Holden's latest import, the Cruze, is all set to go on sale here next month, with pricing to start at a very competitive $20,990 for the Cruze CD manual.
It'll slot into Holden's lineup where the dearly departed Astra used to sit, however it won't directly replace it. That's the job of the Australian-built Cruze hatch, which is expected to arrive in 2010.
But hatch or no hatch, the Cruze should have no trouble generating sales for Holden. It'll come in three basic flavours: CD petrol, CD diesel and CDX petrol; with each available with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. The 1.8 litre petrol motor delivers 104kW and 176Nm of torque, while the 2 litre common-rail diesel thumps out 110kW and 320Nm of twist and is the same unit used by the Captiva and Epica.
Both owe much of their economy to their engine's generous distribution of torque, with 90 percent of the petrol motor's 176Nm available between 2200rpm and 6200rpm, and 90 percent of the diesel's 320Nm spread between 1750rpm and 3500rpm.
Both engines comply with Euro IV standards, with the 2.0 diesel manual emitting just 149 grams of carbon per km.
It'll be packed with a healthy amount of standard kit too, with airconditioning, auto-on headlights, six-speaker MP3-compatible stereo, power windows, cruise control, a trip computer and steering wheel-mounted audio controls all included in the base model CD's price.
The up-spec CDX gets even more, with 17-inch alloys replacing the CD's 16-inch steel rims and a set of foglights getting grafted to its snout. It also gets leather seats (heated in the front), a leather-bound steering wheel, rear parking sensors and subtle lashings of chrome.
Both CD and CDX benefit from a comprehensive suite of safety aids too, with electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist all fitted as standard. All Cruze's will ship with six airbags too, one each for the driver and front passenger, two side airbags for the front seats and a full-length curtain airbag along each side.
Not only that, but buyers can also take comfort in the knowledge that the Cruze was recently awarded a full five-star safety rating under the rigorous ANCAP crash-testing regime.
Priced from $20,990, the Cruze will undercut it's two primary competitors - the Corolla sedan and Mazda3 sedan - by a good $750. Not only that, but it gets more safety gear, more standard equipment, slightly more power, the choice of a diesel powertrain and it also chews less fuel. Korean origins or not, it looks like Holden has a winner on its hands.
- Cruze CD 1.8 litre petrol man / auto: $20,990 / $22,990
- Cruze CDX 1.8 litre petrol man / auto: $23,990 / $25,990
- Cruze CD 2.0 litre diesel man / auto: $23,990 / $25,990
The all-new Holden Cruze will go on sale in June as one of the safest and best equipped small cars ever to wear the Holden badge.
Cruze combines five-star ANCAP safety with exceptional ride and handling, fuel efficiency, stylish design and a starting price of just $20,990 plus onroads.
Available in two highly-specified models, Cruze offers Electronic Stability Control, six airbags, a six speaker CD system with steering wheel mounted audio controls and cruise control as standard across the range.
Cruze is powered by a 1.8 litre 4-cylinder ECOTEC petrol engine or 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbocharged common rail diesel engine, offering a customer-focused balance of power and efficiency.
Cruze CD manual uses as little as 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres for the diesel variant and 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres for petrol.
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Reuss, said Cruze was a world-class small car delivering style, performance, safety and value for money.
?We?re excited by the potential for Cruze in a key marketplace for Australian buyers,? Mr Reuss said.
?There are no excuses needed for this car.
?It has five-star safety, handles beautifully, looks great and provides high quality and low fuel usage.
?It answers all the questions.?
With the development homeroom based in Europe and work for some variants taking place in South Korea, Cruze is part of General Motors? new portfolio of global products.
Cruze is the result of a 27 month, $US4 billion global development program which included 221 prototypes and more than one million test kilometres completed in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Sweden, China, Korea and Australia.
Cruze will be offered in CD and CDX models.
Holden Cruze CD standard features:
? 16 inch steel wheels
? Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
? Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
? Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
? Traction Control (TC)
? Brake Assist (BA)
? Six airbags including:
- Front airbags for driver and front passenger
- Front side impact airbags
- Side curtain airbags
? Collapsible pedal assembly system
? Body coloured door handles and mirrors
? Automatic headlamps
? Six speaker audio system with MP3 compatible in dash CD, radio and MP3 functionality
? Cruise control
? Steering wheel audio and cruise controls
? Trip computer
? Power windows, front and rear
Holden Cruze CDX includes all CD specific feature highlights plus:
? 17 inch alloy wheels (4)
? Front fog lamps
? Leather steering wheel
? Leather appointed seats with heated front seats
? Rear parking sensors
? Body coloured door handles with chrome inserts
? Interior sports accents
The 1.8 litre petrol and 2.0 litre turbo diesel variants are matched with a choice of a five speed manual transmission or six speed automatic transmission with Active Select.
