Car reviews - Holden - Astra - MY7.5 range
Holden gives its still-crisp Astra range the power upgrade it has long deserved
20 Apr 2007
By CHRIS HARRIS
HOLDEN is not content watching rival small cars zoom up the sales charts while its fine European-sourced AH Astra languishes, so out goes the ancient 90kW 1.8 ECOTEC number and in comes a 103kW version that promises power on par with many 2.0-litre units. And just in case that isn’t enough, a new 2.2-litre SRi model joins the Astra fraternity, giving Holden’s second-best selling nameplate an unrivalled spread of models in the hotly contested small-car segment. You will also find this engine in the new TwinTop convertible.
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Holden AH AstraReleased: November 2004
Ended: March 2007
Family Tree: Astra
Great styling, impressive dynamics, a classy (if somewhat sombre) interior and keen pricing have always made the AH Astra a compelling small-car choice, no matter whether you are talking abut the value-packed CD, well-equipped CDX or luxurious CDXi. If only Holden had offered a more powerful engine than the 90kW/165Nm 1.8-litre twin-cam unit that dated back to the lighter TS Astra of 1998. The resulting performance deficit was further amplified in the head-turning base Coupe variants, as well as the underrated wagon versions released during 2005. Only the excellent CDTi diesel and rorty SRi offer the sort of verve that such a good-looking range of vehicles deserves.
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