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Saucy sweeps staid aside as a striking new Astra Coupe seeks sales with style

22 Jul 2005

HOLDEN is about to test Australian small car buyers’ loyalty to its brand with the Viva, a car sold here in sedan-only form in 2003 and 2004 as the Daewoo Lacetti. But while a new Korean-built Holden will replace the soon-to-be-superseded TS Astra Classic, Holden has also introduced a touch of glamour with an eye-catching three-door version of the AH Astra model. Joining the new Astra wagon (also launched in July) and the five-door hatchback versions released last October, the three-door Astra "Coupe" lives up to its name with sexy styling and a real sporty presence. Sadly, though, its engine – the regular 90kW 1.8-litre Ecotec unit – remains the same as the more mundane models. For now...

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Model release date: 1 July 2005 to 1 March 2007

Previous model

Holden TS Astra City/SXi

Released: June 2001
Ended: July 2004
Family Tree: Astra

In 2001 the City three-door opened up the strong selling TS Astra range, priced comfortably below the popular City five-door. It featured a 90kW 1.8-litre 16-valve four-cylinder - essentially the same powerplant as found in today’s AH Astra, although the TS City driver enjoyed a better power-to-weight ratio. Equipment levels included dual airbags, power steering, keyless entry and a CD player, until the better-specified SXi added alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, power windows and racier trim in early 2003. By the way, Holden's first Astra was a lightly modified 1982 N12 Nissan Pulsar. Following its mid-1984 release the model’s poor sales performance prompted one wag to dub it "Holden’s Dis-Astra".

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