2012 Holden Cruze SRi-V Hatch Review

Overall Rating

  • Interior

  • On The Road

  • Ancap

  • Value For Money

  • See Full Specs

What’s Hot

5-Star safety and a shedload of features.

What’s Not

Androgynous looks, not as dynamic as rivals.

X Factor

Aussie born and bred (almost), means convenient and inexpensive to maintain.

  • Country of Origin
  • Price
    $31,790 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    4 Cylinders
  • Output
    103 kW / 200 Nm
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • ANCAP Rating
  • Airbags
    Driver & Passenger (Dual), Head for 2nd Row Seats, Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front), Head for 1st Row Seats (Front)
  • L/100 km
  • C02
    164 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
  • Towing (braked)
    1200 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    695 kg
Samantha Stevens | Dec 22, 2011 | 22 Comments


Vehicle Style: Five-door hatch
Price: $30,490 (plus on-roads)
Fuel Economy (claimed): 6.9 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 8.2 l/100km (short drive)


This is the car, the Cruze, that will keep Holden building cars in Australia.

With large car sales continuing to dwindle, a locally-designed and built compact hatch version of the formerly Korean-sourced Cruze sedan is filling the gap.

Australian buyers seem to agree on its quality and value: it’s selling well. And, by and large, they’ve got it right. The SRi-V Cruze hatch tested here, is a well-rounded, nicely built car that is also quite a good drive.


Quality: The fit and finish of the jazzed-up top-spec SRi-V gets some additional highlights and detail touches. It’s a decent cabin, but not up to the quality of the equivalent Mazda 3 or Golf.

The SRi-V model sits on top of the range and denotes a forced-induction engine and a higher level of standard features. Hard surfaces however cannot be hidden, and the ‘leather’ in the SRi-Vis only in the trimmings – and is ‘pleather’ at that.

Comfort: It’s roomy inside with surprising space both front and rear. The design allows for tall Aussies, with ample headroom in both rows.

And the bucket seats are supportive with decent lateral and shoulder bolstering.

Equipment: Standard goodies typical of a top-spec model - but not necessarily of a $30k car – include heated seats, cruise control, auto headlights and wipers.

Also standard is a seven-inch touch-screen sat-nav and media centre in the dash which includes Bluetooth, voice command and a 10GB hard drive.

Outside, the SRi-Vgets fog lamps, reverse parking-sensors, sporty alloys, some faux aero-bodykit additions, and keyless entry and start.

Storage: The boot is 413 litres accessible through the large rear hatch, with a 60:40 split-folding second row that opens the cargo area up to 1254 litres.

Holden offers a full-size spare as a no-cost option, but this brings the boot space down to 325 litres. Most buyers will go with the spacesaver, either through ignorance or for the flatter floor (but it’s not a lot of sense in this country).

But at least there is a choice, and it won’t hit the pocket.


Driveability: The turbocharged iTi four-pot winds up 103kW at a not-too-peaky 4900rpm and 200Nm from a low 1850rpm, driving through a sportshift six-speed automatic.

Having the power and torque available from low in the rev range makes the power reasonably accessible and tractable.

However, at just over 1550kg, the Cruze SRi-V is pretty porky and you have to wind it up in the lower gears to get any kind of sprightly urge, particularly with more than one passenger.

The SRi-Vfeatures electric steering rather than hydraulic, but the feel is quite good. Cruise control and reverse sensors also add to the sense of a quality drive.

Plus, its fuel consumption and green rating is commendable at 6.9 l/100km claimed and 4.5 stars respectively. (Line-ball with the 6.7 l/100km of the more expensive – by $300 – mid-spec CDX 2.0 diesel automatic.)

Refinement: The nicely balanced 1.4 litre iTi turbo four, combined with a smooth six-speed automatic and well-calibrated suspension and ESP, gives this small hatch a very big tick.

NVH is low, better in fact than the Mazda3 and a match for the Focus.

Suspension: All Cruze models equipped with the 1.4 litre iTi engine score an upgraded rear suspension that helps keep the back-end planted around corners.

