Built at Vauxhall’s British plant, the Sportwagon variant will boast the same styling language and interior as the existing Polish-built five-door - albeit in an ultra-pragmatic six-window wagon bodystyle.
But while its design will echo that of the Euro-built hatch, the Astra Sportwagon’s equipment list will be more closely aligned with that of the Cruze-based, South Korean-built Astra sedan. The hatch’s torquey 1.6-litre turbo won’t be available; the Sportwagon will only come with a 110kW/240Nm 1.4-litre turbo four and six-speed automatic.
The wagon will get autonomous emergency braking, a powered tailgate and keyless entry/ignition as standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring will also be standard, as will lane keep assist, a reversing camera and forward collision alert.
It will also boast a generous 1600-litre boot capacity with the rear seats folded down - an attribute Holden hopes will attract those looking for large-car carrying capacity in a small-car form factor.
“The hatch occupies a very sporty niche, but the sedan and wagon are more pragmatic and a little bit more utilitarian,” Holden communications director Sean Poppitt told WhichCar.
However, Poppitt conceded that the wagon isn’t expected to boost Astra sales by a significant number.
“It’s not about volume,” he said. “It’s about providing a more utilitarian option. If you look at the established players it’s really [Volkswagen] Golf that does it best, but even for them it’s not huge volumes – but it gives another option.”
Pricing and full specifications for the Astra Sportwagon will be announced closer to its local launch late this year, though given its specification level we’d anticipate a starting price around the mid-$20K mark.