For anyone interested our car is a
Holden Cruze SRi-V JH Series II Hatch 2011
JH HOLDEN CRUZE Series 2
If this link continues to work, it shows our model that is available for sale:
Holden Cruze SRi-V JH Series II Hatch 2011 Cars For Sale
Grey Cruze SRI-V auto hatch inc 1.4L turbo. Inside the cabin there is a very European feel to the entire package. Everything from build quality and fit and finish, through to the sound the doors make when closed instils confidence in the product. The very comfortable seats are coupled with seat heaters to add that elegant touch…
Vehicle JH Series II SRi-V Hatchback 5dr Spts Auto 6sp 1.4T [MY12]
Colour Alto Grey
Transmission 6 speed Sports Automatic
Body 5 doors 5 seat Hatch
Drive Type Front Wheel Drive
Engine 4 cylinder Petrol Turbo Intercooled 1.4L
Release Date: November 2011
The manufacturer’s marketing year of this model. MY12
Towing Braked 1,200
Towing Not Braked 695
Holden Cruze Series II
The Australian-made Holden Cruze is here for the long haul
This is the car that Holden hopes will bring it back from the brink of bankruptcy and keep its factory workforce employed for many years to come.
In late 2008, as the Global Financial Crisis was beginning to tighten its grip, Holden’s parent company General Motors was negotiating a bailout package with the North American government. One of the unsavoury options was to sell or sever Holden from the fold.
Instead, after some tense negotiations, management took the brave decision to commit to investing in the production of a small car, the Cruze, alongside Commodore at Holden’s factory in Adelaide.
It has been well documented that the Cruze is being built here instead of Korea (or several other countries for that matter) thanks to a generous support package from state and federal governments.
So far, fewer than half the components that make up the Australian-made Cruze come from local suppliers (compared to 50 to 60 per cent for the Commodore) but Holden says this will increase over time.
Many of the Cruze’s body parts are stamped in Australia, while other localised parts include interior plastics and front and rear bumpers (which have a chiseled vertical edge for better fuel-efficiency at freeway speeds).
On face value, Holden has been prudent with our cash, with a raft of subtle styling changes and improvements to refinement and drive-ability.
The Cruze is not only the smallest and most fuel-efficient car made in Australia, it’s the fifth-best seller so far this year.
“We now build the top-selling car in Australia, and the best selling small sedan in Australia. That’s a pretty good position to be in, because we can now serve Australian car buyers whichever they want,” Holden boss Mike Devereux said at the local launch of Cruze.
Despite speculation the Cruze could overtake the Commodore as Holden’s top-seller, it is unlikely to happen this year. Holden sold 45,000 Commodores last year compared to 28,000 Cruze sedans.
“Cruze won’t really start to kick-in for us until the hatch comes on line late this year. So we won’t see its full impact until 2012, and even then it’s not certain to overtake the Commodore,” Devereux said.
The Holden boss added the availability of a Cruze hatch “would not suddenly double sales of the Cruze”.
“Some customers want only a sedan, some want only a hatch, but there is a large proportion of buyers who choose whichever one they think looks better.”
Now that it’s locally made, Holden hopes the Cruze may find more appeal among business and government fleets who want to buy an Australian-made vehicle — but that alone does not guarantee additional sales.
“People won’t buy the car just because it’s made in Australia, but in many cases it does put us on the consideration list,” said Holden marketing boss, Philip Brook.
“It’s up to us to make sure the vehicle meets their needs.”
PRICE AND EQUIPMENT
>> Starting price remains unchanged despite the overhaul
New Cruze offers three grades and a choice of three engines: a 1.8-litre petrol, a 1.4-litre turbo petrol and a 2.0-litre turbodiesel (depending on the model).
The Cruze CD is available with all three engines and its starting price remains unchanged at $20,990 (or $21,990 drive-away) for the 1.8 petrol four-cylinder. The 1.4 turbo petrol four-cylinder adds $1500 and the 2.0 turbo diesel adds $4000. A six-speed automatic adds $2000.
The Cruze CD comes with six airbags, stability control, cruise control, remote entry with ‘flip’ key, power windows (with express up and down for the driver), a CD player with auxillary audio input and iPod connectivity, and heated side mirrors (to clear fog on winter mornings).
