Holden Astra sedan

Holden has just added a sedan to its Astra small car range, with a Sport wagon.

While sharing much commonality with the Astra hatch that was released late last year, Holden is quick to highlight the subtleties to what makes the sedan different.

Where the hatch is pitched at buyers looking for a sportier body style and more driver-focussed ride and handling, the sedan has been designed and engineered with comfort, practicality and space in mind.

The newcomer has been developed very much as a global car: engineered in Europe using GM’s common Delta 2 architecture, designed in North America, manufactured in South Korea and fine-tuned for Australian conditions by Holden locally.

“We’ve focussed on tuning Astra sedan to be comfortable on poor quality road surfaces, rail tracks and gravel roads, while ensuring that steering and chassis controls are precise with a direct feel,” Holden’s Lead Dynamics Engineer Rob Trubiani said. “We’ve tested the car over 100,000km on our private test facility and public roads, so we’re really confident in its performance.”

While the hatch boasts a more sophisticated Watts-link torsion bar rear suspension, the sedan utilises a standard torsion beam set-up.

There is a variation in equipment specification nomenclature, with the sedan coming in LS, LS+, LT and LTZ, whereas the hatch is available in R, RS and RS-V.

The sedan also differs in having a choice of just one engine – a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder putting out 110kW of power @ 6500rpm and up to 245Nm of torque between 2000-4000rpm – as opposed to the hatch’s two (a 1.4-litre turbo in the R and a 1.6-litre turbo powering the RS and RS-V). ADR combined cycle fuel consumption is 7.7 litres/100km (LS manual) and 8.2 (LS, LS+, LT and LTZ auto).

Other points of difference include:

  • Fuel tank (litres) – sedan 52, hatch 48
  • Wheelbase (mm) – sedan 2700, hatch 2662
  • Length (mm) – sedan 4665, hatch 4386
  • Height (mm) – sedan 1457, hatch 1485
  • Rear headroom (mm) – sedan 951, hatch 971
  • Rear legroom (mm) – sedan 939, hatch 906
  • Rear shoulder room (mm) – sedan 1350, hatch 1368
  • Cargo volume (litres) – sedan 445, hatch 360.
  • The sedan has a 1200kg (braked) towing rating.

Heavy rain in the lead-up to, and during, the Astra sedan launch out of Byron Bay hampered the drive evaluation, with localised flooding and resultant damage to roads and bridges causing diversions.

A number of buckled rims aside, consensus is the Astra handled the potholes, loose gravel and wet roads competently. Holden engineers have largely succeeded in tuning the car to Australian conditions, with the ride being comfortable and handling among the best in segment. The steering, in particular, is nicely weighted and devoid of kickback, even over the bumps that prevailed.

The six-speed auto works well in bringing the best out of the 1.4-litre turbo engine, ditto the six-speed manual with its smooth shifting and light clutch.

Rear seat passengers will particularly like the generous knee and head room.

Summary

Holden’s new small sedan adds a point of difference to the Astra range. We look forward to testing it more thoroughly in the near future. Watch this space…

Standard equipment by specification:

LS

  • Six-speed automatic transmission with self-select or six-speed manual (LS only)
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Six airbags
  • Rear view camera and rear parking sensors
  • Automatic headlights
  • 7-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

LS+ (over and above LS)

  • Holden Eye forward-facing camera
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Forward Distance Indicator
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • LED daytime running lamps
  • Leather steering wheel

LT (over and above LS+)

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Side Blind Spot Alert
  • Passive entry and push-button start
  • Advanced Park Assist (auto park)
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Embedded satellite navigation

LTZ (over and above LT)

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Electric sunroof
  • Heated leather-appointed seats
  • Heated wing mirrors.
  • A five-star ANCAP safety rating applies across the range.