Stellantis, the world's fourth-largest car manufacturer, dethroned the mighty Volkswagen Group last month in Europe to grab the sales crown. With new products on the horizon, the automotive conglomerate with 14 brands under its corporate umbrella is looking to keep its sales crown in the coming months.
After the unveiling of the Peugeot 308 hatch and its equivalent Vauxhall Astra, the 308 SW is spawning a German counterpart as the Astra Sports Tourer.
It looks exactly as we expected, but a predictable design isn't always a bad thing. The long-roof Astra inherits the sharp appearance of the hatch while lengthening the rear overhang to increase the cargo capacity. Vauxhall says the luggage compartment can swallow 608 litres (21.5 cubic feet) with the rear seats in place, and if you fold them down, the capacity grows to 1,634 litres (57.7 cu ft). Unsurprisingly, the 308 estate has the exact same figures.
Go for the plug-in hybrid and practicality takes a hit due to the batteries installed in the underbody, with the luggage volume dropping to 548 or 1,574 litres (19.3 to 55.5 cu ft) with the rear seats up or down, respectively. Even the base Astra Sports Tourer comes with folding rear seats with a 40:20:40 configuration to create an entirely flat surface.
Stick with a conventional powertrain and you get an adjustable floor with two heights to choose from. Opening the electric tailgate is as easy as pie thanks to a handsfree operation by moving your foot underneath the rear bumper. The new estate comes with a retractable load compartment cover for extra privacy and can be stowed underneath the floor regardless of its position.
Other than the more spacious cargo area, the Sports Tourer is the same as the five-door hatchback we saw in July. From matrix LED headlights and a head-up display to a fully digital instrument cluster and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for the infotainment system, the Sports Tourer is loaded with tech.
Needless to say, the engine lineup mirrors that of the hatchback. We're talking about a turbocharged, three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol unit with 108 bhp and 205 Newton-metres (151 pound-feet) of torque or a higher state of tune with 128 bhp and 230 Nm (170 lb-ft). A four-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbodiesel is rated at 128 bhp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft).
Alternatively, you'll be able to opt for the hatchback's PHEV setup with an electrified 1.6-litre turbo engine for a total output of 178 bhp and 360 Nm (266 lb-ft). The plug-in hybrid will be available upon launch and will be followed by a more potent setup with 221 bhp on tap. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with the more powerful versions – including the PHEVs – featuring an eight-speed automatic.
A fully electric Peugeot 308 is apparently in the pipeline for 2023, and if the report is accurate, logic tells us an Astra without a combustion engine will be a matter of when rather than if.