2017 Holden Astra Sedan Launch Review

2017 Holden Astra Sedan Road Test and Review

The new Holden Astra range is now two-thirds complete with the sedan version available now from Holden dealerships nationwide.

Still to come, a little later in the year, is the wagon version.

But the sedan, launched today in Northern NSW, looks likely to be a really serious player in the small car market.

Different to the hatch in many ways, including being sourced from South Korea instead of Poland, the sedan version also has a longer wheelbase (+38mm) and is built on a different platform.

It also only features the 1.4 litre turbo-petrol engine, the sportier hatch picking up a 1.6 litre turbo in the mid and upper-spec variants.

The hatch is also focused at a different small car buyer - primarily those who are young and hip, conversely, the Astra sedan is expected to attract a more mature customer base.

Holden is targeting Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 buyers with the new car.

Thus, the Astra sedan is set-up differently with a less ‘sporty’ suspension and steering tune and the end result is actually quite pleasing.

I had a good drive of the base-model LS and was impressed by the ride and handling, albeit the entry-level car has 16″ alloys and higher profile tyres than the mid and top-spec versions.

Never the less, it did feel well-sorted and the steering too was a highlight, well done to the Aussie tuning team.

The engine, which offers 110kW and 245Nm (manual) and 240Nm (auto), was again found to be a willing little goer, especially when mated to the manual transmission.

Fuel economy on our test drive (with three male adults on board) came in at just under 7.0L/100km and that is very good too.

My other positive early impressions of the new Holden Astra Sedan include:

  • Good standard features in base-model (listed below)
  • Excellent legroom, especially in the rear
  • Good headroom, even in the rear
  • Simple dashboard with easy to operate climate controls
  • Indicators are on the right-hand side
  • Engine and cabin acceptably quiet
  • Very nicely sized boot
  • Good sized glove box
  • Clear gauges and driver info screen
  • Conveniently located power sockets/USB input
  • Infotainment system retains a volume knob (unlike some of the competition)

While a special mention for a nice touch - the location of the stereo volume/station tuning buttons on the rear of the steering wheel.

These are a great idea as you can easily adjust volume and your station without looking at front of steering wheel buttons (reminiscent of similar buttons found in most Fiat Chrysler vehicles).

So there are plenty of positives, there are a few things that took a little shine off though, including:

  • Lack of rear air vents (all grades)
  • Lack of dual-zone climate control (all grades)
  • More hard plastic surfaces inside the cabin than some competitors
  • Chrome transmission selector reflects sun into the cabin and into your eyes
  • Seats are firm (but not uncomfortable) and some might feel the seat backs could be a bit wider
  • Only reasonably-sized door storage pockets
  • Quite short sun visors that don’t give you shade in side positions
  • Base-model steering wheel is thin and hard and you get a squeaky noise as you run your hand over it
  • Door arm rests are cloth-covered but could do with some more padding to aid comfort
  • 60/40 rear seat fold but no in-boot buttons to lower seats
  • Quite short rear door-mounted arm rests

Those standard features across the Astra Sedan range include:

If you would like to upgrade to an Astra LS+ you will add the Holden Eye forward facing camera with forward collision alert, LED daytime running lights and a leather steering wheel.

The Holden Astra LT boasts larger wheels (17″), and features like blind spot alert, rain sensing wipers and push-button ignition.

The range then tops out with the LTZ and this flagship model adds 18″ alloys, an electric sunroof, heated/leather seats and heated wing-mirrors.

While the new Astra sedan launches with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating, drive-away pricing and a very competitive five-year/130,000km warranty.

Summing it up, as I said at the top, there’s a lot to like about the new Holden Astra Sedan.

Good on-road manners, a willing and frugal-enough engine, cabin space, features and competitive pricing being the highlights.

While I also think the new offering is an attractive vehicle to look at with nice lines.

In short, put it on your shopping list if a small sedan is on the horizon for you.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Holden Astra Sedan

Engine: 1.4 litre turbo-petrol producing 110kW and up to 245Nm

Transmission: Six-speed manual (base-model only) or six-speed auto

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: 5yrs/130,000km

Origin: South Korea

Pricing: Astra LS manual - $21,990 drive-away, LS auto - $23,990 drive-away, LS+ auto - $24,990 drive-away, LT auto - $27,990 and LTZ auto - from $29,790

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