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Holden Astra GTC, Astra VXR: 2015 Price And Features For Australia Photo:
 
 
Mike Stevens | Apr, 28 2015 | 15 Comments

Holden’s lion and Astra badges have been reunited once more, with the returned line-up now on sale in Australia from $26,990, alongside the new $41,990 Cascada cabriolet.

The Astra hasn’t been seen in the Holden range since it was replaced by the mechanically similar but more affordably manufactured Cruze in 2009, built in Korea and here at Holden’s South Australian facility.

The Astra returned again, briefly, as part of Holden parent GM’s bid to launch European stablemate Opel in Australia as a near-premium range in 2013.

That project lasted just one year, but as Holden looks to new (or old) ways to recover market share in the lead-up to and beyond the 2017 end of its local manufacturing program, the Euro-built Astra is back.

But, with the Cruze still its focus for small five-door hatch and four-door sedan sales, Holden has re-introduced the Astra as a sports-focused range that can be had only in three-door GTC, GTC Sport and hero VXR form (seen here previously as the Opel Astra OPC).

As a Holden, the Astra range picks up more standard equipment and sharper pricing.

The cost of entry has fallen $2000, and even the top-shelf VXR is $3000 more affordable than its Opel-badged but otherwise identical predecessor.

 

POWERTRAINS & SPECIFICATIONS

In GTC and GTC Sport form, the Holden Astra is powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, matched to a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmissions.

Those that prefer the simplicity of an auto will be ‘limited’ to 125kW of power and 260Nm of torque - the same numbers offered with the auto-only GTC when it last appeared in Australia.

This time, with a manual option available, buyers prepared to ‘row their own’ can step into a more powerful 147kW and 280Nm version.

The manual boasts the best fuel figures of the two, at 6.9 l/100km against the auto’s 7.5 l/100km.

Both versions are also equipped with the same torque-wrestling HiPer Strut system that came to the GTC in early 2014 after previously starring in the more powerful VXR/OPC model.

Similar to the RevoKnuckle system of Ford’s Focus RS, HiPer Strut evolves the MacPherson design, wrestling torque to improve steering precision under acceleration.

Stepping up to the manual-only Astra VXR boosts power and torque to 206kW and 400Nm, making it still the most powerful front-wheel-drive hot hatch available in Australia. (See TMR’s Astra OPC/VXR review here.)

At $39,990 plus on-roads, it also stands out on the value front: direct rivals include the 195kW/360Nm three-door $43,990 Megane RS 265, the 184kW/360Nm five-door $38,990 Focus ST and the 162kW/350Nm five-door $41,990 Golf GTI.

The VXR’s copious power comes from a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol four, matched to a six-speed manual and that HiPer Strut system for a claimed 6.0 second sprint to 100km/h

Fuel consumption with the VXR is listed at 8.0 l/100km.

The VXR also boasts a FlexRide control system, offering selectable drive settings:

  • Standard: all-round performance with comfort
  • Sport: stiffer chassis, improved agility and more direct steering
  • VXR: more direct steering, more responsive throttle, and tuned for maximum performance

Up front, 355mm cross-drilled and vented front rotors are clamped by four-piston Brembo calipers, with 315mm cross-drilled solid rotors and sliding-caliper brakes at the rear.

 

FEATURES

Standard kit with the GTC are 18-inch alloys, sports seats trimmed in Sportec artificial leather, along with Holden’s MyLink infotainment system that includes a seven-inch colour diaply with satellite navigation, Pandora, Stitcher and TuneIn Radio apps.

Front and rear parking sensors are also standard.

Upgrading to the GTC Sport adds proper leather trim, dual-zone climate control, 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals and a more sports-styled body-kit.

The VXR builds on those features with 20-inch alloys, the unique VXR styling and aero kit, VXR-specific steering wheel, and eight-way adjustable sports seats with power bolsters and lumbar support for both front occupants.

Feature Breakdown:

GTC

  • 18-inch alloy wheels w/ 17-inch steel space-saver spare
  • Cloth Morrocana sports seats with Sportec bolsters
  • Air conditioning with particle filter
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Projector headlamps (halogen)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Start/stop (MT only)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7-inch colour screen display
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Integrated apps: Pandora, Stitcher, Tune In Radio
  • digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

GTC Sport (in addition to GTC)

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lamps
  • Perforated leather Mondial trim
  • Eight-way adjustable driver seat with power lumbar control
  • Heated front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (front bumper lower spoiler edge, rear bumper lower spoiler edge, rocker moulding)
  • Electric park brake

VXR (in addition to GTC Sport)

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • FlexRide with continuous damping control
  • Electro-hydraulic power steering
  • Start/stop
  • Rear park assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Sports performance chassis
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ESC and ABS
  • Auto headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • VXR roof spoiler
  • VXR sports seats
  • Perforated leather Nappa trim
  • Eight-way adjustable heated driver and front passenger seat
  • Power bolsters and power lumbar - driver and passenger seats
  • VXR Leather steering wheel
  • VXR floor mats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7-inch colour screen display
  • Satellite navigation
  • Integrated apps: Pandora, Stitcher, Tune In Radio
  • digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack
 

PRICING (excludes on-road costs)

  • Astra GTC - manual - $26,990
  • Astra GTC - automatic - $29,190
    -
  • Astra GTC Sport - manual - $29,990
  • Astra GTC Sport - automatic - $32,190
    -
  • Astra VXR - manual - $39,990

MORE: Astra News & Reviews | 3door Hatches | Hot Hatches

 
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