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Car reviews - Holden - Viva - sedan


Holden's Korean-built Viva sedan picks up where Germany's Astra Classic left off

26 May 2006

A profusion of small Holdens is hitting Australia, arrowing in from various parts of the globe including France (Tigra convertible), Germany (AH Astra), Korea (Barina) - and the Astra-size, but not Astra-priced, Korean-built Viva. Previously a Daewoo Lacetti in Australia, the Viva promotes value for money in a big way, with a sticker price that's $2000 or so less than what you'd normally expect to pay for a Corolla-size small car. With four airbags, air-conditioning, and an interior of surprising generosity, the Holden Viva sounds pretty aggressive. But is it aggressive enough? Toyota, Honda and Nissan are equally as sales-hungry small-car marketeers with hard-to-ignore pricing - and equipment - on their similar-size, and much more modern cars.
Model release date: 1 October 2005 to 1 May 2009

Previous model

Holden TS Astra Classic

Released: April 2000
Ended: September 2005
Family Tree: Viva

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, with the TS five-door arriving here in September 1998, the four-door in April 2000 and the three-door in June 2001. Holden's TS Astra contined (in base guise 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.

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