1 Apr 2007
HOLDEN comprehensively addressed the mainstream AH Astra CD and CDX hatch and wagon models’ biggest weak point – their lack of oomph from the 90kW/165Nm 1.8-litre ECOTEC four-cylinder engine – with a heavily revised 1.8-litre unit.
Known as the 1.8 XER, it delivers 103kW of power at 6300rpm and 175Nm of torque (that’s for the manual auto: 170Nm) at 3800rpm. Both engines are married to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.
Minor cosmetic changes accompanied the reengineering, including a new grille, front bumper, lower air intake and headlight surrounds, as well as an upgrade in the trim materials used.
Meanwhile, a new non-turbo SRI hatchback model was introduced, using a 110kW/210Nm 2.2-litre direct-injection petrol four-cylinder engine. Gearbox choices are a four-speed auto or six-speed manual.
This engine also powered the AH Astra TwinTop, Holden’s four-seater retractable hardtop convertible answer to the Peugeot 307 CC, Renault Megane CC and Ford Focus Convertible. It replaced the popular TS Astra Convertible.
All other AH Series II cars – including the 1.9-litre CDTi turbo-diesel, and 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol models – remained the same mechanically.
Sadly, the impressive AH Astra wagon still misses out on the diesel and 2.0 and 2.2 petrol powerplants, having to make do with the upgraded 1.8.