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Four-door Astra returns to complement rather than compete with Euro-Holden five-door

16 Jun 2017

ASTRA is a nameplate that has become multicultural or misplaced, depending on the perspective.

In this case it depends on how the Holden Astra sedan drives, because there has been a decent gap between the semi-premium Opel Astra hatchback from Europe and the budget-friendly Chevrolet Cruze made primarily for North America, and on which this Astra sedan is based.

So everything has come full circle.

Twist back to the 1980s and the Astra was a rebadged Japanese-designed Nissan Pulsar. From 1996 until 2009 three generations of Opel Astra were sold here, including in sedan form until 2005, before being flicked for the cheaper South Korean - and then Australian-built – Cruze of Chevy origin.

Now, however, the Astra sedan gets its own Australian-designed grille and steering and suspension tune. General Motors (GM) has made Germany the “homeroom” for all its small cars, sharing the same drivetrain and platform.

And where Astra hatch is made in Poland, the Sportwagon will be built in the UK, and (via a North American design studio) this sedan returns to South Korea.

A multicultural Holden, indeed – and hopefully this sedan can do justice to the brilliant hatch.

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Model release date: 1 June 2017

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