HOLDEN / OPEL ASTRA 2004 – 2019

2007 Holden Astra

The Astra was built by Opel in Europe but rebadged as a Holden. It was sold as the Astra
AH from November 2004 until 2009. Interestingly Holden chose to sell the low-cost models
of the superseded TS series when the AH series was introduced. These had the title of
Astra Classic.

In March 2007 it got a facelift and improved engine performance. The Astra AH models
discontinued in 2010 to be replaced by cheaper Korean cars. Many Australian drivers
didn’t like the dynamics of the Korean models so the Astra was brought back again in
September 2012.

This time the Astra had Opel badges not Holden ones. The idea was to give Astra a more
upmarket image – and sell it for higher prices. It didn’t work so the Opel Astra was pulled
out of the Australian market less than a year later.

Astra returned in May 2015 – with Holden badges. The virtually all-new Astra BK Series
was launched in November 2016. Most were built in Europe and the UK.

The sedan was made in Korea and has suspension design from Germany. Australian
engineers worked with the Europeans and the car suits Aussie drivers’ tastes. A real
bonus is that build quality was much better than in the early days of Korean models.

The BK Astra is thoroughly up to date car both in technology and in driving dynamics.

Interior room is fine for two adults and three children, four adults can be transported but
there may have to be juggling on legroom front to rear on the passenger side.

2013 Opel Astra

Most Astras are five-door hatches but there are also three-door hatchbacks, four-door
sedans and five-door wagons, even an Astra convertible. The latter was sold from 2002
until the end 2010. Convertibles from March 2007 were an all-new design and were given
the tag of ‘TwinTop’ as the roof folded in two sections.

Sporting models include the Astra SRi Turbo, launched in the middle of 2003. It was
withdrawn a year later only to make a return in 2006. A lower cost SRi (without the turbo
engine) was introduced as part of the 2007 upgrade of the complete range. The sports
model in the PJ Series is the GTC, it’s a real hotshot with 206 kW of power.

The great majority of Astras use four-cylinder petrol engines with capacities ranging from
1.6, through 1.8 to 2.0 litres.

An Astra turbo-diesel engine was sold from June 2006 until 2008. Some of these may not
have been sold new till 2009. These days turbo-diesels in cars are less popular than in the
past, though much more popular in SUVs and 4WDs.

Underbonnet accessibility in Astras is generally good and the car is relatively easy to work
on. Safety related items should not be worked on by a home mechanic.

There are Holden dealers in just about every corner of Australia, but some in more remote
areas may not carry all parts for the Astra, so you may have to wait a day or so for them to
be delivered.

Spare parts prices, in both Holden and Opel terms, are about average for this class.

2015 Holden Astra

Insurance rates are pretty reasonable when you consider that the Astra is a fully-imported
European car. Get quotes in advance for the sporting variants, particularly the Turbo, as
insurance costs can be substantially higher.

There were quality control problems in older cars, so have a professional look over the
Astra to find out its exact condition.

Check the Astra has an up-to-date service book as diesels can be more of a problem than
petrols if not maintained correctly.

Try to test the engine when it’s cold after an overnight stop. Start it up and make sure the
oil-pressure light goes out promptly. At the same time listen for any rattling and feel for
unevenness in the engine’s idle.

Accelerate the car hard after the engine is warm and feel for any hesitation under
acceleration. Look for a puff of smoke from the exhaust at the same time.

If you suspect a turbocharged engine has been driven hard get it looked over by an expert.

When braking hard the car shouldn’t pull to one side and no one wheel should lock before
the others. ABS, if fitted, will cause a vibration through the pedal as it operates.

Check for crash damage and previous body repairs. Looking at the finish of the paint, as
well as for overspray on unpainted parts.

Look over the cabin and boot for seats, dashboard, door trim and carpets to make sure the
car hasn’t been knocked about by lazy owners – or rowdy kids.

Check for any tyres with uneven wear, particularly those at the front as they do the bulk of
the work.

RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at:

Budget on paying from $1500 to $3000 for a 2007-2010 Holden Astra hatch; $4000 to
$7000 for a 2010 SRi Coupe; $5000 to $9000 for a 2012 Open Astra GTC hatch; $7000 to
$11,000 for a 2103 Opel Astra wagon; $9000 to $13,000 for a 2015 Holden Astra GTC;
$10,000 to $15,000 for a 2013 Opel Astra GTC Coupe or a 2015 Holden Astra GTC Sport;
and $13,000 to $19,000 for a 2017 Holden Astra RS-V hatch.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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