The V puts em­pha­sis on vis­ual

The Advertiser - Motoring - - FIVE THINGS - Craig Duff

Sales should spike

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

four-cylin­der turbo RS-V puts out a cred­itable 147kW/280Nm, pumped to the front wheels via a six-speed man­ual. Torque steer — where the front wheels strug­gle to grip when ac­cel­er­at­ing — is ev­i­dent when the go­ing gets more de­mand­ing. At le­gal speeds it is only an is­sue on slick roads and the fact you’re pre­pared to have a crack in the first place is tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity of the ba­sic set-up. Holden helped with the tun­ing so ride is de­cent and steer­ing is re­spon­sive. Qual­ity varies

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 aren’t the classi­est in the au­to­mo­tive in­ven­tory. The As­tra matches the 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 is $4500 dearer than the RS and most of that spend is on ap­pear­ance items. The rims are ac­cord­ingly lifted from 17 to 18 inches, the in­fo­tain­ment screen stretches to eight inches and an elec­tric park­ing brake re­places the man­ual lever mech­a­nism to clean up the cen­tre con­sole. On top of that is leather up­hol­stery with heated steer­ing wheel and front seats, sat­nav, dual-zone air­con (but no rear air vents) and a re­mote start. Bet­ter check the ex­tras

RS-V is listed at $30,740 and an can be had for about $34,000 on the road (it varies be­tween states; check the Holden web­site). The auto is a $1000 op­tion and any paint other than red or white will add $550. The As­tra needs ser­vic­ing ev­ery nine months or 15,000km and the first four vis­its will cost $916. Op­tions in­clude a $1990 Tour­ing Pack with elec­tric sun­roof and adap­tive cruise con­trol, or an In­no­va­tions Pack at $3990 which adds the roof and cruise con­trol along with adap­tive LED ma­trix head­lamps that dim in­di­vid­ual diodes to spare ap­proach­ing traf­fic from high-beam glare.

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