Astra sedan replaces Cruze: Holden's star turn
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Holden New Zealand has replaced its Australia-built Cruze sedan with an Astra-badged version, joining the hatch and a soon-to-be-launched sportswagon.
The Astra sedan is due for launch in New Zealand this month and is priced from $30,990 for the entry-level LS, stepping up to a LT ($34,490) and the top-spec LTZ (an additional $4000).
All three models have a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine producing 110kW of power at 6500rpm and 240Nm of torque between 2000-4000rmp, and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 1.4-litre turbo engine has 5.8-litres per 100km.
The Astra sedan has a five-star Ancap rating with such safety features as a reverse camera and six airbags.
Holden has simplified its line-up for customers as production closes in Australia. Whereas the previous compact sedan was badged Cruze and built in Victoria, the new sedan has joined the Astra family.
Only 126,000 Cruze were produced at Holden’s Adelaide plant over the past five years.
It's a popular model in Europe and North America whereas our own domestic market has seen a slump in medium (and large) sedans in recent years. The expected split in sales of the Astra sedan is expected to be between 75-80 per cent for the hatch over the four-door.
The Astra sedan was created at GM Europe’s Russelsheim headquarters and has the same D2 architecture as the hatch while based on the Chevrolet Cruze (which Driven tested at the beginning of the year in Nashville).
What makes the Astra sedan stand out, however, is the design and engineering input from Holden Australia, which spent two years working on the prototype with testing centred around its Lang Lang proving ground.
The Astra sedan and the hatch are built in Korea.
The LT and LTZ models have 7in colour touchscreen with Apple Carplay.
Those two models also get advanced park assist (that backs you into spots) plus satnav, electric sunroof and Holden Eye, a radar system that facilitates lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert, forward-distance indicator and side blind-spot alert.
That extensive tuning pays off with the steering balanced and responsive.
The two days before the Kiwi motoring writers arrived at Byron Bay, there were multiple flat tyres as the Aussie journos struggled with the tough road conditions.
They struggled to cope with road conditions that many Kiwis would find common, but on the freeway the sedans’ power easily maintained traffic speed and had enough torque to overtake.