27 May 2004

Vauxhall has released full details of the new Astra estate, after unveiling it at last week’s Madrid motor show. When it appears at dealerships on 1 November, Luton’s Astra wagon will offer a neat interpretation of the hatchback’s chiselled styling, up to 1570-litres of boot capacity and a choice of eight engines.

Running on the same underpinnings as its seven-seater Zafira, the Astra Estate has a 2700mm wheelbase – 86mm longer than the hatchback – and the body is completely new from the B-pillar back. Combined with the increased luggage capacity and rear legroom, that makes this new Vauxhall among the most commodious car in the range.

With the rear seats in place there are 505 litres of boot space, and capacity can be increased up to a 1570-litre maximum. Although well short of the Peugeot 307’s 1800-litre max, Vauxhall is hoping the flexibility of the FlexOrganiser storage system will swing the balance in its favour.

Power choices will be identical to the hatch: 90bhp 1.4-, 105bhp 1.6-, 125bhp 1.8- and 170bhp 2.0-litre turbo engines on the petrol side, plus new 80bhp and 100bhp 1.7- and 120bhp and 150bhp 1.9-litre Euro4 diesels. Adaptive suspension featuring continuous damping control is an option, as with the hatch.

Sales begin this winter, with prices expected to start below £13,000.

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