Introducing the next generation of Australia’s best selling small sedan, the Australian built Cruze. The car that delivers new levels of style, comfort and sophistication. The Cruze doesn’t just create expectations, it sets new standards across the range.
The Cruze arrived Down Under in June 2009 and received a facelift in March 2011, shifting production from South Korea to Australia.
The Cruze looks modern, classy, and the build quality is top notch with improved handling due in part to the longer wheelbase and wider track.
The facelift brings along a new styled front end, and new sound deadening material has been fitted inside, making the Cruze a quiet car to travel in.
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 SRi 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.
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. The sporty 1.4L turbo petrol offers 103kW and 200Nm, and the 2.0L turbo diesel 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 facelifted Cruze feels even more refined than before.
The 2.0L turbo diesel offers lots of useable torque, handling urban traffic and highways with ease. There is a slight turbo lag but it’s not uncomfortable. The turbo diesel engine doesn’t allow too much engine noise into the cabin, winning the fuel economy fight at the same time with an impressively low combined consumption figure of 5.6L per 100kms with a six speed manual.
The Cruze’s suspension has been specifically calibrated for Australian roads, providing a smooth, uninterrupted ride. It is perfect for daily driving, equally in traffic or on the open road.
All grades fitted with the 1.4L Turbo gain electric power assisted steering and a Watts link (read fancier) rear suspension set-up. This steering is smooth and direct, the ride is comfortable and the handling better than the entry level grades. It won’t out-handle a Volkswagen Golf GTI, but it isn’t positioned in the same price bracket anyway.
All grades score a five-star ANCAP safety rating for including six airbags, electronic stability control (ESC) with traction control, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and collapsible pedals.
High levels of equipment come standard, and the SRi V Series grade features remote keyless entry and start, satellite-navigation, a 10GB hard drive, CD/MP3 storage capability, DVD player and live-radio pause functionality.
Holden claims that current owners are extremely satisfied with the Cruze and we have no reason to disagree.
Source: Car Verdict