The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer will trump the load space of rivals from Ford and Volkswagen when it goes on sale in the autumn.
The wagon's revised bodyshell, styled by Mark Adams' design team and equipped with the same 'blades' in its flanks as the regular Astra, has been engineered at Vauxhall's R&D base in Bedfordshire, and the car will be built solely at Ellesmere Port.
The new estate shares its wheelbase with the five-door, but the maximum load length grows 28mm, to 1835mm, and the boot space is up 30 litres, to 500 litres with the rear seats up. The seats can be folded flat to give 1550 litres of space; that¹s more than the Golf estate or Focus estate.
The engine line-up will feature three petrols and three diesels. The petrols will be a 99bhp 1.4, a 113bhp 1.6 and a 138bhp 1.4-litre turbo that returns 45.6mpg and emits 145g/km of CO2.
The diesels will be 1.7-litre units offering 108bhp or 123bhp, and a 2.0 with 158bhp. An Ecoflex variant will follow; it will have a 1.3-litre, 94bhp diesel with a variable-geometry turbo and stop-start.
The interior is likely to follow the regular five-door's, with a 'wing-shaped' fascia and ambient lighting. The cabin is said to have 75 litres of storage, an increase of 50 per cent over the old car's.
The chassis set-up will be similar to the hatchback's; the front and rear tracks are unchanged, and the Watt's link rear suspension is retained. The dampers have been revised, though, to cope with heftier loads.
The Sports Tourer will be available to order from October; first deliveries are expected before the end of this year.