Holden's new hot hatch hero has arrived from $39,990, plus on-roads.
Holden's new hot hatch hero has arrived from $39,990, plus on-roads.

Holden Astra is back from $26,990, convertible from $41,990

AIMED to add some sophistication to Holden's line-up, the European-sourced Astra GTC, Astra VXR and Cascada convertible are rolling into showrooms.

While the Astras aren't new to Australia, they were here not long ago wearing Opel badges, the pricing is certainly keen. The Astra GTC starts from $26,990 plus on-roads, while the halo VXR hot hatch is below $40,000 - down about $3K when it wore the lightning strike moniker.

The Cascada offers a true four-seat drop-top from $41,990.

Holden has improved features on the Opel models last seen here, and said it can justify the lower prices by being able to spread the financial load across a much larger network.

holden astra vxr
The Holden Astra VXR.

Two engines will be used across the range, with a 1.6-litre turbo in the Astra GTC and Cascada, while the fire-breathing VXR features a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-potter.

The new offerings are what Holden is calling an entrée to a new model onslaught which will see 24 new vehicles and 34 new powertrains introduced over the next five years. Next  to arrive will be the Insignia sedan. 

"Astra and Cascada exhibit all the hallmarks of premium European manufactured cars. Both are visually stunning with great road presence and exceptional build quality," Holden's sales executive director Peter Keley said.

"We are confident these are the right cars for Australia, giving buyers a vehicle to aspire to own and this is something echoed by our dealers.

"Dealers nationwide have expressed interest and excitement in Astra and Cascada and are looking forward to getting their hands on them."

holden cascada
The Holden Cascada.

Bottom line
Astra GTC, manual $26,990
Astra GTC, automatic $29,190
Astra GTC Sport, manual $29,990
Astra GTC Sport, automatic $32,190
Astra VXR, manual $39,990
Cascada, automatic $41,990
Cascada Launch Edition, automatic $44,990

holden astra GTC
The Holden Astra GTC

Vital statistics
Holden Astra
Details: Three-door five-seat front-wheel drive hatchback.
Engines: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol generating maximum power of 147kW @ 4750-6000rpm (automatic 125kW @ 4750-6000rpm) and peak torque of 280Nm @ 1650-5000rpm (auto 260Nm @ 1650-4500rpm); 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol 206kW @ 5300rpm and 400Nm @ 2400-4800rpm.
Transmissions: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Consumption: 1.6-litre - 6.9 litres/100km (combined average, manual), 7.5L/100km (auto). 2.0-litre - 8.0L/100km.
CO2: 1.6-litre - 166g/km (m), 181g/km (a). 2.0-litre - 193g/km.

holden cascada
Inside the Holden Cascada.

Model: Holden Cascada
Details: Two-door four-seat convertible.
Engines: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol generating maximum power of automatic 125kW @ 4750-6000rpm and peak torque of auto 260Nm @ 1650-4500rpm.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic.
Consumption: 7.5 litres/100km (combined average).
CO2: 181g/km.