As a rule, new models cost more than the ones they replace. But Vauxhall has broken with convention with the just-launched estate car version of its Astra. The entry model is £500 cheaper than the one it replaced.

And although the latest load lugging Astra – now called Sports Tourer instead of just ‘estate’– is no longer between the wheels than the hatchback version on which it is based, it can carry more luggage than before. It now packs 500 cu litres with the rear seats up and that’s 30 cu litres better.

The new car which, like other Astras is built in the UK at Ellesmere Port, comes in, model for model, at £995 dearer than the hatchback. This means the 1.4 99bhp ES, which is cheapest in the line-up, costs from £16,575. The range spans four trim levels: ES, Exclusiv, SE and SRi, mirroring those for other Vauxhalls. But one notable standard item on the Sports Tourer are rear seats that spring flat at the touch of a button.

Vauxhall expects that one in 10 Astras sold will be a Sports tourer.