He Astra Sports Tourer maintains the hatch's wheelbase (2685 mm), yet its smart packaging has allowed the maximum load length to be increased by 28 mm to 1835 mm, and its load volume by 30 litres to 500 litres with the rear seats up.
As well as boasting a cargo area with flat wall linings to fully optimise available space, a new FlexFold feature (standard or optional depending on trim level) allows each section of the 60:40 split-fold rear seatbacks to be lowered at the press of a button housed in the walls of the cargo compartment. In addition, with the rear seat cushions folded up against the front seat-backs, the Sports Tourer has a completely flat load floor and a maximum load capacity of up to 1550 litres.
Compared with the current Astra estate, the Sports Tourer has an additional 25 litres of storage space in the cabin, 50 per cent more than before. And like its hatch sibling, the Sports Tourer also benefits from the option of Vauxhall's Ergonomic Sports Seats, providing front occupants with best-in-class comfort.
The Astra Sports Tourer will also adopt the option of Intelligent Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), which has eight different bi-xenon settings and automatically adapts the headlights according to weather and road conditions.
From launch, Astra Sports Tourer buyers will have a choice of six engines, with a start/stop-equipped ecoFLEX model available soon afterwards.
The petrol line-up starts with the 100 PS 1.4i ECOTEC-4 with variable valve timing and sequential fuel injection, while a 1.6i ECOTEC-4 with 115 PS is also available. The Sports Tourer's most powerful petrol engine will be the 1.4i Turbo which produces 140 PS, yet achieves a combined fuel consumption of 45.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of 145 g/km.
A new ecoFLEX model will be available soon after launch and will be one of the first Vauxhall models to get start/stop technology. Based on the 1.3 CDTi 95PS engine, the ecoFLEX features a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and variable geometry turbocharger.
Two 1.7-litre CDTis, with either 110 or 125 PS, and a 160 PS 2.0 CDTi, which combines high performance with 55. 4mpg combined economy and emissions of just 134g/km, complete the Sports Tourer's diesel engine range (note that all figures quoted are provisional).
Carried over is the hatch's compound crank/Watt's link rear suspension. For the Sports Tourer, the compound crank's settings have been revised, as have damper calibrations, to cater for the model's higher load capabilities without compromising the hatch's dynamics. Vauxhall has also carried over the steering settings from the hatch, which are bespoke to all new UK Astras.
FlexRide, Vauxhall's adaptive suspension system, is also available as an option on the Sports Tourer. The system continuously adapts to changes in driving style and cornering speed. In Standard mode, FlexRide offers the whole bandwidth of settings available and adjusts to suit the driver's behaviour. In Tour mode, damper settings are relaxed to optimise ride quality, while in Sport mode, throttle and steering responses are sharpened, in addition to the adoption of stiffer damper settings.
For customers who tow, the Sports Tourer will be available with Vauxhall's electronic Trailer Stability Assist system, which subtly brakes individual wheels to maintain control of the trailer/caravan in emergency situations.