With the launch of its new Astra RS-V, Holden has made it clear that small cars can be just as sophisticated as the luxury sedans on the market. The Astra RS-V breaks free of the stigma that suggests small cars are cheap, built to save you money. The RS-V is built for drivers who appreciate refinement but also enjoy the freedom that a small car offers. Even with its premium features, there’s still savings to be made. Holden has slashed the higher pricing of an automatic gearbox plus the 1.6 litre turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine will only consume around 6.3 litres per 100km, saving you money at the bowser.
So what makes the Astra RS-V a luxury vehicle? That would be the mass of high-end features included as standard, such as two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lamps, heated front leather seats, ambient cabin lighting, proximity key entry and start, a heated leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and remote engine start. The impressive Mylink infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus built-in satellite navigation paired to the Sharkfin GPS antenna. The infotainment system is operated via the 8-inch colour touch display, the buttons on the steering wheel or the voice recognition system that allows you to input full navigation and call contacts.
Holden hasn’t skimped on the safety features either. Six airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), blind spot monitoring and forward collision alert, following distance indicator, lane keep assist, electric park brake, electrically assisted steering, automatic headlamps with tunnel detection, automatically dimming rear-view mirror, front and rear parking sensors with rear-view camera all contributed to the RS-V earning the highest possible ANCAP rating.
Under the hood, the aforementioned 1.6 litre turbo engine produces 147kW of power and 280Nm of torque. The front suspension is managed by MacPherson strut while the rear is Watts link. The Astra’s handling is incredibly smooth thanks to the electronic stability control, anti-lock braking, and traction control. A 6-speed manual transmission comes standard, and you can upgrade to a 6-speed auto gearbox for an additional fee.
The car itself is a sleek five-door hatchback suitable for both the city and the open road. The Astra’s front end is unique, featuring two separate grilles that are more for sweet style than assisting airflow. Same could be said for the rear roof spoiler, but it’s a nice touch. Large body coloured pull type door handles are tuned for a solid feel. The side mirrors are similarly coloured and heatable with a power adjustment. Inside, the front/rear seats are divided by a 60/40 split. The rear load compartment has 370 litres of cargo capacity with four tie-down points.
If the dozen-odd luxury standard features are not enough for you, there are also options for an Innovations Pack and a Touring Pack. The Innovations Pack includes matrix LED headlights, radar cruise control and an electric sunroof, while the Touring Pack comes with radar cruise control and an electric sunroof.
The Holden Astra RS-V is built with Australian engineering input, paired with European luxury design, packed into a familiar reliable hatchback. The result is a one of a kind vehicle that ultimately costs more but is also so much nicer to drive. The Holden Astra RS-V is available now in 8 stylish colours for RRP $33,190AU.