2016 Holden Astra GTC Sport road test and review.
Opel has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Australia both with cars re-badged as Holden’s and as a failed standalone bid several years ago.
One of the Opel models that you can now test drive at your Holden dealership is the Holden Astra, I had the keys to the 2016 Holden Astra GTC Sport with a manual transmission.
Take note, if you are considering an Astra, a new model is on the way in 2016. Though the outgoing model is generally not an unlikable offering.
The Astra GTC Sport is priced from $29,990 manual and $32,190 automatic and under the bonnet there is just one engine choice – 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol. When mated to the manual you get 147kW and 280Nm, the auto combination delivers 125kW and 260Nm.
Like any small capacity turbo engine there is some lag (that’s the dull acceleration before the turbo kicks-in), though when up and running the Astra GTC Sport provides enthusiastic acceleration.
The brake pedal is firm and the braking performance, with a four channel ABS system, is more than adequate. Couple this with reasonably sharp handling and responsive steering and the Holden is more fun than the price tag might indicate.
The ride quality though could only be described as ‘choppy’, you can probably put a lot of this down to the low profile tyres on the 19” alloy wheels and relatively short wheelbase.
I average around 7.5L/100km in my week of driving, Holden quotes a combined 6.9L/100km.
The interior, thankfully, is due to be severely overhauled in the new model Astra. As everyone who drives the current model car points out – there’s a complete excess of buttons on the centre control area of the dash – this is set to be replaced by something a lot more modern and simple.
The infotainment system has digital radio, along with built-in apps like Stitcher (where you can hear the Behind the Wheel Podcast) and Pandora and sat-nav. Parking sensors front and rear, an electronic park brake and tilt and reach steering adjustment being some of the other highlights.
Holden doesn’t charge any extra for premium paint on the Astra GTC Sport and all Astra models are covered by a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; the outgoing Holden Astra GTC Sport is a mix of fun, good looks and reasonable performance.
The confused and dated cabin and somewhat confused ride being the most prominent weak points.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Holden Astra GTC Sport
Engine: 1.6 litre turbo-petrol producing 147kW and 280Nm (manual) or 125kW and 260Nm (automatic)
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $29,990