Andrey I bought this 2019 Holden ASTRA for $16,800 (including all on-road costs). Andrey I would buy this car again because: “The car represents excellent value for money. There was nothing else in 2019 and I’m not sure there is anything under $20,000 now with the same level of performance and practicality.” We’re talking about the Golf GTI V numbers in a very modern car. Holden’s exit from the market didn’t really affect the ownership experience, the car was 95% carefree and the other 5% was the warranty and Holden. Picked up by mechanics who went to the Mitsubishi dealership next door.
Being originally from Europe and hearing jokes about Opel (the Holden Astra is a rebadged Opel Astra) reliability (every car becomes an Opel over time) I was a bit skeptical about buying it, but a test drive, The quick price, cheap service cost (very cheap compared to Volkswagen) and the remaining three years of manufacturing warranty changed my mind.
And… I didn’t regret it. The car has been used a lot, on peak hour traffic drives, 1500km family road trips and even as an Uber at one point, clocking up 80,000km in three years and has No defeat… well, almost…
A couple of small electrical gremlins affecting the rear stop light and turn signal, which took two trips to the dealership to fix and a broken clip for one of the internal fixings. Not bad for an “unreliable Opel” in my opinion.
The overall experience can be divided into two parts: before and after Holden goes to Neverland. While Holden was still in Australia, there was no problem.
The car was purchased from a regional WA dealer and they brought the car to me for a test drive (yes, in the good old days when the dealer was interested in you as a customer. No complaints from the local Holden dealer either, Yes the dealership was not fancy, maybe due to renovations, but the service level was very good.
Things like courtesy car while the car was in service, a courtesy call from a service advisor with updates on progress are just a few examples of what was offered and this is on a capped service plan ($299 per service from memory). .
Boy, with Holden pulling out of Australia and moving operations next door to Mitsubishi, has that changed. Luckily the car was almost trouble free and I only needed to see them once a year.
I may be biased, but even at $26k drive-thru it was a good deal. Getting this car for under $17k with a 3.5 year warranty was a daylight robbery at the dealership.
17-inch alloys, 1.6L turbo four-cylinder engine, 360L boot – suitable for the class – blind spot monitoring, AEB, 7.0-inch screen with DAB, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, trip computer with digital speedo (in ‘I’ you Looking at, Mitsubishi).
The only thing missing in its full adoption is the LED lights for the headlights and taillights.
When it comes to the performance of the Astra to smash the competition, the closest would be the Kia Cerato GT, which produces similar numbers but will set you back at least $10k extra. The 1.6T engine produces 147kW and 280Nm – meaning the Golf GTI V no.
The engine is mated to a six-speed auto and seems to do a good job. There’s a sport button next to the gearshift and once pressed, it makes the steering wheel a little heavier and the gearbox revs above 3000rpm. All this results in a 0-100km/h time of 6.2 seconds.
There is a bit of torque steer under heavy acceleration but nothing overwhelming.
The car has been used quite extensively over the past three years, including ride-sharing, and fuel economy has been astounding. The car requires premium unleaded (95 RON min), but it pays you back with an average of 7.2-7.4l per 100km and goes up to around 5.0 liters per 100 on long freeway drives.
While this Astra generation was launched in 2016, even in 2022 the level of technology is on par with brand new cars.
The R and RS models get a smaller 7.0-inch touchscreen, where the RS-V model gets an 8.0-inch one. The 7.0-inch screen is small, but adequate and easy to use, running the Holden MyLink software. You get wired Android Auto and CarPlay as well as DAB radio and Bluetooth.
No inbuilt navigation, but never really bothered me, as I prefer Waze anyway. AEB, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera (although the resolution is quite low), self-parking mode are all standard.
The ride is firm rather than plush. However with 225/45/17 wheels it never gets too firm and uncomfortable.
The only thing I would add is extra soundproofing, it is a bit noisy on country roads. If you floor it at traffic lights, you get a bit of torque steer, but with better quality tires the problem essentially disappears.
A special mention goes to the sound system, which is very decent and able to pump some good bass through the speakers.