What is it?
The Astra hatch is currently the UK's best seller in its class. Seems the range is more significant than perhaps we thought. And now, majoring on that UK dimension, Vauxhall launches the rather svelte Sports Tourer, the new name for what used to be called Estate.
What's it like?
It's built exclusively at Ellesmere Port as is the Opel version for export to Europe, and the transformation from hatch to estate car was a UK project.
The new body pressings went straight from computer to production tooling, with no physical prototypes in between. That's brave.
A falling upper window line, forward-leaning rear pillars and a wraparound rear window make the Sports Tourer appear sleeker than it is, but the reality is that there's more load space in here than in an Insignia estate, with a maximum load capacity of 1550 litres (versus 1530 litres). The tailgate aperture is bigger, too, thanks to non-intrusive hinges.
This is Vauxhall's practical load-carrier, with high-spec models' rear seat backrests foldable at the touch of an electric switch. That creates an upward slope at the front of the load bay, but you can make it fully flat by flipping the seat cushions forward first. There's a shallow storage area under the boot floor, with a movable aluminium divider. Cargo-carrying options include a moulded liner for the load bay and the FlexOrganiser, which uses rail-mounted nets and dividers to keep loads secure.