Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

Sales should spike Last month marked the ar­rival of an ac­tive driv­ing as­sis­tance op­tion for base As­tra R and the six-speed auto 1.6litre en­gine, giv­ing an en­try ver­sion fleet rental sales along with the al­limpor­tant self-shifter for its more ex­pen­sive en­gines. Sales were just under 800 April or about a third of Toy­ota Corolla and Mazda3 vol­umes, so there’s plenty room to grow.

Power cor­rupts The four-cylin­der turbo RS-V puts out a cred­itable 147kW/280Nm, pumped to the front wheels via six-speed man­ual. Torque steer — where the strug­gle grip when ac­cel­er­at­ing is ev­i­dent

go­ing gets more de­mand­ing. At le­gal speeds it only an is­sue on slick roads and the fact you’re pre­pared to have a crack in first place is tes­ta­ment to qual­ity of the ba­sic set-up. Holden helped with tun­ing so ride de­cent and steer­ing is re­spon­sive.

Qual­ity varies The bits you usu­ally touch and feel in the As­tra have been fab­ri­cated to please, with largely soft-touch sur­faces and high-gloss fin­ishes. Look again and some of those ma­te­ri­als aren’t per­fectly aligned and the plas­tics classi­est in the au­to­mo­tive in­ven­tory. The As­tra matches com­pe­ti­tion in An­droid/Ap­ple mir­ror­ing and ac­tive driv­ing aids to earn a five-star AN­CAP rat­ing, though it’s worth not­ing the au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing didn’t score highly. The re­vers­ing cam­era is also not the high­est res­o­lu­tion, with a grainy dis­play at night.

V is for vis­ual bling The RS-V $4500 dearer than the RS and most of that spend on ap­pear­ance. rims are ac­cord­ingly lifted from 17 to 18 inches, in­fo­tain­ment screen stretches to eight inches and an elec­tric park­ing brake re­places the man­ual lever mech­a­nism to clean up cen­tre con­sole. On top of that is leather up­hol­stery with heated steer­ing wheel front seats, sat­nav, dual-zone air­con (but no rear air vents) and a re­mote start. Bet­ter check the ex­tras The RS-V is listed at $30,740 and an can be had for about $34,000 on road (it varies be­tween states; Holden web­site). auto is a $1000 op­tion any paint other than red or white will add $550. The As­tra needs ser­vic­ing ev­ery nine months 15,000km and the first four vis­its will cost $916. Op­tions in­clude a $1990 Tour­ing Pack with elec­tric sun­roof adap­tive cruise, or In­no­va­tions at $3990 which adds the roof and cruise

LED ma­trix LIGHTS that dim in­di­vid­ual diodes to spare ap­proach­ing traf­fic from high-beam glare.

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