Car reviews - Holden - Astra - 5-dr wagon range
Holden's new Astra wagon offers more usable space than many older mid-sized wagons
28 Jul 2005
HOLDEN has decided to put its pitch in for the paltry three per cent of wagons that make up small-car sales in Australia. The AH Astra is in with a good chance, and not just because it’s newer than the aging Toyota Corolla and Mitsubishi Lancer wagons, and cheaper than the Peugeot 307 Estate – although that’s available with a nifty turbo-diesel option. No, the Astra is as big and refined as you might expect a mid-sized wagon, like the old Camry, to be - and fun to boot too. The only real stumbling block – in this era of the 2.0-litre small car – is the 1.8 badge.
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Holden Gemini wagonReleased: 1978
Family Tree: Astra
Initially Holden and Isuzu of Japan – co-conspirators on the Opel Kadett-based rear-drive T-car Gemini sedan and coupe released in March 1975 – didn’t bother with the wagon version, probably because it was only engineered as a two-door. But minds obviously changed when the TD Gemini facelift arrived three years later, because there it was – along with a low-roof two-door van variant. Two models – a base and better-equipped SL – were available, both powered by GM’s venerable 61kW single-cam Family One four-cylinder engine. Power dropped with the TE of 1979 (50kW), but at least a five-speed manual became on option to the regular three-speed auto or four-speed manual. Australians were discovering hatchbacks by the late '70s so the Gemini wagon vanished with the now-49kW TG range in December 1984.
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