Make / Model Search

Holden - Astra - LS

Holden Astra (AH Astra)

AH Astra

Make: Holden

Model: Astra

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: Apr 2007

Holden logo1 Nov 2004


Like the ZC Vectra a year and a half earlier, the AH Astra received the bigger, better-quality treatment, as well as a higher price tag.

So Holden, aware it needs a sub-$20,000 small car entrant until the revised and rebadged Daewoo Lacetti arrives later in ’05, is bringing in the 1998-vintage TS Astra from Poland to sell alongside the AH.

Meanwhile the AH is going Mazda3-hunting, with an all-new body that’s bigger, stronger and roomier than before, a upmarket dash and cabin treatment, and higher levels of safety, refinement and dynamic prowess.

The latter comes despite General Motors eschewing the trend towards multi-link rear suspension pioneered by the arch rival Ford Focus and subsequently picked up by VW, Audi and Mazda, for regular old MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam set-up at the rear.

Oddly, the AH also makes do with the carryover 1.8-litre Ecotec four-cylinder engine (90kW/165Nm) – albeit improved for this application.

Three models are available – the base CD, CDX and CDXi – and all include dual front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes, air-con, power steering/windows/mirrors, a CD player and keyless entry.

In late 2005 a three-door hatchback as well as the first Astra wagon arrives, followed in '06 by a four-door sedan variant.

In June 2006 Holden broadened its Astra’s appeal by introducing the CDTi turbo-diesel and SRi Turbo ‘hot-hatch’ – in five-door and three-door hatchback guises respectively.

Only a single CDTi five-door hatchback model was available initially, in two distinct Euro IV emissions-compliant common-rail four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines according to which gearbox is specified.

Both are fitted with a Garret turbocharger and intercooler.

The base six-speed manual CDTi boasts a 1.9-litre twin-cam 16-valve unit delivering a class-leading 110kW of power at 4000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

For a little extra, buyers can choose the CDTi automatic, utilising an Aisin-supplied six-speed transmission and fitted with a sequential shift facility.

However, the automatic uses a single overhead camshaft, eight-valve version of the 1.9-litre engine, for 88kW at 3500rpm and 280Nm at 2000rpm.

Fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are significantly lower in the manual though, recording an ADR 81/01 figure of 6.0 litres per 100km against the automatic’s 7.4L/100km, and 157 grams per kilometre versus 192g/km respectively.

All Astra CDTi models, along with the new SRi Turbo released at the same time, introduce ESP stability control to the Astra range.

Aimed at the burgeoning sub-$40,000 hot-hatch market, the SRi Turbo uses a six-speed manual gearbox to channel the 147kW/262Nm 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder powerplant’s performance, boosted by a Borg Warner turbocharger and oil cooler.

Aiding this is a new-generation engine management system that controls the turbocharger’s boost pressure for improved flexibility and low-end torque availability.


When it was new

Latest reviews

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here