Car reviews - Holden - Astra - CDTi 5-dr hatch
Holden's first diesel Astra qualifies for hot-hatch status - and a great sub-$30K buy
25 Aug 2006
By CHRIS HARRIS
HOLDEN’S six-speed manual Astra CDTi has so much thrust, thrift and verve, it probably qualifies as a ‘hot’ hatch. However, as complimentary as that sounds, it might be selling the diesel edition short, seeing as it also seats five, has six airbags, ABS brakes and stability control as standard, and boasts a hunkered-down Euro style and quality to it. Spend an extended period of time in one and you might be shocked to learn that it may rate as the best ‘real world’ new car you can buy for under $30,000 in Australia – as long as you don’t mind changing gears, that is.
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TE-TG Gemini dieselReleased: March 1981
Ended: December 1984
Family Tree: Astra
Holden has been here before, with the AH Astra’s original rear-drive ancestor, the 1975-1984 T-car Gemini. Rushed to Australia on the tail-end of the last big oil crisis, this Isuzu-sourced diesel engine was very much of the old-school design, offering a paltry 40kW of power and just 105Nm of torque from a 1.8-litre four-cylinder unit. Despite boasting a five-speed manual – a rarity at the time – the Gemini diesel was very slow, very noisy and, apart from a few country folk with easy farm diesel access, very unpopular.
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