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First look: Holden updates Astra

Luxury model: The CDX is now the top-specification version of the Astra sedan and hatch.

Added luxury and sports models shield a price rise for Holden's popular Astra

16 Jan 2003

HOLDEN has rejigged the line-up of its Astra small car range, adding a luxury CDX sedan and five-door hatch, and replacing the three-door City with a higher-specified model tagged the SXi.

The addition of these new models means Holden will from early February offer 18 variants of Astra, which was only outsold by the Toytota Corolla in the small car VFACTS segment in 2002.

The abandonment of the City also means there is no Astra variant under $20,000.

The SXi retails for $21,490 while the CDX variants are $29,690.

The CDX lines up directly against the Corolla Ultima and the new Ford Focus Ghia sedan, but the SXi has no true direct competitor from either Toyota or Ford.

There are price rises on the existing models with the entry-level City five-door and sedan now $20,990 (up $500), the CD five-door and sedan now $23,990 (up $400), the SRi sports hatch $28,990 (up $500) and the range-topping Astra now $45,990 (up $1000). Add $2000 in all cases for automatic transmission.

Air-conditioning adds $1880 to the City, SXi and CD models while there is also a $2820 pack for the CD comprising air-conditioning, ABS and traction control.

The CDX offers standard equipment over and above the CD including 16-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels dark-tinted headlamps and tail-lights and foglamps.

Inside there is black leather interior trim woodgrain centre console and gearshift knob black instrument dials with chrome rims heated front sports seats electronic climate control air-conditioning adjustable lumbar support on the front seats trip computer and an enhanced multi-function display.

The SXi comes equipped with 15-inch, seven-spoke alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, front power windows and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with remote sound system controls.

Minor 2003 specification changes to existing Astra models include new style 16x6-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels for the performance-oriented SRi model and the addition of electronic climate control air-conditioning for the convertible.

Mechanical specification remains unchanged, with most models powered by the 90kW four-cylinder engine and the SRi and convertible by a 108kW 2.2-litre.

These aren't the only changes coming for Astra this year, with turbo versions of the hatch and convertible also expected to be introduced soon.

Astra's little brother, the Holden Barina, has also been updated for 2003. Check out our new models section on Friday, January 17, for the full story.

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