HOW do you replace a Classic?
If it’s the Holden TS Astra Classic, then the answer is by benchmarking it, which is what Holden says it has tried to do with the new JF Viva, a Daewoo Lacetti-derived small hatchback, wagon or sedan that it hopes will win the hearts and wallets of middle Australia like its Opel-based predecessor.
And on paper, Holden may have succeeded, especially when you factor the high-specification levels into that sharp $17,990 opening price.
But what of the TS Astra’s quality and charm?
And do they matter anyway?
Only time and sales figures will tell.
Model release dates: October 2005 - May 2009
ONE of the small-car legends of recent years, the TS Astra was a quality item.
Underneath its very German styling lay the foundations of modern small-car value: a peppy 90kW 1.8-litre twin-cam four tied to a five-speed manual or four-speed auto, a comfortable and quality cabin, high refinement and specification levels, and a quality persona to match those of premium rivals like the VW Golf.
Three bodystyles (three and five-door hatch; four-door sedan) also offered plenty of variety.
Holden's TS Astra contined (in base guised dubbed Classic) alongside its all-new AH Astra replacement, which was launched in November 2004.
Now out of production, it's replaced by the Korean-sourced Viva, which has very big shoes to fill in indeed.