HOLDEN ASTRA WAGON ARRIVES

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Holden has introduced the latest Astra station wagon (Sportwagon in GM-H terminology) to join the hatch and sedan that arrived earlier this year.

It’s good to see the stylists have gone for a functional rear end rather than the sloped-coupe look. Holden has a long history of practical wagons and we suspect the Aussies on the design team have had a hand in this feature.

Sportwagon was designed alongside the Astra hatch sibling, at Opel’s Russelsheim headquarters in Germany and is built in England at Vauxhall’s factory. As with the hatch, the Astra wagon was tuned by the Holden suspension and steering teams in Europe.

Astra Sportwagon has the same powertrain as the hatchback, a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol (110 kW / 240 Nm) and six-speed automatic transmission, as in the hatch.

The new Holden wagon is being sold in two formats, LS+ and LT: The LS+ has a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Digital DAB+ through a six-speaker radio. The cruise control has a speed limiter.

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To these features the Astra LT wagon adds, 17-inch alloy wheels (up from 16-inch), leather trim, a kick-to-open powered tailgate and climate controlled air conditioning. The touchscreen is increased to 8.0 inches and has sat nave built in. Finally there’s the useful feature of automatic parking.

Astra Sportwagon has extensive safety technology including auto emergency braking, lane keep assist and forward collision alert and rearview camera. It has a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Holden is, somewhat optimistically promoting the Sportwagon as a real alternative to small SUVs. We say ‘optimistically’ because tough looking SUVs are overpowering this market segment. We completely agree with Holden’s positive attitude but feel the Sportwagon may struggle against the macho-look SUVs.

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We’ve yet to get into the driving seat of a Holden Astra Sportwagon, but will do so asap and get back to you with our thoughts.

New Holden Astra Sportwagon prices are $25,740 for the LS+ and $29,940 for the LT. These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Holden dealer for drive-away pricing.

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