HOLDEN CRUZE SRI-V REVIEW
Vehicle Style: Small sedan
Engine: 1.4 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol.
Outputs: 103kW at 4900rpm / 200Nm at 1850rpm
Transmission: Six-speed tiptronic automatic
Official fuel efficiency: 6.9 l/100km
It's fun to drive, has good interior space and decent dynamics. It's also tremendously good value.
- Quality: Much of the interior carries over from last year's model, so the familiar complaint of easily-marked plastics is inherited by the Series II.
However, the SRi-V's leather upholstery is improved, and build quality seems better in the Australian-built Cruze.
- Comfort: It's a relatively spacious interior, but the centre stack can crowd the knees. The back seat is reasonably commodious, and two adults can sit in the back in good comfort.
- Equipment: The SRi-V has cruise control, auto-on headlamps, reverse-parking sensors, sat nav, an MP3-compatible stereo system with USB/aux inputs, on-board 10gb hard disk drive for recording music, heated seats, foglamps, 17-inch alloy wheels and keyless entry and ignition.
- Storage: The boot can accommodate 400 litres of luggage, with the 60/40 split fold rear seats allowing long items to be carried.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: The new 103kW/200Nm 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine needs a lot of revs to get moving quickly, but it still proves to be flexible enough at low RPMs for city driving.
Kept above 3500rpm there's more than enough power to keep with fast-moving traffic or overtake.
The automatic gearbox tends to be slow to kickdown, and although there's a tiptronic function available it too is slow to react. The manual transmission is much more enjoyable to hustle along.
- Refinement: There's some tyre roar on coarse surfaces and slight wind noise around 100km/h, but on the whole the Cruze is quiet inside. Extra insulation applied to the firewall of the Series II Cruze helps mute the engine.
- Suspension: The Cruze has good suspension compliance, easily soaking up bumpy and broken roads.
The Watts linkage/torsion beam axle rear suspension is unique to turbocharged petrol models, and works a treat in improving chassis stability at speed. It's far from performance car material, but the Cruze corners surprisingly well.
The electric power steering is another feature unique to the turbo petrol, and is very light. There's not much feedback, but the feel is accurate and reasonably direct.
- Braking: There's ample braking power from the all-disk system, and they're more than adequate for a brief blast down a winding road.
- ANCAP rating: 5 Stars.
- Safety features: ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control, stability control, six airbags (front, front side and curtain) and three-point seat belts on all seats.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: 3 years/100,000km.
- Service costs: Holden does not provide dealer servicing cost guidelines; speak to your dealer about scheduled servicing costs.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Honda Civic Sport ($32,290) – Honda's sporty Civic sedan is ageing, yet it still has a superbly built interior and an engaging powertrain. It's cabin is a little smaller than the Cruze however, and its styling is more polarising. (see Civic reviews)
- Mazda3 SP25 ($31,435) – The Mazda3 SP25's 122kW 2.5 litre four easily out-powers the Cruze. It's also more of a driver's car thanks to its competent chassis.
It enjoys dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth phone integration as standard, but the sat nav screen is too small and leather upholstery is a cost option. (see Mazda3 reviews)
- Subaru Impreza RS ($30,990) – The Impreza RS has comparable power at 110kW, and only 4Nm less torque than the Cruze. Its interior is trimmed in cloth rather than leather, and sat nav is a $2500 option. (see Impreza reviews)
Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
Holden is onto a winner with the Cruze SRi-V. Although Bluetooth is conspicuously absent from its spec sheet, the rest of the package is well-equipped and the driving experience is enjoyable.
It's excellent value compared to its competitors, and given it's priced just under the psychological $30,000 barrier, it should be an attractive proposition to many small car buyers.