Regardless of where we live in the world, it's hard to ignore the kudos and respect a car gains by being named European Car of the Year. Whether you're here in Australia, in Japan, the USA or somewhere in Asia, you know a car has to be good to gain this coveted award. It's a little odd though, because similar awards from Japan, the US and over here don’t carry the same sort of sway in Europe, but that could start to change as the industry becomes even more globalized than it is already.
All about the look
The Holden Astra R is a version of the new Astra hatch that focuses on style and value for money, which is a combination of attributes likely to appeal to a huge amount of potential buyers. While car enthusiasts like to bang on about power, performance and handling most of the time, for the overwhelming majority of consumers these are not their main priorities. Whether we like to admit it or not, the first thing almost everybody wants in a new car is something they like the look of. Just think about it for a moment. When was the last time you spoke to someone and they said they didn’t like the way their new car looked, but they bought it because it had a stiff chassis that was great for cornering? The answer is probably never.
Holden's latest Astra is already a very good-looking car, but the Astra R builds on that excellent starting point by making the Astra R look noticeably sportier. Holden certainly isn't the first manufacturer to give a sporty slant to a fairly normal mass-market car without going overboard on tuning the performance to match, and you can guarantee it won’t be the last either.
Features and equipment
For a start, the Astra R sits on some fairly sizeable 17-inch alloys as standard, which is something none of its rivals offer at this sort of price. But that's just the start of the goodies you get for what is without question a very reasonable price. Along with the sporty styling cues, standard features also include: hill start assist, a rear-view camera, rear parking bleepers, ta couple of ISOFIX anchor points, cruise control with a speed limiter, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Holden MyLink that supports DAB+, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Of course, even though looks and features are what most buyers want for their money, a bit of decent performance doesn’t go amiss either. The Astra R has a nice little unit powering its front wheels, which is a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that develops an impressive 110 kW and 240 Nm of torque. That's actually more power than most of the Astra's rivals, but using a relatively small displacement engine with a turbo also delivers pretty good furl economy too. On the combined cycle the 1.4-litre Astra R is rated at 5.8 L/100km, which is pretty impressive it has to be said.
For more details of the 2016 European Car of the Year - Holden Astra R from $21990 auto drive away, get in touch with us at the Peninsula Motor Group today.