It's a simple torsion-beam axle affair, in common with the Cruze sedan. While a fully independent rear end will generally provide a more sporting drive and sharper cormering, the benefit of a torsion beam set-up is its extra rigidity and compact design - great for maximising interior space.

However, thanks to the addition of a Watts linkage, the rear end of the Cruze SRi-V's is quite well-behaved when cornering and handling is generally good.

Braking: The brakes, discs all round, are excellent, matched with an excellent (standard) ESP system.


ANCAP rating: 5 stars

Safety features: Front, side and curtain airbags, front load limiter/pretensioner seatbelts, rear pretensioner seatbelts, front active headrests, Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, reverse parking sensors


Warranty: Three year/100,000km with roadside assist.

Servicing costs: Service costs vary, check with your Holden dealer before purchase.


Volkswagen Golf 118TSI ($31,990) - The Comfortline 118TSI offers a dynamic drive from its turbo/supercharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder and DSG dual-clutch gearbox, and a high level of refinement.

However, standard features on the Cruze like sat-nav and parking sensors are expensive options at $3000 and $1400 respectively on the Golf. (see Golf reviews)

Mazda3 SP25 ($33,670) - No turbo, but plenty of zip from Mazda’s 122kW/227Nm 2.5-litre four and standard spec such as sat-nav is a big tick. Fuel is simple unleaded, but bigger displacement produces a higher 8.6 l/100km. (see Mazda3 reviews)

Ford Focus Titanium ($33,090) - A real threat: a comfortable and dynamic drive and a genuinely good car.

The Titanium comes with a massive standard spec-list including self-parking technology, voice control Bluetooth and audio, and 6.7 l/100km. (see Focus reviews)

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.


The Cruze SRi-V hatch is not especially dynamic, nor is it “a revelation”. But it is good buying value.

It’s very well-featured, robustly built, has a suspension tune well-matched to Australian roads, and is very fuel efficient.

Also a plus is the generous interior head and legroom, with the convenience of a hatch. In a tight field, we’d recommend a look at Holden’s Cruze SRi-V hatch if shopping for a quality small car.

Filed under: Featured, review, Holden, petrol, Cruze, Holden Cruze, australia, hatch, fwd, sport, turbo, small, family, Advice, special-featured, 4cyl, 5door, holden cruze sri

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  • Deco says,
    4 years ago
    1 like
    The engine isn't direct injected
  • steane
    Steane [TMR] says,
    4 years ago
    Thanks Deco. Article amended.
  • Nathan says,
    4 years ago
    You seem to have gotten confused it should say SRi V pretty much very where it says SRi. Since all the features stated are SRi V only, unless I'm confused...
  • steve says,
    4 years ago
    my wife and i just spent a weekend driving a shortlist of vehicles, and we wanted to purchase.We had done our homework for weeks and the list was , and the reasons for not buying listed next to them
    honda civic-too small
    honda accord --no stock of either
    ford focus -too small
    toyota corolla levin-too small and old fashioned
    lancer-too expensive
    mazda 3 -too noisy
    cruze hatch-we purchased
    Our list for every dealer was the same, $30,000.00 plus trade in, we wanted bluetooth, sat nav , good audio , fuel miserly, comfort, cruise control , climate control and anything else was a bonus
    • AnthLC says,
      4 years ago
      Replacing my 7 year old golf with the cruze, and pleasantly surprised at the value, and Australian build. I think alot more will choose the cruze for similar reasons once they see and drive.
    • Sandie Wright says,
      3 years ago
      Are you still happy with your choice. I am considering buying the cruze SRi V. Do you have a manual or automatic. Are the seats comfortable?
      • Rob says,
        3 years ago
        1 like
        ive had the cruze hatch manual since late Nov. Its awesome. There are features that im still finding now e.g when you insert a normal cd (not mp3) it uses this function by gracenote to find the album name and songs! 6th gear is also great for fuel efficiency i average 7.5L but i still get about 800kms out of the tank laugh

