It’s true that the station wagon segment has experienced a decline in the wake of the booming popularity of crossovers. There aren’t that many wagons on the streets these days. But there are some brands that have resisted in participating in this exodus. One of them is Opel, which will be launching the new Astra Sports Tourer at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Based on the fifth-generation 2016 Opel Astra hatchback that, oddly enough, will also make its debut at Frankfurt 2015, the Astra Sports Tourer is the latest evolution of the Astra’s station wagon variant that sprung to life back in 1991, coinciding with the creation of the Astra hatchback. That kind of longevity may be surprising for a station wagon these days, but the Astra Sports Tourer is different, largely because Opel heavily relies on its enduring popularity and its reputation as one of the best wagons in the market today. Make no mistake, the Astra Sports Tourer is a hot ticket for Opel, accounting for about 30 percent of Astra sales throughout Europe. That figure includes all other variants, including the hatchback.

If everything goes according to Opel’s plan, the new Astra Sports Tourer will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and remain one of the go-to models in the wagon segment. Based on what’s been revealed about it, the German automaker has every reason to be confident.

Continue reading for my review of the Opel Astra Sports Tourer.

Exterior

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2017 Opel Astra Sports Tourer High Resolution Exterior
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The Opel Astra hatchback introduced the model’s adoption of Opel’s new ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’ design philosophy and as expected, the Astra Sports Tourer has followed suit.

The front profile of the Astra Sports Tourer is where you'll find most of the prominent design changes.

The new Astra Sports Tourer shares the same dimensions — 185.11 x 73.66 x 59.01 inches — as the outgoing model, but the new model is actually 287 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The dramatic weight cut is attributed to the use of a lightweight body shell and modifications made to the front and rear axles.

The front profile of the Astra Sports Tourer is where you’ll find most of the prominent design changes. Just like the hatchback, the wagon version prominently features Opel’s new grille design, particularly the double chrome bars that extend from one headlight to the other, interrupted only by the presence of the automaker’s unmistakable “Blitz” logo.

The LED headlights are also new, leaving behind the sleepy-eyed look of the outgoing model and replacing it with a more evocative and purposeful one. Just below the headlights are the fog lights that are wrapped around integrated fins in the lower grille.

Move to the side and it’s impossible to not notice the long and sharply creased shoulder line that starts just under the A-pillar and moves through the door handles and to the taillights. The Astra Tourer’s rear section also has its share of changes. One of the most important is the key-less tailgate, a new system that allows the tailgate to be opened or closed by simply doing a small kicking motion under the rear bumper. It’s the first time the Astra Sports Tourer will use this kind of technology.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,702 MM (185.11 Inches)
Width 1,871 MM (73.66 Inches)
Height 1,499 MM (59.01 Inches)

Interior

2016 Opel Astra Interior
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The interior of the Astra Sports Tourer also takes its cues from the Astra hatchback. The layout is the same, right down to the center console that now looks far more appealing than the outgoing version. Many of the controls that dominated that space before have been dropped in favor of a cleaner and more identifiable layout. There’s also a larger digital display that now sits comfortably on the surface, a far better than the previous one that was seemingly hiding in a tunnel. The three-spoke steering wheel also looks a lot more aesthetically pleasing now. Opel even added a brushed-metal material on one of the spokes, giving it a more refined look.

Space is also not an issue inside the Astra Sports Tourer, thanks to an extra 1.02 inches of headroom for the driver and 1.1 inches of legroom for passengers in the rear. The cabin can also accommodate 57.6 cubic feet of cargo space in a standard layout, although optional 40/20/40 foldable rear seats can increase that volume. A FlexOrganizer option that includes side rails, dividing nets, and fastening tools should be useful for stowing cargo.

Drivetrain

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The Opel Astra Sports Tourer benefits from the same batch of new Ecotec engines the Astra hatchback received. These include a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 95 horsepower, and a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder unit that pumps out 200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. While it won’t be evident on any technical spec sheet, these new engines have been optimized by Opel engineers to provide a smooth ride over the engine speed range while also reducing noise levels.

Opel has not mentioned whether the new Astra Sports Tourer will get a new transmission. The previous Astra Sports Tourer was fitted with either a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic. Performance models have been kept under wraps, but with the new and improved engines, the new range-topping Astra Sports Tourer should eclipse the outgoing model’s 0-to-60-mph time of 8.8 seconds and top speed of 137 mph.

Prices

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Pricing details have yet to be revealed, although the numbers should be similar to the prices of the outgoing 2011 Opel Astra Sports Tourer. The base S trim cost €20,695, which is about $23,400 based on current exchange rates. From there, the price went up to as high as €25,295 ($28,550) for the range-topping Elite trim.

These numbers don’t come with any extras so if you’re looking to add any of the multitude of options Opel has available for the new Astra Sports Tourer, expect the resulting price tag to be north of $30,000.

