Holden Astra CD coupe
road test

One of the nation's most popular cars
gets a sporty 2-door look!



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Getting around in the new Astra coupe sure does get you noticed. This new model expands the Astra range by adding a sporty-looking little number to one of the nation's most successful small car line-ups.

The stylish coupe, with an appearance which I suggest looks 'chopped', because it has a low roofline look similar to some customised cars and hot rods, seems to be just the right model to add a little spice to a model range which demonstrates how small cars are improving. For example, the previous Astra was a good car in its day, but its day is certainly in the past because the new Astra is showing how much modern day small cars have improved. The new AH model, which in hatchback form has been with us for over a year now, is enhanced by the availability of the new coupe and, also, the new wagon.

For now, we look at the Astra CD coupe, which is the entry level coupe model. The test car was fitted with automatic transmission. The colour was 'Star Silver', one of five optional choices.

The starting price (RRP) for a coupe is $23,490 plus $2,000 for the auto and $300 for the optional metallic paint, making a total RRP of $25,790.

Standard equipment includes the familiar 1.8 litre DOHC 16-valve Ecotech 4-cylinder engine. Other standard features include 15" alloy wheels (with a full size steel spare wheel), cruise control, rack and pinion steering (power), 4-wheel disc brakes, ABS, adjustable steering column (height and reach), electric remote control exterior mirrors, tachometer, multi-function display unit, folding key, single disc CD player with MP3 function with the AM/FM audio system, 4 airbags upfront, power front windows (with 'express' up/down), 50/40 foldable rear seat back, cargo cover, air conditioning and an engine immobiliser system.

The stalks for the turn indicators and wipers are on the correct side. That is a good thing. We appreciate it! Perhaps other car manufacturers could do the same with their European products.

2005 Holden Astra CD coupe

Holden Astra CD coupe
Location: Speers Point NSW

Click the image for a larger view

2005 Holden Astra CD coupe

Holden Astra CD coupe
Location: Belmont NSW

Click the image for a larger view

Driving the new Astra is a pleasant experience. We know that from our past driving experience with the new AH series hatchbacks. The coupe is the same, it just shows a new level of individuality. Compared to the former Astra, which has now been discontinued, the new AH has improved steering and noise absorption. The ride and handling is quite good and is amongst the very best in this price range.

The Astra is a particularly pleasing package, as all aspects of this top seller come together well. We could come up with no complaints other than there is no locking fuel cap! Sure, rear vision is fairly ordinary, but would you expect anything else in a stylish coupe?

A particularly commendable aspects of this new small coupe is the relatively easy entry/egress to the rear seats. I found my middle-aged frame could negotiate the doorway and front seats quite easily. And that isn't always easy with some two door cars. Of course, if you do battle with tight parking spaces, it is best not to have a two door car!

Overall we found the Holden Astra CD coupe to be a pleasing proposition. The on-road behaviour is very good for this class of car. And we prefer the automatic, by the way. But the real surprise with the coupe, is the good value offered by Holden. The price isn't inflated because it's a coupe. It's priced to provide a real alternative to those who don't want a 5-door hatchback. The body design and the standard alloy wheels are attractive, but there are no bright colours on offer. Forget about looking for a red coupe, same goes for yellow. There is only one colour on offer at the standard price, that's white. All other colours incur an additional charge.

By being an Astra, this new model is a pleasing car. By being a coupe, it reveals some style. By being priced so keenly it demonstrates that Holden are serious about putting more Astras onto our roads!

The coupe is another Astra we enjoy driving!

Stephen Walker
5th December, 2005

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You'll see it HERE after midday 30/12/05.

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