On a new car costing less than $22,000, you wouldn't expect the world in terms of in-car entertainment and safety tech. Holden's new Astra, though, has one of the most comprehensive driver assistance safety packages and luxury features of any car in its price bracket that we've seen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard in the cheapest model, and there's a clear progression in what you get when you step up to the premium RS and RS-V.
The first entirely new Astra in years has just rolled off GM subsidiary Opel's production line in Poland, and it'll be on Aussie shores in the next couple of months in three distinct trim specifications. Holden is actually projecting a lot of interest for the car, which was recently named 2016 European Car of the Year, and is encouraging prospective buyers to register their interest.
The base $21,990 Astra R will have GM's 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder Ecotec engine, producing 110kW and 240Nm with combined fuel consumption of just 5.8 litres per 100km; the new car is 130kg lighter than its predecessor, too. Standard equipment includes a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and DAB+ digital radio, as well as a rear-view camera with parking assist.
Moving up to the $26,490 Astra RS gets you a larger 1.6-litre turbo Ecotec four with 147kW/300Nm, but also passive entry and push-button start, better parking assistance with front and back sensors, blind spot alert, and the company's Holden Eye front-facing camera that will detect traffic and add automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert, as well as lane-keeping assistance and guidance.
The top RS-V trim has larger 18-inch alloys versus the base's 17-inchers, leather-trimmed front heated seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as a larger 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as integrated sat-nav. LED tail-lamps and dual-zone climate control round out a pretty fancy package, but there's one nifty extra you'll want to pay a little more for — optional front IntelliLux LED headlamps on the RS-V will adapt their beam length and distribution according to traffic conditions, working with the front-facing camera to adjust based on the location of nearby cars.
Holden's Aussie techs have customised the Astra for local terrain, and all three trim specs have an auto option available for $2200. The new Astra will be out in Australia from December and Holden is already taking pre-orders on its site. [Holden]