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Review: Holden AH Astra (2004-09)

Review: Holden AH.I Astra (2004-07)

Overview

Released in September 2004, the Holden AH Series I (AH.I) Astra was initially available as a five-door hatchback, with three-door hatchbacks and five-door wagons following in July 2005. Manufactured in Belgium, the front-wheel drive AH.I Astra was initially powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engines following in June 2006. In December 2006, 2.2-litre direct-injected petrol and 2.0-litre turbocharged engines were introduced for the SRi and SRi Turbo variants, respectively.

Engines

Of the engines,
  • For CD, CDX and CDXi variants, the 1.8-litre Z18XE four-cylinder petrol engine had a cast-iron cylinder block, an alloy cylinder head, double overhead camshafts (belt-driven), four valves per cylinder, a variable length intake manifold (‘Twinport’), an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve and a compression ratio of 10.5:1;
  • For CDTi variants, the 1.9-litre diesel engines had a cast-iron cylinder block, an alloy cylinder head, common-rail injection and a single Garrett turbocharger with intercooler. For models with automatic transmissions, the CDTi engine had a single overhead camshaft, two valves for cylinder and a compression ratio of 18.0:1. For models with manual transmissions, however, the CDTi engine had double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and a compression ratio of 17.5:1;
  • For SRi variants, the 2.2-litre Z22YH four-cylinder petrol engine had an aluminium block and cylinder head, direct fuel injection, double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and a compression ratio of 12.0:1; and,
  • For SRi Turbo variants, the Z20LER four-cylinder petrol engine had a cast iron block, an alloy cylinder head, a single turbocharger which provided constant peak pressure of 0.85 bar (12.3 psi) from 1950 rpm to 5600 rpm, double overhead camshafts (belt-driven), four valves per cylinder and a compression ratio of 8.8:1.

Dimensions and suspension

Compared to its TS predecessor, the five-door AH Astra hatchback was 139 mm longer (at 4249 mm), 44 mm wider (1753 mm), 35 mm taller (1460 mm) and had an 8 mm longer wheelbase (2614 mm). The new bodyshell had a higher proportion of high-strength steel and achieved a 52 per cent increase in flex resistance and a 47 per cent reduction in lateral flexing.

Like its predecessor, the AH Astra had MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle.
Holden AH.I Astra specifications
Body Variant Years Engine Trans. Peak power Peak torque
5 door hatch CD,
CDX,
CDXi
2004-07 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
5sp man.
90kW at 5600rpm 165Nm at 3800rpm
CDTi 2006-07 1.9-litre turbo-diesel I4 6sp auto 88kW at 3500rpm 280Nm at 2000rpm
6sp man 110kW at 4000rpm 320Nm at 2000rpm
SRi 2006-07 2.2-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
6sp man.
110kW at 5600rpm 215Nm at 4000rpm
3 door hatch CD,
CDX
2005-07 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
5sp man.
90kW at 5600rpm 165Nm at 3800rpm
SRi Turbo 2006-07 2.0-litre
turbo petrol I4
6sp man. 147kW at 5400rpm 262Nm at 4200rpm
SRi 2006-07 2.2-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
6sp man.
110kW at 5600rpm 215Nm at 4000rpm
5 door wagon CD,
CDX
2005-07 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
5sp man.
90kW at 5600rpm 165Nm at 3800rpm

Safety equipment

Standard safety equipment for the AH.I Astra included dual front airbags, front side airbags, ABS, brake assist, anti-submarining seat ramps for front and rear seats and front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. The CDXi was further equipped with full-length curtain airbags (i.e. for front and rear occupants), while the CDTi, SRi and SRi Turbo were also fitted with electronic stability control and traction control. From June 2006, the CDX was fitted with full-length curtain airbags.

Euro NCAP crash testing

In Euro NCAP crash testing, a 2004 five-door Opel Astra hatchback - as the Astra was sold in Europe - received a five star adult occupant protection rating with a score of 33.54 out of 37 when fitted with dual front airbags, front side airbags and full length curtain airbags. In the frontal offset crash test, there was a slight risk of serious chest and leg injury for the front occupants. Furthermore, there was a slight risk of serious chest injury in the side impact test.

