When is an Astra not an Astra? When it’s a Cruze with an assumed name.
ELABORATION from Holden about an Astra sedan joining a soon-to-launch hatch of the same name clarifies those cars’ commonality is not total.
The brand has now come clean that the ‘Astra sedan’ is not a full-blooded sister ship but actually more a distant relation – they certainly don’t share a common birthplace, for a start.
The Astra naming is really just a marketing convenience; in terms of bloodline, the incoming three-box four-door is actually the next generation of the Cruze sedan that Holden was until recently building in South Australia.
The new car isn’t built by Opel and doesn’t come out of Europe, as the new gen Astra hatch and old gen coupe do.
Instead, it sources from South Korea, which used to provide the Cruze in Holden form before the Australians took over. It’s also built and sold in North America, as a Chevrolet Cruze.
The Astra/Cruze sedan and Astra hatch are on the same underpinning, the new D2 chassis. Their electronic architecture is also close. And the sedan is also expected to take the 1.4-litre petrol that creates 110kW/240-245Nm (auto/manual) in the five-door. The sedan’s outputs have not yet been specified.
Holden Australia also says it has had a hand in tuning the suspension. It also insists, perhaps somewhat disingenuously, that the sedan was developed in Europe. That might all be true, but they don’t look much alike. Commonality in driving feel might not be likely, either, because the sedan has a different rear suspension.
Holden’s design input is limited to creating a grille that will ensure it has family resemblance to the next-gen Commodore, here at the end of the year.