General Motors Europe says its new Vauxhall and Opel-badged Vectra estate (a station wagon also likely to be sold as a Holden and Chevrolet outside Europe) will set the benchmark in its class for load volume, versatility and functionality when it goes on sale (in the UK) in October. At the same time, it will appeal to fans of sports and 'lifestyle' estates, GME reckons.

New features include the FlexOrganiser - a system of tailor-made compartments for the load area - alongside remote control electric tailgate (also recently seen on Honda's Accord Tourer) and the option of the so-called Travel Assistant storage box/oddments holder with twin audio for separate audio programmes front and rear.

Vectra estates will also offer adaptive forward lighting, rain sensor and automatic dimming outside and rear-view mirrors.

The new estate, about the size of the upcoming Chevrolet Malibu in the US and built on the same platform, has 530 litres of luggage space up to the load cover in five-seat configuration, and a maximum of 1850 litres. To make the best use of the space, the FlexOrganiser provides a system of compartments which permit a range of loading configurations.

FlexOrganiser uses two parallel rails that run along each of the side-walls in the load area, up to the back of the rear seats. A variable system of dividers, poles, hooks and latches can be attached to the rails to create different sized compartments, depending on the need.

The customer has the choice of two packages: an "Organiser Package" for everyday use or the Travel Package for weekend and holiday trips. When not required, the separate components are stored out of sight under a cover in the load area.

The optional remote control tailgate allows a push of a button on the key fob to activate the tailgate via and electric drive; it can be stopped at any position. The driver can also use a switch inside the cabin.

To avoid accidents, a motion sensor is fitted and to make loading and unloading of bigger or bulky objects easier, the tailgate opens to a very wide angle. Maximum standing height under the open tailgate is a generous 1.9 metres.

Other practical standard features of the load area include a 12 volt power outlet and two side pockets for small objects.