From the outside the Cruze CD is distinguished by 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, and blanks in the front bumper where the foglights are positioned on dearer models.
A spare tyre is an extra-cost option (instead the Cruze comes with a tyre sealant and air compressor kit).
Another sin of omission: wireless Bluetooth phone connection is not standard on any Cruze model. Instead it’s a dealer-fit accessory. By way of comparison factory Bluetooth systems are standard on all Corolla models and on three of the five Mazda3 models.
The Cruze CDX is available with a 1.8 petrol engine ($24,490) or a 2.0-litre turbodiesel ($28,490).
The $3500 price premium over the base model buys 17-inch alloy wheels, front foglights, heated leather seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shifter, a digital speedometer display, rear parking sensors, illuminated vanity mirrors for the driver and front passenger, a sunglasses holder, and an auxillary power socket for rear passengers.
The Cruze SRi (a new grade for the locally produced car) comes exclusively with the 1.4 turbo petrol engine and is available in two sub-grades: SRi ($24,490) and SRi-V ($27,990).
The SRi has unique front and rear bumpers, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim on the door handles and sports cloth trim on the seats and dashboard. It also gets independent rear suspension for better handling, and electric power steering for lighter feel and better fuel-efficiency.
Despite costing the same as a Cruze CDX, however, the Cruze SRi misses out on rear parking sensors.
Meanwhile, the SRi-V flagship comes with a 7-inch colour screen with a navigation system and can play DVDs when the car is parked. It also comes with heated leather seats, a proximity key (and a start/stop button for the ignition) and rear parking sensors.
But perhaps its neatest trick is the 10GB built-in hard drive that can store up to 2000 songs – and at the press of a button can record up to 20 minutes of radio while you’re out of the car.
We love the idea of this feature, but wish it was an option on more affordable models, and that the radio could record for up to two hours – enough time to cover a footy game.
The model line-up is as follows:
Cruze CD 1.8 petrol $20,990
Cruze CD 1.4T petrol $22,490
Cruze CD 2.0T diesel $24,990
Cruze CDX 1.8 petrol $24,490
Cruze CDX 2.0T diesel $28,490
Cruze SRi 1.4T petrol $24,490
Cruze SRi-V 1.4T petrol $27,990
NB: as noted above auto adds $2000 to each model.
>> Two new engines bring new levels of efficiency
The 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that has been the staple of the Korean-made Cruze for the past two years (accounting for around 80 per cent of sales) is unchanged. But Holden has shortened the final drive ratio to make the Australian-made Cruze a little more lively off the line and on the move (from 3.23:1 to 3.72:1).
Significantly, it has done this without hurting fuel economy. Indeed, while the consumption of the five-speed manual 1.8 is the same as before (7.0L/100km), Holden has managed to extract a one decimal place reduction from the six-speed auto 1.8 (to 7.4L/100km).
The Cruze’s 1.8 engine is yet to be upgraded to handle E85 (unleaded petrol blended with up to 85 per cent ethanol), but the Carsales Network understands this may happen later in the year, along with the 3.6 V6 in the Commodore range.
For now, the Cruze’s 1.8 engine is rated for E10 (unleaded petrol blended with up to 10 per cent ethanol). It can, of course, still run on regular or premium unleaded.
Curiously, the 2.0-litre turbodiesel has made only a modest improvement despite being an all-new twin overhead cam design. Fuel consumption has been trimmed from 5.7L/100km to 5.6 for the six-speed manual and 6.9L/100km to 6.7 for the six-speed auto.
These are still impressive numbers and it is worth noting that the diesel-powered manual-transmission Cruze is the most fuel-efficient car made in Australia, narrowly undercutting the Toyota Camry Hybrid automatic which has a fuel economy rating of 6.0L/100km.
The turbodiesel Cruze also has more power and torque than before, from lower revs, which should make it more drive-able. Power is up slightly from 110 to 120kW but torque (an engine’s ability to overcome resistance) has increased from 320 to 360Nm – from 1750rpm instead of 2000rpm.
Meanwhile, the all-new 1.4 turbo petrol engine makes the Cruze the most fuel-efficient petrol-only car made in Australia, thanks to average fuel economy ratings of 6.4L/100km for the six-speed manual and 6.9L/100km for the six-speed auto.
