Holden Cruze review
Garry Fabian has filed this Holden Cruze review.
The home grown Cruze, being built at the Holden plant in Adelaide, now has a coupe in the line-up, and in the near future a wagon will also be added to the model range.
Some of the smaller changes to the basic design are a positive step (better fuel economy, lighter suspension, 5 star ANCAP rating and key-less entry as standard) are interesting and positive but fall just short of being exciting.
The exterior is reminiscent of the boxy yet styled appearance of some of the European executive cars, but the coupe presents a much better profile than the sedan version, the newer fifth generation BMW 3 series with its pronounced side panel lines springs to mind.
The grill and front bumper of the Holden Cruze looks well finished and simple, while the back looks seamless yet well finished.
No less than three four cylinder engines are on offer.
The entry level petrol is a naturally aspirated 1.8L with 104kW of horsepower and 176Nm of torque.
Our test car, the sporty 1.4L turbo petrol offers 103kW and 200Nm.
While the third option is a 2.0L turbo diesel which now produces 120kW and 360Nm.
The 1.4L Turbo petrol accelerates smoothly and more briskly than the larger, but naturally aspirated 1.8L petrol.
The six speed automatic gearbox offers smooth shifts, and the face lifted Cruze feels even more refined than before.
The Cruze features a well designed centre console with an instrument cluster that is easy to decipher with only a quick glance, and plenty of nice-to-feel plastics have been used instead of the usual hard stuff.
The fabric on the dash is an especially neat touch.
The driving position is fantastic with firm, supportive front seats which are heated, with double-stitched leather pews on the CDX and Sir grades.
Both tilt and reach steering controls make it easy to find your comfort, and there are lots of useful storage compartments around the cabin.
Decent room is provided for front and rear passengers and road noise is quite well suppressed.
Rear seats could offer more under-thigh support for adult passengers, and though the front seats are sporty, they’re also and tight, and could be a tad uncomfortable for bigger drivers.
Noticeably, there’s no driver’s footrest.
The only other grievance here is the unusual position of the cigarette lighter which is placed within one inch of the hand brake making it a little inconvenient for those of us who use the socket for iphone cradles and other car chargers great and small (there is a second socket but the placement of this is even less practical).
It offers all the standard features that today’s buyer has come to expect including central remote locking, power windows and mirrors, climate control, a good sound system and a five star ANCAP safety rating.
The Cruze’s suspension has been specifically calibrated for Australian roads, providing a smooth, uninterrupted ride.
It won’t out-handle a Volkswagen Golf GTI, but it isn’t positioned in the same price bracket anyway.
In total the Holden Cruze is a well designed vehicle at a very reasonable price.
With good fuel economy and equally good looks it could work out well as a fleet car, in time it may also capture the elusive young professional market and cement the future of Holden’s Adelaide plant for years to come….only time will tell.
Holden claims that current owners are extremely satisfied with the Cruze I see no reason to disagree.
NUTS & BOLTS
Engine: 1.4 lt, four cylinder turbo, producing 103 kW, 200 Nm, 0-100 10.2 seconds
Transmission: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
Economy: 6.2 lts/100km
Price: $ 22,490 manual, $24,440 automatic
Warranty: 3 Year/100,000 kms.