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Three-door "Coupe" bolsters AH Astra range but needs more go to match its sleek show

23 Sep 2005

IT is an old maxim, but does the Astra Coupe ooze style at the expense of substance? From any angle it is certainly pleasing to the eye but do the sporty looks match the performance? After a week tooling around in the sleek machine we’d suggest this well-equipped entrant’s 1.8-litre four needs more oomph to live up to its sporty pretensions. However, that in no way diminishes the overall driving experience, which like the rest of the AH Astra range, remains solid, comfortable and safe. The car’s quality levels also impress. If only Holden would throw in more power for the people...

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Model release date: 1 July 2005 to 1 April 2007

Previous model

Astra three-door hatch

Released: June 2001
Ended: February 2003
Family Tree: Astra

Perhaps the biggest criticism of the previous TS Astra three-door was that it was more appropriately described as a three-door hatch rather than the more envious sporty overtones of "coupe". Sold between 2001 and 2004, the three-door was only redeemed by the 108kW 2.2-litre SRi variant, which lifted the street-cred a bit. Going way back, the TS Astra three-door could probably trace its roots back to the TX-TD Gemini from 1975 to 1979, which died out when the TE arrived, although its rear-drive architecture did spawn the lamentable and forgettable 1986 Isuzu-based 1.8-litre turbocharged Piazza, which flopped on the local market.

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