Safety

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Safety features can be found all over the Astra Sports Tourer. Arguably the most prominent of these features is the IntelliLux LED matrix lights. These automatically shift beam length and light distribution by cutting off individual LED lights. The IntelliLux system ensures that oncoming cars aren’t directly bothered by the glare of these lights, while still keeping the road ahead illuminated for the driver.

This new lighting system works hand-in-hand with the less conspicuous but no less important Opel Eye front camera. The camera is mounted in the socket of the interior mirror and it acts as the brain of the car’s safety features, overseeing the car and its surroundings and determining when a specific action needs to be taken. In addition to the IntelliLux LED matrix lighting system, the Opel Eye also works with the Astra Sports Tourer’s Traffic Sign Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Alert safety systems.

Competition

2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen

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The Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen is considered one of the few viable competitors to the Opel Astra Sports Tourer. Just like the Opel wagon, the Golf Sportwagen leans heavily on its hatchback counterpart, blending the sporty qualities of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf, the performance credentials of the Golf’s R division, and the utility of a wagon.

That kind of combination is rare in this market, but the Golf Sportwagen checks all three boxes. Sure, it’s a little over six inches shorter than the Astra Sports Tourer, but it still has enough interior space to comfortably fit an entire family and still have adequate cargo space.

The Golf Sportwagen has two available engines: a 1.8-liter turbocharged gas engine that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.0-liter common-rail diesel that pumps out 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing is right around the same for both models, at around $22,000 for the entry-level trims and close to $30,000 for the range-topping versions.

You can read our full review here.

Conclusion

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By virtue of being a station wagon, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer is unlikely to get the same amount of shine as some of the crossovers hitting the market these days. That’s a shame because the Astra wagon is actually pretty interesting.

The new exterior design gives it a fresh and modern look. It also has a cozy and spacious cabin, decent engine options, and most importantly, a lot of high-end technology that you don’t normally see in this market. That tells me that Opel really worked hard on developing a serious station wagon that can give crossovers a run for their money.

  • Leave it
    • Market is dwindling
    • Why not get a crossover instead?
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Press Release

Opel will continue its success story in the compact class with no less than two new models that will be presented at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt (September 17 to 27). The hatchback version of the new generation Astra will make its first big appearance in front of an international audience and it will be accompanied by the Astra Sports Tourer that will celebrate its premiere at the world’s most important motor show. The youngest member of the compact class station wagon generation comes with the same trendsetting development features as its five-door sibling that has been available for order since June. The Astra Sports Tourer is based on a completely new lightweight vehicle architecture that will make it up to 200 kilograms lighter than the outgoing model. Given that the station wagon will also be combined with the latest generation engines, the Astra Sports Tourer will be punchier, livelier and more fun to drive. Simultaneously, fuel consumption has been curbed giving it convincing attributes for company car and frequent drivers who often look to both practical and representative station wagons.

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When the order books open in a few weeks’ time, the Astra Sports Tourer will be available with Opel OnStar and the new IntelliLink infotainment systems ensuring that it has an ultramodern and extensive connectivity offer. The same applies to the numerous safety and assistance systems along with the equipment features previously only known from cars from higher segments. And last but not least, the new Astra Sports Tourer will turn heads with its elegant, lean and athletic styling. The interior demonstrates perfectly just how intelligent the design and the entire packaging are: the newcomer has exactly the same dimensions as the outgoing model but is considerably more spacious inside, offering more comfort for the driver and passengers along with more loading space.

“Our new Astra Sports Tourer and our new Astra hatchback – they are two sides of the same coin. Both represent a quantum leap for Opel and for the compact class. Apart from offering ultramodern connectivity and evolutionary design, the station wagon version focuses even more on efficiency,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “Our Sports Tourer is the perfect combination of practicality and dynamism: more space, less weight and in addition clever, trendsetting equipment details and features such as the power tailgate that opens and closes automatically with a little kick of the foot. This is how compact class station wagons should be nowadays.”

Efficient packaging: Athletic design with amble space

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The new Astra Sports Tourer impresses with its athletic appearance. Just like its five-door sibling, it takes Opel’s design philosophy ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’ to the next level: efficient, light and dynamic. The newly designed double chrome bar on the grill carries the Blitz and the front headlamps melt into the radiator grill to form a graphic unity. The Sports Tourer further extends the dynamic lines of the 5-door. The slightly arched sloping roofline gives the station wagon a longer appearance – an effect that is further enhanced by the divided C-pillar. The rear view combines high functionality with sporting, elegant design. The Astra Sports Tourer has a stable, robust and safe stance – the muscular rear-wheel arch contours and the divided rear light clusters add to this impression.