The 1.4-turbo models (whether as a CD, SRi or SRi-V) also get electric power steering (the first on an Australian-made car, closely followed by the new Ford Territory next month) and independent Watts Link performance suspension at the rear.
The 1.4 turbo petrol engine has slightly less power than its 1.8 non-turbo counterpart (with 103kW instead of 104) but it has more torque (200Nm instead of 176), also from much lower revs (1850rpm compared to 3800).
Though unlikely to be a first choice tow car, Holden lists an unbraked towing capacity of 695kg for Cruze petrol models and 750kg for the diesels; the braked towing capacity is 1200kg for all variants.
>> Roomy cabin with a decent sized boot
The Holden Cruze is one of the roomiest sedans in the small-car class. Front and rear head- and shoulder-room are comparable with, if not better than, the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Honda Civic sedans.
Each of the four doors has a full-size drinkholder and map pocket, and there’s sufficient oddment storage in the glovebox and centre console.
The Cruze is longer and wider than all three of its Japanese counterparts – and has a longer wheelbase (the measurement between the front and rear wheels) which roughly equates to more legroom for back seat passengers.
Only the Corolla sedan has a bigger boot (at 450 litres compared to the Cruze’s 445 litres). The Mazda (430 litres) and Civic (376 litres) have smaller boot capacities.
The back seat splits and folds (60:40) to create a larger load area but, as with many cars in this class, the Cruze’s boot space has the intrusion of ‘gooseneck’ hinges when the bootlid is closed.
The Cruze boot misses out on a spare wheel and tyre but there’s space under the floor for those who pay extra for the option. A tyre inflator kit is standard.
The Corolla and Civic boots house a full-size spare wheel, the Mazda3 carries a space saver.
The only downside to the Cruze’s extra space and strong body is that it is among the heaviest of its small-car peers.
The 1.8 petrol manual Cruze weighs in at 1365kg with the 1.4T 26kg heavier. The Heaviest Cruze is the 1544kg 2.0T diesel auto 1544kg.
>> With a five-star ANCAP rating it’s one of the best
The Holden Cruze scored one of the highest ratings in its class when the Korean-made model was released two years ago, earning a five star rating from the independent crash test authority ANCAP.
There is no reason to suggest there would be any change to the safety rating now that it’s made in Australia; the structure and safety equipment are the same.
As before, standard fare on all models includes six airbags, stability control, five lap-sash seatbelts, and five height-adjustable headrests (the same can’t be said of the Commodore in this regard).
Only two of the four Cruze models come with rear parking sensors (CDX and SRi-V). They are an extra-cost, dealer-fit option on the CD and SRi.
No Cruze models are available with a factory-approved rear camera, although presumably an aftermarket one could be adapted to the top-line SRi-V model given that it already has a 7-inch colour screen in the dash.
>> Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Hyundai i30, VW Golf
The Cruze was the seventh best-selling car last year and has started 2011 in fifth place – but hidden in the detail is the fact that it is by far Australia’s best-selling small sedan.
Sedan-for-sedan the Cruze outsells the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3, the two most popular nameplates in the class.
Cruze’s ranking is a consolation prize for a tough start to the year for the Holden Commodore. Australia’s favourite car for the past 15 years in a row has been outsold by the Mazda3 for the first two months of 2011. But consider this: Holden is still fighting the small-car war with one model tied behind its back; the Cruze hatch isn’t due to come on line until the end of this year. Roughly half of all Corolla and Mazda3 sales are of their hatchback variants; the Hyundai i30 and Volkswagen Golf are exclusively hatches.
In the meantime, Holden has used the arrival of the Cruze Series II to broaden the model range. Initially government and business fleets will be Holden’s primary targets; the Made in Australia tag may open a few doors that have been closed of late, although Holden knows it won’t sell cars simply because the Cruze is homegrown. It has to sell on its merits.
The four-cylinder engine also means that the Holden fleet guys can start knocking on the doors of government agencies with strict fuel economy targets to meet.
But what has Holden most excited is the addition of the SRi sports variant, which it hopes will appeal to buyers considering a small car with a bit of pizzazz such as a Mazda3 Maxx Sport or SP25, or a Subaru Impreza RS – all of which are more expensive.
Meanwhile, Holden is hoping its new diesel will woo some diesel customers away from the diesel versions of the Hyundai i30 and Volkswagen Golf.
