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Holden Astra GTC Review
- Vital Stats
$42,990 - $39,990
Average sized but big enough
The Holden Astra GTC
Following a five-year hiatus, Holden is back with a new range of two-door Astra hatches. Sourced from their previous supplier Opel, the three new models promise to excel the exceptional sales performance of the previous 14 years.
The line up includes the two-door Astra GTC Sport, which sits in the middle of the three-car range. Slightly lower down the price ladder is the Astra GTC, while the crème de la crème is VXR model, which stars in the advertising campaign, looking sleek and sexy whilst fighting drones.
AutoChic drove the GTC Sport car back in 2013 when Opel was attempting to integrate their affordable Euro range of front wheel drive models into the Australian market. Opel ultimately made very little impact on the local scene and have regressed – but Holden sees huge merit in the Astra badge and is running with it.
In 2013 the two-door design was appreciated with its modern take on the sports hatch, falling just short of its Euro rival offering of the time - the Renault Megane. A lot has happened in the market in the last two years and the rest of the pack have moved on, leaving the Astra looking a little dated in our view, nevertheless the shape still has appeal and a certain ‘go fast ‘ look.
The GTC is kitted with punchy 1.6 litre turbo petrol---the sports manual produces 147 kw/280NM and the sports auto (tested) is down on power with 125kw/ 260NM. The engine has a nice sporty feel and delivers on command. The car itself is responsive on take off, while the auto transmission was well in sync, helping the motor to resist over-revving when building speed. (0-100km/h 8.0 sec).
On the highway the GTC Sport comes into its own, having good mid-end power and tight responsive steering. Even with a firmer suspension setting, the hatch’s ride is stable at most speeds including corners and bends, which are executed with ease.
The sporty feeling is better translated in the interior space, with leather-trimmed seats nicely bolstered to give a true sense of support and comfort. It was refreshing to notice an absence of flashy leather colours splashed on the seating or dash, as other brands have favoured.
The rear passenger seat was larger than expected, with room for two adults in the rear to enjoy moderate legroom and headspace. The dashboard instrument layout is sporty looking but highly visible and operational (although a little antiquated considering the blast of orange and red in the graphics).
Despite a rather small rear oval shaped window, the middle rear vision mirror works well. Reaching for the seatbelt from the front seat is difficult and takes a little effort to buckle up.
Overall, the Astra GTC is a sound, comfy, ‘moderately’ hot hatch with very civilised road manners and sports appeal. AutoChic was always a fan of past Opel based Astras and we’re sure the current generation of Holden Astras (although only coupes) will provide the same reliability, build quality and value as they have in the past. Other competitive sports hatch alternatives in the market include the Hyundai Veloster and the Kia Cerato.
What we liked
Not so much
No reverse camera
Describe this car in three words
Comfortable, punchy, responsive
If this car were a person, who would it be?