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by Matt Campbell

The Holden Astra is back – and there are several versions that buyers can choose from.

The revival of the Holden Astra badge – which finished up in Australia under the Lion brand’s guidance in 2009 after five generations – will be welcome by small car buyers, though we saw the Astra sold here in 2013 under the guidance of General Motors brand Opel before it pulled out of the local market.

According to Holden, the Astra nameplate “became a firm favourite with Australian drivers and resonated with those looking for European performance when it was first launched in 1996”, and the company says the new 2015 Astra models exude “exceptional road presence and a stylish, unmistakably European design”.

As such, the brand is offering a few Astra models to choose from in its 2015, sixth-generation guise. The line-up consists of the entry-level Astra GTC, the mid-range Astra GTC Sport and the top-end Astra VXR, with all models based on a three-door hatchback body style.

The GTC and GTC Sport models are both powered by 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engines, with the choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. The auto produces 125kW of power and 260Nm of torque, while the manual has more grunt, with 147kW and 280Nm.

Fuel consumption for the manual is also better than the automatic – 6.9 litres per 100km versus 7.5L/100km – though despite the extra power and torque, the manual is said to offer an identical 0-100km/h sprint time to the automatic, at a claimed 7.9 seconds.

17752 Astra GTC Sport -124Lowres

Standard kit for the GTC – which starts from $26,990 plus on-road costs – is healthy, including a 7.0-inch colour media screen with satellite navigation and Smartphone app connectivity, front and rear parking sensors and 18-inch alloy wheels.

GTC Sport models start from $29,990 plus on-road costs (interior pictured above), and they add items such as 19-inch wheels, leather trim, electric driver’s seat adjustment, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and a body kit.

The range-topping Astra VXR model (previously sold here as the Astra OPC, and pictured as a Holden below) is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing a hefty 206kW and 400Nm. It comes exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox, and fuel consumption for it is rated at 8.0L/100km.

17752 Astra VXR -002Lowres

It costs $39,990 plus on-road costs – placing it competitively in the hot-hatch segment against the likes of the soon-to-be-updated Ford Focus ST (from $38,990, with 184kW/360Nm), Volkswagen Golf GTI (from $41,990, with 162kW/350Nm) and Renault Megane RS265 (from $43,990, with 195kW/360Nm).

Standard kit for it includes rear sensors (no front) with 20-inch rims, adaptive dampers, Brembo brakes, VXR sports seats coated in leather trim, heated front seats with eight-way adjustment for driver and passenger as well as power bolsters and lumbar adjustment, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control and more. See the interior picture of the VXR below.

All Astra three-door models have dual front airbags, front side airbags and full-length curtain airbags, as well as auto headlights, daytime running lights, hill start assist, ISOFIX child seat inputs and torque vectoring by braking.

17752 Astra VXR -173Lowres

2015 Holden Astra specifications by model:

GTC:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Cloth Morrocana sports seats with Sportec bolsters
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Air conditioning with particle filter
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Projector headlamps (halogen)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Start/stop (MT only)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7.0-inch colour screen display
  • Integrated apps: Pandora, Stitcher, Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

GTC Sport (adds over GTC):

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lamps
  • Perforated leather Mondial trim
  • Eight-way adjustable driver seat with power lumbar control
  • Heated front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (front bumper lower spoiler edge, rear bumper lower spoiler edge, rocker
  • moulding)
  • Electric park brake

VXR (adds over GTC Sport):

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Performance brakes – Brembo front calipers, front and rear cross drilled rotors
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • FlexRide with continuous damping control
  • Electro-hydraulic power steering
  • Start/stop
  • Rear park assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Sports performance chassis
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ESC and ABS
  • Auto headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • VXR roof spoiler
  • VXR sports seats
  • Perforated leather Nappa trim
  • Eight-way adjustable heated driver and front passenger seat
  • Power bolsters and power lumbar – driver and passenger seats
  • Satellite navigation
  • VXR Leather steering wheel
  • VXR floor mats
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps – Pandora – Stitcher – Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

2015 Holden Astra pricing (plus on-road costs):

  • GTC manual – $26,990
  • GTC automatic  – $29,190
  • GTC Sport manual – $29,990
  • GTC Sport automatic – $32,190
  • VXR manual – $39,990



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