Motoring: Opel newcomer looks to a real Tourer-bred
The difference major investment makes is clear to see when you look at the growth of new Opel models.
Until the PSA Group took over the German brand, Opel had stagnated in terms of producing new vehicles. Just after the Paris-based PSA takeover, a new Corsa was launched here in February 2020 in both petrol and electric formats, then we got a petrol Mokka and the electric Mokka-e - SUVs that were recently awarded Top Gear’s 2021 ‘Design of the Year’.
A new Crossland followed, and it was announced that a new Grandland and Astra would shortly be in Opel showrooms. Cars aside, Opel has also focused on the commercial side of things with the new Combo, Vivaro and Morano van models.
The latest news is that a new Opel Astra Sports Tourer will follow the hatchback launch and it will be on dealer forecourts next summer.
The sleek and practical newcomer will be available with plug-in hybrid electric drives, making it the German carmaker's first electrified estate. The new Sports Tourer also continues Opel's successful tradition of compact estates, which began almost 60 years ago with the Kadett Caravan, the first such car in this class from a German brand.
In addition to electric drive, the latest Astra Sports Tourer will be available with petrol and diesel engines. Power ranges from 110hp to 130hp with the petrol and diesel variants and up to 225hp with the electric plug-in hybrid models.
A six-speed gearbox is standard with the petrol and diesel power units, with an eight-speed automatic transmission (electrified on the plug-in hybrids) optional with the more powerful engines.
A length of 4.64m, width of 1.86m and height of 1.48m, together with a loading height of around 600mm, gives the Tourer’s boot 608 litres of storage space with the rear seatbacks upright, and up to 1,634 litres when folded.
When the 40:20:40 split rear seatbacks are folded down, the floor is completely flat. Even with their underfloor lithium-ion batteries, the plug-in hybrid variants still offer cargo volumes of 548 litres and 1,574 litres, respectively.
The boot volume of combustion engine variants is optimised with an optional ‘Intelli-Space’ moveable load floor which, it’s claimed, can be easily adjusted with only one hand to high or low positions. An optional tailgate opens and closes automatically with a simple movement of the foot under the rear bumper.
The Astra Tourer is Opel's first estate to bring to life the brand's bold design philosophy in the form of the new Opel Vizor face, a design feature that undoubtedly helped the Mokka win the Top Gear’s ‘Design of the Year’ award.
The interior design also looks to have taken a big step forward. The fully digital panel operation is via an extra-wide touchscreen, just like a smartphone. Important settings such as climate control can still be selected directly via a few switches.
The new generation of multimedia infotainment and connectivity systems can be connected to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via compatible smartphones.
The new Opel also makes a clear statement with the technologies it brings to the sector for compact estates. The latest version of the adaptive, glare-free Intelli-Lux LED Pixel light system comes directly from Opel’s flagship Insignia and Grandland models, with 168 LED elements.
Drivers receive additional support from optional state-of-the-art assistance systems such as the Intelli-HUD head-up display and Intelli-Drive 2.0 hands-off detection on the steering wheel ensures that drivers remain engaged at all times.
Developed in-house, the front seats of the new Astra Sports Tourer are certified by Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (AGR) – the German Campaign for Healthier Backs. The ultra-ergonomic seats are said to be the best the compact class has to offer.
Featuring a wide range of optional adjustments, from electric tilt to electro-pneumatic lumbar support, in Nappa leather they even offer ventilation and massage for the driver, and heating at the rear as well as the front.