The latest generation Sports Tourer has the same dimensions as the outgoing model with a length of 4,702 millimeters, a width of 1,871 millimeters (with exterior mirrors folded in) and a height of 1,499 millimeters – however, it offers much more space for passengers and luggage. The driver can enjoy 26 millimeters of additional headroom, passengers in the rear have 28 millimeters more legroom – two convincing improvements for spatial perception and travelling comfort. Furthermore, the new Astra Sports Tourer can now shoulder 1,630 liters of luggage thanks to the efficient packaging.

Clever and variable: Loading space improvements that help on a daily basis

Opel offers an extremely practical novelty for the new Astra Sports Tourer, which will help on a daily basis: for the first time, the tailgate can be opened without a touch or a remote control. In combination with “Keyless Open” a simple small kicking motion under the rear bumper is enough to open the tailgate. A further kicking motion under the bumper will close the tailgate. The clever system can detect any obstruction and stops the mechanism in case of emergency. Furthermore, the tailgate can still be opened by a switch on the driver’s side of the car, buttons in the luggage compartment or via the key’s remote control.

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In order to increase loading space the new Astra Sports Tourer comes with optional 40/20/40 foldable rear seats enabling even more flexible loading space configurations. Furthermore, the FlexOrganizer product range with side rails, dividing nets and various fastening options is available and an option so that all loaded materials can be stored safely and tidily.

Lightweight construction + new generation engines = great driving fun and economy

Each Sports Tourer component was looked at with practicality and efficiency in mind. This is not only visible when it comes to the efficient use of space but especially when it comes to the weight. Compact design on the in and outside and the lightweight bodyshell helped the station wagon shed up to 200 kilograms. High-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, modifications to the axles, to the front and rear along with new production process all played a part in the impressive result. The entry-level Astra Sports Tourer weighs 1,263 kilograms (including driver) and is thus 130 kilograms lighter than the comparable outgoing model. This obviously has a positive effect on agility, ride comfort, consumption and costs.

The engine portfolio with outputs ranging from 70 kW/95 hp to 147 kW/200 hp also adds to the aforementioned virtues. The Sports Tourer will only be powered by engines of the latest generation. The diesel and gasoline engines with a displacement range of 1.0 to 1.6 liters all combine highest efficiency with excellent responsiveness and running smoothness.

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The new 1.6 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo that will celebrate its premiere at the IAA is the top-of the-range engine available for the Astra Sports Tourer. The combustion chamber of the 147 kW/200 hp direct injection turbo unit can withstand peak pressure of 130 bar and mobilizes an impressive 300 Nm of torque (with overboost). This powerhouse also delivers outstanding smoothness over the full engine speed range. To achieve this, the engineers made numerous optimizations to the induction and exhaust systems including decoupling the cam cover from the cylinder head via specific fasteners and a dedicated sealing system. Despite direct injection and focused combustion, engineers were able to reduce noise levels substantially compared to the previous engine. Because of these ‘sound-engineering’ measures, the customer will appreciate quiet and smooth idling, with a pleasant sound quality even at high road speeds, engine speeds and loads.

Innovative technologies: Safety, comfort and connectivity taken to a new level

Apart from impressing with ultramodern, trendsetting engine, the new Astra Sports Tourer also sets new standards in safety, infotainment and comfort. The intelligent IntelliLux LED® matrix light in the new Astra is another absolute novelty in the compact segment. It enables permanent extra-urban driving with glare-free high beams and automatically and continuously deactivates individual LED modules when oncoming traffic or a vehicle immediately ahead are detected. The area around the light source is simply masked out and the rest of the road remains brightly illuminated. The groundbreaking system thus increases the active safety of all road users while also bringing additional comfort to the Astra Sports Tourer driver when driving at night. Numerous innovative assistance systems drawing on the latest generation Opel Eye front camera offer the driver further support – starting with the more extensive and precise Traffic Sign Assist over Lane Keep assist, that even offers active steering corrections in case of an emergency, right up to the Forward Collision Alert with Collision Imminent Braking that can even bring the car to a standstill at speeds under 40 km/h.

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On the inside, another unique element for the compact segment can be found: Opel OnStar, the personal connectivity and service assistant, serves as a guardian angel for the driver and passengers. In addition, two new IntelliLink systems will be introduced. The latest generation of the infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Elsewhere, the new AGR-certified premium ergonomic seats add additional comfort with side bolster adjustment, massage and memory function along with ventilation. Passengers in the rear can also look forward to an additional optional comfort feature with seat heating being available for the two outer rear seats (more information on safety technology, assistance and comfort can be found in the “Quantum leap in the compact class: Opel Astra celebrates its world premiere” chapter of the press kit).

The Astra Sports Tourer is traditionally responsible for around 30 percent of Astra sales in Europe. The main customers are company car drivers along with families who want to combine practical loading space solutions with high travelling comfort. The biggest markets for the versatile station wagon are Germany, the UK and Italy. In Germany, order books for the new Astra Sports Tourer will open on October 10, 2015. The other countries will follow.

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