ON THE ROAD
>> Many welcome refinements but still room for improvement
Holden traveled far and wide while developing the Australian version of the Cruze. In the two years since the project was given the green light the company’s engineers clocked up around 350,000km on public roads across the country.
This is not unusual, of course, but it did mean the talented engineers at Holden had to get their head around small front-drive cars and away from large rear-drive V6 and V8 sedans for a while.
As part of the process many engineers who worked on the Cruze program felt obliged to surrender their SS sedan company cars and replace them with Korean-sourced Cruzes so they could live with them day in, day out. They also did long stints in the hilly, bump-and-grind terrain around Sydney, the biggest market for the Cruze and likely the location of the loudest complainants.
With the previous imported Cruze, the steep hills highlighted the sluggish feel of the petrol engine and the chronic delay in power delivery of the turbodiesel, particularly when matched with an automatic transmission. Both were high on the list of fixes for the Series II model.
To some extent, Holden was limited to what changes it could make in a relatively short period of time – and was also limited by certain components.
Many of the local Cruze’s cabin plastics are moulded in Australia but I’m curious to know if something got lost in translation. Because, although the Cruze’s dashboard layout looks stylish and of high quality, the material itself is hard to the touch. By way of comparison, a Hyundai i30 has a better feel to its cabin materials.
Although worthwhile changes have been made to the steering and suspension of all Cruze models, and much time was spent on getting engines to work better with their transmissions, one key ingredient did not change: the tyres.
The Kumho Solus tyres must be one of the most popular tyres in Korea – because they seem to be fitted to every car we test drive from that country. They appear to have followed the Cruze from Korea to Holden’s factory in Adelaide. Sadly, we don’t make tyres in this country any more since Dunlop and Bridgestone shut up shop.
The Kumho Solus tyres feel nice to drive on in dry conditions. Grip is more than acceptable and there’s even a taut, precise feel to the steering and the way the tyres help absorb bumps. But in the wet the Kumho Solus tyres have sub-standard grip, below average for this class of commuter car. (Note: I’m not critical of the tyres because of their country of origin. Indeed, there is a new Hankook from Korea that has come out in the last two years that gives the more established tyre brands a run for their money as original equipment on the VW Golf, Tiguan and Renault Koleos.)
Impressively there’s no steering-rack rattle in tight, bumpy corners (which was evident in the previous model) and overall the Cruze has taken a step forward. But, with respect, it was coming from a low base and still has room for further improvements. It feels more secure in (dry) corners, but lacks the precision of, say, a Volkswagen Golf or Mazda3.
This is not necessarily a criticism; perhaps Holden has deliberately targeted a more cushy ride. The only thing is, other small cars have managed to successfully deliver cornering and comfort.
On the two-day media preview drive between Melbourne Airport and the Great Ocean Road, we got to sample all three engine types.
Although I only drove the 1.8 auto briefly (it wasn’t on the official test schedule) the improvement to the gear ratios was evident and it felt more spritely.
The turbodiesel still has some delay in power (or turbo lag) when moving from rest, but it is a significant improvement on the previous model and, without having done a back-to-back test, I’d venture to say it’s one of the better recent diesel engines.
The gearshift action in the diesel manual was smooth and precise but it had a long throw. The manual transmission mated to the 1.4 turbo petrol engine, on the other hand, was an absolute gem.
We got to sample the 16-inch and 17-inch wheel and tyre combinations and, contrary to what you might expect, the 16-inch tyres on the base model Cruze CD had – to my taste at least – the best blend of comfort and grip.
Perhaps its overall feel and balance was aided by the 1.4 turbo engine under the bonnet; the turbodiesel engine carries between 138kg and 164kg more weight over the nose than the petrol-powered Cruzes and this is evident when driving the cars back-to-back.
By far my favourite package was the 1.4 turbo in the base model CD. You still need to row through the gears to keep it on the boil up long hills at open road speeds, but fourth gear perfectly matched the engine’s power band.
I’d like to say that I could feel the difference between the independent Watts Link performance rear suspension, and the regular I-beam rear suspension, but I’d be lying.
Instead, I will take a punt and take Holden’s word for it, because I’m pretty sure during times this tight, they wouldn’t have spent the money on it if they didn’t think it was worth it.