2005 Holden Astra CDX 1.8 litre ECOTEC from Australia and New Zealand


Great build, handles like its on rails, good fuel economy - highly recommend


At 60,000 km air-conditioning motor - whining noise when Air-Con switched on regardless of car speed. Repaired under warranty (new aircon clutch assembly).

A couple of times it did not power on when the key was turned - electronic gremlin - gone for the present.

Rain sills have lost their black coating (100,000Km)

Spring loaded cover of 12 volt power input - spring no longer works - cover does not spring closed.

OK, so most of these are only minor issues, but, after 109,000Km, I honestly have not had any major breakdowns or repairs, apart from regular servicing and changing of timing belt etc at recommended intervals.

General Comments:

This has been a great little car to drive - solid build - you will not find better for the price bracket. I love the BMW like 'thud' of the doors closing. Very assuring on the safety side.

Cabin is very different to what's on offer from Asia - not for every ones taste - I read somewhere it was designed by an Audi guy. Multi-function buttons on steering wheel (CDX and above) are very cryptic - can never work out whether I'm changing the track or the CD or switching from CD to radio.

CD player is very good - one gripe was a missing step in the owner's manual - once you select "Eject CD" you've got to actually "Push" the Multi-Function wheel when the particular CD is highlighted to get the CD to eject (took us a trip back to the dealer and a few tries to work this out.)

The car itself handles extremely well - feels like it's on rails. Very direct and responsive steering.

Engine is gutless - they should have brought the later (2007 upgraded 103 KW, 1.8 litre VVT) out from the beginning, but when I bought it all they offered was the carry over engine from the previous model - 90 KW ECOTEC 1.8 litre. Not enough pickup for the weight of the vehicle - 0-100Km/h in 11.7 seconds (5 Speed Manual).

With this motor, definite lag from 1st to 2nd gear. Can't wait to get it into 3rd and hit the on-ramp to the Motorway - it sounds great getting from 60-100; just takes its time getting there, though it does feel like its torquey at this point.

Great for long trips - we've done 1600km round trip with wife and 3 kids plus luggage. Kids a bit big for it now, so won't be doing that again. But it certainly held its own on the highway - you just need to utilise 3rd a lot sooner than later for overtaking. Don't rely on 4th alone - you'll end up playing chicken with the oncoming traffic.

Loves to sit on 120km/h (this was on 110Km/h speed limit sections of Newell Highway) and wants to go faster.

BTW, speedo is not that accurate - When I was doing 100KM according to my Speedo - Digital Speedo in Honda Civic next to me said (106km/hr) (Boy, those Civic digital displays are big). Even the roadworks Electronic Speed Detector Signs show me doing about 4-5ks less than the speedo says. Psychologically reassuring for lead foots if you just set cruise control at 5 k's above Speed Limit - at least you feel like you're getting there sooner, while you still avoid the speeding tickets. :-)

Fuel economy is very impressive - I've done 670km on a tank (50 usable litres) - right down to the last 0.5km Dist to Empty.

Great stereo system (6 Stacker CD, 7 Speaker Surround Sound system) - Base with Graphic Equaliser leaves some Subie Doof-Doofers for dead.

Paint finish is great - still looks like new.

Now that it is out of warranty, (done 109,000km), ideal for a few mods to at least get a bit more pickup out of the 1.8 litre ECOTEC. Any suggestions welcome. Not sure if I can afford any just yet, though. :-)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2008

2005 Holden Astra AH CDXi 1.8 Ecotec from Australia and New Zealand


Excellent value for money, solid car


No problems at all, and I am telling the truth, couldn't be happier...

General Comments:

This car has been fantastic, originally purchased new from Holden, Breeze Blue CDXi Astra 1.8, 2005 Model...

This car is jam packed with features listed below...


Heated seats (good for winter).

Cruise control (easy to use, don't know what the fuss is about, people must be green or something).

Adjustable headlight beams via switch on dash.

7 speaker Blaupunkt sound system with 6 stacker in dash CD changer.. plenty of bass with equalizer..

Excellent heater and demister, air con brilliant in summer.

Solid construction, unlike some of its competitors..

8 airbags including curtain airbags...

Brilliant paint job; even after nearly 3 years it still looks like new, and has a very nice shine from the quality of the clear that's been applied in production...

Very comfy seats they mould over time with your body. Like all new seats they are going to be a bit stiff at first, but they need time and now they are brilliant...

We drove to Bordertown on the way to Adelaide on one tank, and back to Horsham on the same tank; never missed a beat, very comfy and plenty of power for over taking at high speed on the open road. Also feels safe and solid on the road; remarkable handling...

A lot of people bag the Astra, but I really do not have any idea why???

It may be that people just don't want to pay that little bit extra, but we did and we're glad we didn't decide to buy a cheaper Asian manufactured car that wouldn't have been anywhere near as safe and solid on safety as an Astra. Sure they are reliable, but that solid safe feeling just ain't there...

I suggest to anyone interested in an AH Astra that they take it for a decent test drive, just to see how nice they feel, then take a car from the opposition for a drive, and you know why the people that bought Astra's did buy them...

All cars have their problems, but if you look after your car well, and know its limits, it won't let you down. We have looked after our Astra and never had a problem...and it always turns heads..

Happy Astra owner...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2008

21st Dec 2008, 19:14

I am in the process of purchasing a 2005 CDXI (which has done 28000 km), and after reading your review I'm definitely at ease with the purchase I am about to make. Thanks for posting this :)

14th Jan 2009, 23:38

Hey that's great to hear, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed, just have the car serviced on its scheduled service intervals and look after the car, it won't let you down...

We have just hit 75,000km and the car is still going extremely well. I must admit I wish the 2005 model had the new 1.8 litre engine though, but who cares, with the sport button on she still has plenty of poke at take off from the lights..

We just completed a trip to Horsham and back around Christmas. She drove beautifully and was great on petrol, even with the air con going...