While estates are few and far between in the United States, Europe is a dream for estate fans. Many compact and midsize models offer a long-roof version on the Old Continent, and there are even smaller ones such as the Skoda Fabia Combi and Lada Granta SW competing in the B-segment. The Vauxhall Astra has been offering an estate derivative since 1992, and now it's about to switch to the L generation.
Having seen the compact hatchback in July, we don't need a crystal ball to imagine how the Astra Sports Tourer is going to look. A new rendering from Kolesa digitally removes the camouflage from the spy shots we shared at the beginning of the month, images you might've missed since the IAA Munich was in full swing at that time. In addition, our spies have returned with a fresh batch of shots depicting a prototype with a disguised rear end.
The new Vauxhall Astra looks just as stylish as an estate, and dare we say, the design is a bit cleaner compared to the mechanically related Peugeot 308 SW, which some have criticised for having a rather busy design. It's all a matter of taste at the end of the day as there are no right or wrong answers, it all depends on personal preferences.
Being an estate, it's all about the cargo capacity. In the case of its French cousin, the 308 hatchback's 412 litres grows to 608 litres for the estate. The Astra hatch has a slightly more spacious cargo compartment that can accommodate 422 litres, so we're expecting the Sports Tourer to one-up the 308 SW's load volume. That said, it will likely fall short of the segment leader, the new Dacia Jogger with its cavernous 708 litres with the rear seats in place.
Gallery: Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Spy Photos
Going on sale in Europe next month, the Astra hatchback will no longer be produced in Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port in Cheshire but made in Germany and is likely to be followed shortly by the estate. Both body styles will come with a choice of petrol and diesel engines to mirror the Peugeot 308, plus a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the first time ever in an Astra.
Considering hotter versions of the 308 have already been ruled out, meaning no GTi or Peugeot Sport Engineered hot hatch, we wouldn't hold our breath for an Astra GSi, let alone an OPC model. Those looking for sportier compact cars, even in estate guise, can look at what the VW Group offers, with models such as the Octavia Combi RS, VW Golf R Variant, and the Cupra Leon Sportstourer.