Available as a CD or CDX, the 1.8 litre ECOTEC petrol engine produces 104kW of power and 176Nm of torque with 90 percent of that torque available between 2200 to 6200rpm ensuring quality driveability even at low engine speeds.
The 2.0 litre common rail turbocharged diesel engine is available as a CD and adds yet another model to Holden?s energy diversity range, Holden EcoLine.
The diesel engine produces 110kW of power and 320Nm of torque and 90 per cent of the torque is available from 1750 to 3500 rpm.
Chassis and Body Structure
All Cruze models are equipped with sophisticated, technically advanced chassis systems as standard to deliver tight, confident handling as well as providing the driver with maximum responsiveness, control and enhanced accident avoidance capabilities.
Sixty-five percent of Cruze?s unibody structure is made from high-strength steel providing a strong, stiff body with efficient, effective load paths that offers maximum protection in the event of a collision.
Other crashworthy-enabling features of the Cruze?s unibody construction include tailor-welded blanks and materials bonding which enables strength at critical points for maximum yield strength and full-length frame rails and a safety cage in a single, welded unit.
In addition, the Cruze?s unibody incorporates a number of refinements aimed at delivering an exceptionally quiet cabin including an acoustic thermal fibre roof liner, composite-backed carpets and a triple-layered sealing system in all doors.
Occupant safety was an overriding objective in the development of Cruze which has resulted in Cruze achieving a maximum five star ANCAP safety rating.
Cruze scored 35.04 points out of a possible 37 in the ANCAP testing.
Significant advances in structural strength and a full offering of active and passive safety systems combine to make the Cruze among the safest in its class.
Complementing the advanced chassis systems installed as standard, other safety features include seatbelt retractor and lap pretensioners with seatbelt load limiters, a collapsible pedal assembly system and six airbags including curtain airbags.
Cruze boasts one of the most advanced interiors of any small car on the market offering exceptional quality and functionality.
Fit and finish is accentuated by contoured sport seats and a dual cockpit design which houses an advanced integrated centre panel with graphic information display and CD with MP3 functionality.
An integrated centre stack houses the infotainment display, radio and HVAC controls.
Unlike many other small cars, Cruze offers generous rear passenger leg, head and shoulder room and will comfortably seat five adults.
Storage, functionality and convenience applications include 60/40 split rear seats, seatback pockets, centre console CD storage, shopping bag hook and six cup holders.
With a wide track and long wheelbase the Holden Cruze sedan?s 'four-door coupe' styling delivers the presence of an upscale mid-size sedan with high levels of quality, fit and finish.
Cruze will be available in eight colours, two solid and six metallic.
? Arctic White: classic white core colour
? Chilli Red: bright punchy sports red
? Carbon Flash Black: striking black with a coarse metallic highlight
? Mercury Silver: lustrous metallic light silver
? Moroccan Blue: highly saturated bright performance inspired blue
? Iced Blue: glacial blue with a fine icy silver highlight
? Pewter Grey: dark mechanical silver grey
? Light Gold: warm sophisticated gold metallic
Fuel efficiency and emissions
Fuel economy of Cruze is better than many segment competitors, particularly given its long list of safety features and dimensions.
Fuel economy (ADR81/01) figures are:
? 7.0 litres per 100 kms for the 1.8 litre petrol manual (CD and CDX)
? 7.5 litres per 100 kms for the 1.8 litre petrol automatic (CD and CDX)
? 5.7 litres per 100 kms for the 2.0 litre diesel manual (CD only)
? 6.8 litres per 100 kms for the 2.0 litre diesel automatic (CD only)
The 1.8 litre petrol and 2.0 litre diesel engines comply with Euro IV emission standards:
? CO2 emission levels for the 1.8 litre petrol manual are 166 g/km
? CO2 emission levels for the 1.8 litre petrol automatic are 179 g/km
? CO2 emission levels for the 2.0 litre diesel manual are 149 g/km
? CO2 emission levels for the 2.0 litre diesel automatic are 180 g/km