Review Holden Astra 2018: R + hatch
Holden’s current Astra is the second car available in the country, after being first fitted with an Opel with the sound of crickets from the public. It was the central exercise followed by a brief exit from the Australian market before returning, instead a reasonable (and reasonably priced) badge like a Holden.
It did pretty well in 2017. It didn’t break any record, no, but regularly broke 1000 units per month to end up with about five percent of the small car market, which it divides. with some serious competitors from Europe and Japan.
The + in R + means more secure, but also more money. Safety is good, but do you get anything else for your money?
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 7/10
The Astra range opens with R, typically, you expect at the other end of the range to have more power, but you’ll get there. You would think that R + is even more than a monster, but marketing is an incorrect science … obviously.
R is not for racing, in our case it is a very bright red. Starting at $ 23,740 for cars (you can get manuals for a few dollars less), you get 17-inch alloys, six-speaker stereo, fabric trim, air-conditioning , reversing camera, power windows and mirrors, rear parking sensors, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, remote central locking and space-saving spare tires.
The screen appears to be very small (actually a competitive 7.0 inch unit) running Holden’s ‘MyLink’ but also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For some reason, you have to tell it to use those two useful additions instead of the system taking them over USB. Mysteriously, the button is marked ‘Projecting’. Besides, the system works well and the sound is good.
Reverse camera is of limited use – you’ll see what’s behind you but it’s very flat and super grainy.
Is there anything interesting about its design? 7/10
Astra is a sleek if somewhat anonymous. Having said that, it’s a really nice design that looks more expensive than it. That is important in this segment. Holden is painfully telling us that it’s from Germany (Astra is made in Poland) and it seems to be influenced by the Euro. Although on the roof of the coupe, it is an easy entrance but a little lower than the i30.
The strange blackout of column C takes a bit to get used to but the spreadsheet is error-free and well combined.
Inside it is a sea of gray plastic and many different shades, but again, it works very well together and is a welcome change from the Teuton angled Golf. The materials are mostly reasonable, but for some reason, the trunk feels flimsy to the touch and uses.
The trim fabric is stiff but comfortable and I am very grateful for its relative coolness compared to what you can expect from woven leather that you are most likely to receive at this level.
How realistic is the inner space? 7/10
Riding forward, there’s plenty of room for passengers, with good space and well-designed space to maximize what’s available. The rear passenger is okay as long as the person in the front is generous, but the seat itself is comfortable and even has good headroom, even though the roof is falling.
Only the front cupholders, with rear passengers made with door pockets can swallow a small bottle. There are no handrails or vents there.
There’s somewhere for a person in the front to place their phone, a horizontal slot unlike a shell phone or larger format iPhone or Android. If your phone fits (so does the iPhone X), that’s useful because it’s within your sight, though a bit untidy if you plug it into USB.
The boot starts at 360 liters, rising to 1210 when you fold the seat down.
What are the important stats for engine and transmission? 7/10
The entire Astra range is turbo, but in the cheaper seats, it’s a surprisingly capable 1.4-liter unit with healthy 110kW and 240Nm. Power finds the way through the front wheels and a six-speed automatic. It’s an insignificant technical story, with stops starting to help cut down on fuel usage.
Astra is rated to be able to tow 750kg without being tied up and 1200kg braked.
How much fuel does it consume? 7/10
Holden claims Astra will drink the unleaded standard at 5.8L / 100km on the combined cycle.
Our time with the car, being a 70/30 mixture of suburbs and highways, yielded 8.3L / 100km, and it’s worth noting that it has stinked most of the time, so the machine Air conditioner must work hard.
The fuel tank is a bit smaller at 48 liters, 5 to 10 liters smaller than some competitors, like the i30 and Golf.
What safety devices are equipped? What is a safety assessment? 7/10
Astra R + has six airbags, ABS, stability and traction control, reversing camera and AEB forward with simple but effective head-up warning.
The Astra range (except for the lowest R-spec) achieved a five-star ANCAP safety score in November 2016.