The new Astra Sports Tourer will enter the UK market later this year priced at just £16,575, over £500 less than the current entry-level Astra Estate, yet incorporating a long list of additional standard kit.

Built in Britain at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, the Astra Sports Tourer range starts with the 1.4 (100PS) ES model, which gains an extra 10PS of power over the equivalent 1.4 Astra Estate. It also adds: air conditioning, curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESP), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB), an aux-in socket and Active Safety Front Head Restraints, all as standard.

Better still, the Sports Tourer’s premium over the 5-door hatch model starts from just £995, for which customers benefit from a larger cargo area (500* versus 470 litres, with rear seats up), despite retaining the same wheelbase as the new hatch.

Diesel pricing is equally aggressive, with the entry-level 110PS 1.7 CDTi ES Sports Tourer costing less than the outgoing 90PS 1.3 CDTi Astra Estate Life, yet packing more power and benefiting from sub-120g/km CO2emissions.

The Sports Tourer range comprises four trim levels: ES, Exclusiv, SE and SRi, but adds a variety of standard and optional equipment, including FlexFold, which allows each section of the 60:40 split-fold rear seatbacks to be lowered at the press of a button housed in the walls of the cargo compartment.

Joining the new Astra range, which has now sold over 30,000 units in the UK since it was launched at the end of last year, the Sports Tourer is likely to account for approximately 10 per cent of all sales. Illustrating the depth of Vauxhall’s engineering and manufacturing excellence, the Sports Tourer will be assembled solely at its Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, while its upper-body structure has been 100 per cent engineered at Vauxhall Engineering Centre in Bedfordshire.