Vauxhall has slid the covers off the new Astra Sports Tourer – a mini-me, shrunken Insignia estate for less money. The two share plenty of character and were both penned under GM Europe’s design boss, Mark Adams.
Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer: the lowdown
The new 2010 Astra estate puts the ultimate accent on cool looks over practicality, and its vital stats suggest it’s a bit of a slouch in the sofa-shifting game. The 2685mm wheelbase is identical to the hatchback’s, so the boot space stands at 500 litres, only 30 litres more than the hatch with the seats up.
FlexFold (optional on lower models) lets you flop each 60:40 split rear seat down at the press of a button; stow all the rear seats flat and boot space soars to a more acceptable 1550 litres. While we’re scrutinising the figures, GM says there’s half as much stowage space inside the cabin, with an additional 25 litres of cubbies and boxes for family clobber. Plenty of scope for losing your house keys and pound coins, then.
Astra estate: the engine room
The Astra Sports Tourer comes with a choice of six engines and this marks the adoption of start-stop on the Astra. The starter engine is a 99bhp 1.4i, although diesels will probably prove more popular – choose from a pair of 1.7s or a 158bhp 2.0 CDTi, bringing 55mpg and 134g/km of CO2.
How’s the Astra selling?
Very well in the UK, says Vauxhall. It’s sold more than 28,000 Astra hatchbacks since launch in December 2009 – and GM types are quick to point out that they’re not all rental specials. The Astra is Britain’s best-selling retail car range in the first five months of 2010. That’s seriously impressive: well done, Vauxhall.
The new Astra wagon will arrive in UK showrooms in late 2010, after a Paris motor show launch in September. GM says the Astra Sports Tourer will be built exclusively at Ellesmere Port and its new upper-body structure was in fact 100% engineered at the UK’s Vauxhall Engineering Centre in Bedfordshire.