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Holden Astra

AH Astra Series II (MY7.5)

Holden logo1 Apr 2007

By THE GOAUTO TEAM

HOLDEN comprehensively addressed the mainstream AH Astra CD and CDX hatch and wagon models’ biggest weak point – their lack of oomph from the 90kW/165Nm 1.8-litre ECOTEC four-cylinder engine – with a heavily revised 1.8-litre unit.

Known as the 1.8 XER, it delivers 103kW of power at 6300rpm and 175Nm of torque (that’s for the manual auto: 170Nm) at 3800rpm. Both engines are married to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.

Minor cosmetic changes accompanied the reengineering, including a new grille, front bumper, lower air intake and headlight surrounds, as well as an upgrade in the trim materials used.

Meanwhile, a new non-turbo SRI hatchback model was introduced, using a 110kW/210Nm 2.2-litre direct-injection petrol four-cylinder engine. Gearbox choices are a four-speed auto or six-speed manual.

This engine also powered the AH Astra TwinTop, Holden’s four-seater retractable hardtop convertible answer to the Peugeot 307 CC, Renault Megane CC and Ford Focus Convertible. It replaced the popular TS Astra Convertible.

All other AH Series II cars – including the 1.9-litre CDTi turbo-diesel, and 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol models – remained the same mechanically.

Sadly, the impressive AH Astra wagon still misses out on the diesel and 2.0 and 2.2 petrol powerplants, having to make do with the upgraded 1.8.

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