      • gail says,
        2 years ago
        I love my cruze sriv & yes seats are so comfy
  • Tania says,
    4 years ago
    I've had my Cruze SRi V for a month now & love it. Traded in my 2008 Lancer VRX & have not regretted it at all. Love the solid "Holden" thud when closing the door & the very low road noise compared to the noisy Lancer. Styling wise it certainly turns heads biggrin
  • MotorMouth says,
    4 years ago
    Now I remember why I stopped checking this site. First up, no petrol Cruze weighs anything like 1550kg. I'm thinking the SRi-V is much more like 1440kg or so. What is really stupid, though, is that the reviewer gives this car the lowest number of stars for value (three) but then mentions competitors that are all more expensive and, incredibly, says that the SRi-V is "good buying value" in the first sentence of the "verdict". Clearly it was decided that no Cruze could earn 4 stars overall, so the figures were fudged accordingly.

    BTW, its great to hear some first-hand experience from new owners in the comments, rather than the usual garbage you tend to read on anything to do with Holden or Ford.
  • Racey says,
    3 years ago
    I have now had my SRiV Cruze for 2 months now...love it. Traded my 2007 Corolla Levin SX and considered a new Corolla. But the new look for the same model was soft and any upgrades were absent. I love the drive, comfort and technology associated with my Cruze and have no regrets. Value for money,safety and service costs. Australian made also a plus!
    • Paul says,
      3 years ago
      smileGlad to hear the good reviews from Holden Cruze buyers! I am planning on buying a SRiV hatch next month. I am so looking forward to it! Cheers!
  • Tony Hernandez says,
    3 years ago
    1 like
    biggrin I've had the 2012 Holden Cruze SRi-V Hatch for only three weeks now. It meets all of my requirements and those of the 21st Century. I'm of the same opinion as Steve and bought for similar reasons. I do about 800 k's a week and needed something economical and if it had a bit of class well so much the better. My other choice had been a Toyota Camry Hybrid, but it was unavailable when I went to see it and the dealer did not get back to me. So... I'm enjoying the ride and the responsive motor.
    • Kaye says,
      3 years ago
      Hello, are you still happy with the Sri-v? Does it come standard with air conditioning and does it have a reversing camera? I am looking shopping for one this week!
    • Julia says,
      3 years ago
      How much did u purchase your cruze for? I'm still negotiating prices. 2012 sirv
  • lyle Johnson says,
    3 years ago
    recently purchased 2012 build Cruze sri manual hatch and am perturbed by a lateral movement to either side in clutch pedal when depressed to floor.Dealer has checked and compared to another in their yard and assure me it seems normal and continue driving. Claimed petrol consumption remains questionable.. Vehicle has some 350 kms.Any suggestions?
  • Blair says,
    3 years ago
    Just in the process of buying a SRI V, the leather seats feel hard, for all the buyers out there, do they soften up a bit? Thanks
    • Matthew says,
      2 years ago
      Hi all I bought a holden cruze SRI V late 2012 model
      Not happy with it at all
      We have had so many computer problems it's not funny and water pump replaced all ready but they are great cars on fuel

      Has any body else had Mager problems with there's
      • Belinda Alcott says,
        2 years ago
        I have had the same problem with the water pump and what computer problems are you having only done 17000km
  • Lovemore says,
    3 years ago
    For those who have an automatic Sri v, can they please say if it rolls back with a slight gradient. It's heavy on acceleration and a certain point it kinds of jump to pick up speed. I went to this car from an Astra which was awesom to drive compared to this one.
    • CAZZO says,
      2 years ago
      For those who have an automatic Sri v, can they please say if it rolls back with a slight gradient. It's heavy on acceleration and a certain point it kinds of jump to pick up speed. I went to this car from an Astra which was awesom to drive compared to this one.

      What did you expect, you went from royal euro in the astra to a obsolete korean daewoo hand me down, apalling car, like all the koreans ones are

      • Stefan Ritchie says,
        7 months ago
        Hey yes mine rolls back , frightened me as I nearly hit the car behind me . Even worse on a steep driveway when the front of the car is forward and you have to back out. Not good .
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