So the Astra small car is now back within the Holden fold after a short-lived stint here wearing the badges of its original German maker, Opel.
Aside from giving Holden a second option to prong small-car buyers with (the Cruze is the other), it means the company's on-again-off-again relationship with convertibles is now back in the 'on' position.
The new soft-top is called Cascada but it's essentially a soft-top Astra by another name, drawing its key architecture, drivetrain and other aspects from that car.
Its mission? Holding a torch to the belly of the VW Golf Cabriolet and other leading small convertibles.
What do you get?
The Cascada kicks off from $41,990 plus on-road costs, undercutting the VW by $2000.
It matches the VW's dual-zone climate control, sat nav, Bluetooth, heated front seats, leather trim, auto headlights/wipers, three-layer fabric power roof and 18-inch alloys, then goes a few steps further with a heated steering wheel, digital radio, integrated apps (Stitcher and Pandora) and full-size spare (17-inch steel versus space-saver).
Our test car was one of 50 'launch edition' models, which dial up the glitz with Nappa leather, ventilated front seats, sports steering wheel, adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lamps and 20-inch alloys for a $3000 premium.
Like all Holdens, service costs are capped for the life of the vehicle. If you don't break the yearly/15,000km intervals, you're up for as little as $229 per annum for the first four years.
The Cascada hasn't been assessed by the ANCAP crash-test regime but its twin front/side airbags, stability control, parking sensors and reversing camera keep it more or less honest with its key rivals.
But don't expect contemporary driver aids like autonomous emergency braking (this hasn't really made it to the class yet) or the adaptive cruise control and blindspot/lane-departure warnings that can be optioned on some small soft-tops.
The Cascada's folding fabric roof is impressively snug and hushed in the up position but also makes for rotten rear three-quarter vision, so it's good a reversing camera is standard.
The roof retracts in 17 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h, so it's not flummoxed by traffic-light or sudden-shower scenarios, even if it's not super-quick (the Golf's drops in nine seconds).
The Holden stacks up as a pretty functional by four-seat cabrio standards. You wouldn't want to be a tall adult stuck behind another tall adult for a long stint, but the rear bench didn't seem quite as narrow or upright as others from the canon.
It packs plenty of boot space with the roof raised (380 litres). With the roof down you still get a decent 280 litres, though like all convertibles there are serious height restrictions due to the space taken up by the dropped roof (and luggage protector). A 50/50 split-fold function for the back seat adds welcome versatility.
Lushly supportive seats, ample space and seatbelt feeders (just like a Mercedes-Benz) mean the news is good for those in the shotgun positions. The heated seats and steering wheel, plus a reasonably unruffled atmosphere, mean its pleasing roof-down qualities aren't just restricted to warmer weather.
It has quite the sense of occasion, too, with its swoopy design, stitched-leather dash and ambient night lighting. While some of the less prominent plastics aren't a quality benchmark, it certainly doesn't feel cheap.
But the busy, button-heavy infotainment system is fiddlier to use than touch-screen equivalents and a clue to the basic Cascada design's advancing age (it's been around for six years in other markets). The trip computer's old-fashioned dot-matrix readout (many cars now have colour readouts) adds to the slightly dated feel.
Under the bonnet
The Cascada takes a similar small-capacity turbo path as key competitors – in this case a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that cranks out 125kW of power and 260Nm of torque, hooked up to a six-speed automatic.
Its power/torque numbers are roundly competitive but the Holden is also rather beefy (1744kg), so it's slower than the similarly powerful Golf (9.9 seconds for the 0-100km/h versus 8.4) and thirstier (7.5L/100km versus 6.5).
The Cascada cranks out its solid peak torque from just 1650rpm, so it gets along with more than adequate verve and very little in the way of bluster in normal urban and highway driving.
But ask for serious acceleration in open-road, overtaking or hilly scenarios and Holden's response can be just a little limp-wristed, despite the little engine spinning for all its worth. The auto's tendency to grab a higher gear as soon as possible means plenty of downshifting, even if the shifts are quite smooth. The manual-shift mode, then, is welcome even if it lacks the handy steering-wheel paddles of some alternatives.
We returned a fuel-economy average of 9.8L/100km on test, or about what we've managed in some big six-cylinder sedans. It has no auto start/stop system to save fuel at a standstill and prefers top-shelf 98RON premium brew, though it'll sip 95RON if it has to.
On the road
The launch-edition Cascada's big 20-inch alloys stumble a little over sharper low-speed bumps and really big impacts cause the body to shake and shudder a little.
In between those extremes, though, is a ride that cushions most surface irregularities, even lumpy rural tarmac, quite well. Despite the fabric roof and big tyres it's respectably hushed, with the exception of some wind noise from the left exterior mirror area of our car at certain speeds.
But the Holden doesn't cater to hard chargers as well as it does cruisers. There's little untoward about its behaviour on those rare billiard-table roads, where you can tap into the faithful steering, predictable balance and ample roadholding.
However, its weight, body wobbles and the suspension's less than athletic tune all catch up with it on bumpy, twisting tarmac, where it feels slow-witted, disjointed and definitely out of its comfort zone.
The Cascada is beset by rather too many issues to achieve brilliance. It needs to be quicker, thriftier, drive better and have more contemporary safety features and cabin detailing for that.
But it also zones in on its key purpose pretty darn well with its sharp looks, professional roof, functionality, the cabin's sense of occasion and graceful, accommodating cruising gait.
Given it's priced right, packed with equipment and also affordable to run, you'd at least want to have a drive and good, hard think before you dismissed it.
Holden Cascada pricing and specifications
How much? From $41,990
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
ANCAP rating: n/a
Fuel use: 7.5L/100km
Our score: 6.5/10