THE V PUTS EMPHASIS ON VISUAL
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.