Features: Astra CD, CDTi, CDX and CDXi

Standard features for the entry-level Astra CD included 15-inch steel wheels, a seven speaker sound system with CD player and MP3-compatibility, air conditioning, steering wheel audio controls, rear fog lamps, 60/40 split and folding rear seats, remote central locking, front power windows and mirrors, heated mirrors, tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, cargo cover, tinted windows and immobiliser; the CD coupe was fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels.

The Astra CDTi was further equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, six-way adjustable front seats, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power rear windows and trip computer with graphic information display; manual models also had a lower ride height, firmer suspension, quicker steering ratio and 'Sport' switch for sharper steering and throttle responses.

The Astra CDX added a six-stack CD player with graphic equaliser and digital sound processing, roof mounted sunglasses holder, scuff plates and floor mats; coupe models were also fitted with leather-faced seats and heated front seats. Beyond this, the CDXi featured climate control air conditioning, eight-way adjustable front sports seats (including lumbar adjustment), front fog lamps, a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel and leather-wrapped gearshift lever.

Features: Astra SRi and SRi Turbo

Compared to the CDXi variant, the Astra SRi was differentiated by its 17-inch alloy wheels, charcoal leather trim, heated front seats, sports body kit and rear spoiler.

The Astra SRi Turbo was distinguished fitted with 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and continuous damping control, which constantly varied shock absorber characteristics to the road conditions and chassis movements. Visually, the SRi Turbo could be identified by its tapered bumper, modified radiator grille, larger air inlets, aluminium exhaust tip and body kit (including rear window spoiler, deep rocker mouldings and rear bumper).

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Review: Holden AH.II Astra (2007-09)

Overview

Released in April 2007, the AH Series II (AH.II) Astra introduced an updated 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a revised range with the introduction of a five-door SRi hatchback. Visually, the AH.II Astra could be identified by its new front fascia, headlights and grille (with a broader chrome strip and chrome radiator bars). In June 2008, the range underwent a further update with improved safety equipment, the introduction of a CDTi wagon and 1.8-litre engines replacing the 2.2-litre units in the SRi variants.
Holden AH.II Astra specifications
Body Variants Years Engine Trans. Peak power Peak torque*
5 door hatch CD,
CDX
2007-09 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
5sp man.
103kW at 6300rpm 170Nm at 3800rpm
60th Anniv. 2008
CDTi 2007-09 1.9-litre turbo-diesel I4 6sp auto 88kW at 3500rpm 280Nm at 2000rpm
6sp man. 110kW at 4000rpm 320Nm at 2000rpm
SRi 2007-08 2.2-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
6sp man.
110kW at 5600rpm 210Nm at 4000rpm
2008-09 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
6sp man.
103kW at 6300rpm 170Nm at 3800rpm
3 door hatch CD,
CDX
2007-08 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
5sp man.
103kW at 6300rpm 170Nm at 3800rpm
SRi Turbo 2007-09 2.0-litre turbo petrol I4 6sp man. 147kW at 5400rpm 262Nm at 4200rpm
SRi 2007-08 2.2-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
6sp man.
110kW at 5600rpm 210Nm at 4000rpm
2008-09 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
6sp man.
103kW at 6300rpm 170Nm at 3800rpm
5 door wagon CD,
CDX
2007-09 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto,
5sp man.
103kW at 6300rpm 170Nm at 3800rpm
60th Anniv. 2008 1.8-litre petrol I4 4sp auto
CDTi 2008-09 1.9-litre turbo-diesel I4 6sp auto 88kW at 3500rpm 280Nm at 2000rpm
*Note: 1.8-litre petrol I4 engines fitted with the 5sp manual transmission produced peak torque of 175Nm.

Safety equipment

Standard safety equipment for the AH.II Astra was initially the same as its AH.I predecessor. From June 2008, however, electronic stability control and traction control were made standard across the range – these features had previously been omitted from the CD and CDX variants.

Features

Features for the AH.II Astra range were substantially the same as AH.I. In August 2008, the CD and CDX hatchback and station wagon models reverted back to black bezel projector-style headlamps.

2008 Astra 60th Anniversary

In June 2008, a 60th Anniversary five-door hatchback and wagon variant was released. Compared to the CD variant, the 60th Anniversary variant added electronic stability control, traction control, 15-inch alloy wheels and '60th Anniversary' badging.

Review by
2004 Holden AH.I Astra CD 3dr: silver front quarter (Australia)

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