• Apr 26th 2006 at 6:07PM
  • 12

Mercedes Sprinter a bit too big? Renault Kangoo a mote... quirky? Well, General Motors of Europe might have just the thing: The Vauxhall Astro Man Astravan. The UK-built panel wagon debuted Tuesday at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, England.

Set to go on sale in September, the two-seat Astravan has been fortified to carry more handyman detritus than previous iterations, and a range of turbodiesel fours make time with a single 1.4-liter gasoline powerplant to ensure thrifty (if deliberate) progress. Saturn Ion commercial wagon, anyone?

(Press release and specs after the jump)

[Sources: Top Gear, Opel]

World premiere at Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, England

New AstraVan: Compact Panel Van with Passenger Car Qualities

Rüsselsheim / Birmingham.  Beginning this fall, Opel and Vauxhall offer the all-new AstraVan. Based on the Astra station wagon, the new three-door panel van meets the demands of commercial vehicle users, while retaining the dynamics, style and comfort of the passenger car model. The Astra station wagon provides an ideal basis for the AstraVan’s large load space (cargo volume 1.58 m3). It has a completely flat floor behind the two front seats, and is easily accessible thanks to a wide, high-opening tailgate and low sill. The rear torsion beam has been specially reinforced for greater load-carrying capacity, allowing for an overall payload of up to 650 kg. The large, driver-oriented cockpit boasts an especially ergonomic design.

The new practical AstraVan will be available with a choice of one gasoline and three diesel ECOTEC engines to ensure powerful and efficient performance. The top-of-the-line diesel engine is the 1.9 CDTI with 88 kW/120 hp, followed by the 74 kW/100 hp, 1.7 CDTI and 1.3 CDTI with 66 kW/90 hp. All diesel engines are coupled with a six-speed manual transmission for top driving performance. For customers who prefer a gasoline unit, Opel and Vauxhall offer the 66 kW/90 hp, 1.4-liter engine, with economical fuel consumption thanks to innovative fuel-saving TWINPORT technology.

The AstraVan’s world premiere takes place at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre from April 25 – 27. The ideal venue, as the United Kingdom is the vehicle’s largest sales market and the GM plant in Ellesmere Port its production home.

Opel/Vauxhall AstraVan: Technical Data Overview









Emissions standard compliance

Euro 4

Euro 4

Euro 4

Euro 4


super unleaded




Number of cylinders





Displacement (cm3)





Max. output (kW/hp)





Dimensions and weights


Load area length

1796 mm

Max. load area width

1376 mm

Width at wheelarches

1100 mm

Max. load height

911 mm

Max. carrying capacity

650 kg

Load area volume

1.58 m3

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      theres definitely a market for this in the states, not as a saturn but certainly as a gmc. 5 years ago it would never happen, but maybe now?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I think it would make a great Saturn. I would make one change though. Add a small rear-hinged or sliding door on passenger side. Items forward would be very hard to access otherwise. My knees know this from experience with pickups with caps.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Being based on the Astra makes it "only" about as big as a Cobalt 4 door sedan...if you extended the top of the roof a bit. I can't imagine that too many businesses would be interested in a vehicle like this, except for maybe small package/local couriers that insist on vehicles that are enclosed for security reasons.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I like the looks of this one, too.

      Please, Ford and GM, bring the Fiesta and Vauxhall to the U.S., with the diesel option.I'd like to do a side-by-side comparison.

      22 mpg in my covered Ranger or my Aztek with rear seats removed was fine for city delivery when gas was $2.With fuel likely to rise to almost twice that this year, people doing city delivery need almost twice the mileage.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That 1.3 diesel has more horsepower than the Toyota Piuos and no doubt would get better mileage along with no multi thousand dollar battery bill as part of the price of ownership.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Don't let the photo fool you. It's not *that* big. Side doors aren't necessary. They haven't been in previous iterations of this model, or of any other similar type of car. And I definitely don't think the GMC badge would suit it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That's one of the fundamental differences between the US & EU. Go big vs stay compact.

      In the EU plenty of businesses use these small cargo versions of compact cars because they fit in a different tax bracket. The # of regular stationwagons in the EU alone speaks volumes about how practical they are. And while this may not be the main vehicle for plumbers & electricians who have to carry long pipes & conduit; they are most versatile for many businesses who deliver or make service calls. Also don't forget that fuel costs twice as much at the pump in Europe. That makes you think twice about big vehicles with low mileage (though that of course is offset with them falling in the cargo tax bracket and buying cheaper (lower tax) diesel ... but still)
      • 9 Years Ago
      #2 - Love the Newbomb Turk reference - If only we can get Fran Drescher to pile in and work her magic - "Newbomb - did you...?"
      • 9 Years Ago
      Interestingly enough the cargo capacity is 650 kilos or more than half a ton. There are plenty of pickups sold in the US that are only rated at 500 kilos.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Make a Red Line version with the 260 HP 4 cyl and this thing would be sweet.

      I like panel wagons. They seem to be a lot more practical than full size vans or pickups for some people...
      • 9 Years Ago
      This would make a very efficient work truck with a small diesel. Too bad we can't have this here. Not everyone needs a V8 pickup.
      • 9 Years Ago
      These things are a dime a dozen in Europe. I can just imagine a European Autoblog with the headline: "Is it a barge? Is the Blitzkrieg coming? No... it's an Expedition!"

      If you were a maintenance worker driving on the tiny roads they deal with daily, you wouldn't want a full-size pickup or van as a work truck... What good is it to call a plumber who can't get to your house.

      Of course, it should be white, for the "white van man."
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