New From Scratch Hatch
2017 Holden Astra R Hatch.
Price from $21990 (m) $24,190 (a) + $1000 for Driver Assist Pack
GM Europe pulled out all the stops with its new Astra hatch producing a small car from a `clean sheet’ that won European Car Of The Year 2016 and one that’s worthy of direct comparison with anything else in the segment.
That includes Golf, Megane, Peugeot 308 and others from Korea, Japan or Thailand.
Driven was the base model R auto that has a surprising amount of kit including 17-inch alloys, rear park assist with a reverse camera, cruise, large app-driven touch screen infotainment system and engine stop/start.
A $1000 Driver Assist Package should be factored in as it brings autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, forward collision alert and other advanced safety technology.
Holden engineers had a hand in calibrating the Astra hatch in terms of ride and handling, noise suppression and dust sealing.
Power comes from a plucky 1.4-litre turbo petrol four cylinder with efficiency boosting direct fuel injection. It gives the base Astra hatch plenty of performance easily accessible across a wide engine rev range. Especially good with the (conventional) six-speed auto transmission,
Not once did I find the test car lacking in the performance department.
Coupled with that is creditable fuel economy rated at 5.8-litres/100km… on regular unleaded.
The drive experience is distinctly European with tidy dynamics and a supple controlled feel from the steering, suspension and tyres. Good brakes too.
It has a stylish dash similar to what you will find in other Euro cars of this ilk.
Roomy, comfy, well designed is the best way to describe the interior.
The exterior is a bit bland, generic even but is not hard on the eye by any stretch.
This model is easily the best Astra yet, by a longshot, and should stand up to Aussie conditions well over time. I don’t really know why you’d go for the more expensive 1.6-litre models. This one ticks most of the boxes and costs a lot less….
➔ Sweet thing to drive
➔ Strong engine
➔ Impressive auto transmission
➔ Comfort and control from the suspension
➔ Stylish dash
➔ Roomy interior
➔ Decent luggage space
➔ Fold flat rear seats
➔ 17-inch alloy on the base model!
➔ Impressive infotainment system
NOT SO MUCH
➔ Price escalates quickly with desired options
➔ Space saver spare
➔ Satnav not imbedded – comes through phone
➔ Bland exterior styling
ENGINE: 1.4-litre turbo petrol four cylinder 110kW/240Nm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed auto FWD
0-100KMH: 8.2 seconds
ALTERNATIVES: Hyundai i30 1.6 SR $25,950, Mazda3 2.0 Touring $25,290, Honda Civic 1.8 VTi-S $24,490, VW Golf 110TSi Trendline$24,990, Subaru Impreza 2.0i-L $24,690, Toyota Corolla SX $26,000