Holden has announced pricing for the model year 2014 Holden Cruze range, with dramatically improved value-for-money and substantial revisions to its mechanical package.
Holden has dropped the CD from the Cruze line-up, replacing it with the Cruze Equipe. The price of entry also falls below the $20,000 barrier, with the Cruze 1.8 manual retailing for $19,490.
The range now comfortably ducks under the $30,000 mark too, and Holden says up to $4000 of extra value has been added to the Cruze SRi.
Although visually similar to the pre-update model both inside and out, the 2014 Cruze packs in more equipment to boost its appeal on the showroom floor.
Holden has also added a new engine to the range, equipping the SRi and SRi-V with a potent new 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine. A raft of suspension revisions have also been made to improve cornering performance in those models.
The headline change is the replacement of the previous SRi variant's 1.4 litre turbo engine with a 1.6 petrol turbo. Producing 132kW and 230Nm, the new 1.6 is the same as that used by the Opel Astra GTC, and has 29kW and 30Nm more than the 1.4 turbo.
The 1.4 turbo remains available in the base model, albeit in automatic form only. The 104kW/175Nm 1.8 litre naturally-aspirated petrol and 120kW/360Nm 2.0 litre turbo diesel carry over unchanged.
All engines are available with a six-speed automatic transmission, and Holden has made a myriad of tweaks to improve shift mapping and shift quality.
New internal components give the revised six-speed auto faster, crisper shifts, and SRi variants also gain a sport shift mode that incorporates a predictive downshift function. Unfortunately, the diesel models miss out on the improved automatic trans.
Holden has refined the Cruze's suspension package too, and all petrol models get new spring and damper rates.
The Equipe and CDX models feature a comfort-oriented suspension tune, while the SRi and SRi-V enjoy a sports-tuned chassis with a more rigid rear axle, firmer springs and dampers plus high-performance tyres on the SRi-V.
While the outgoing Cruze CD 1.4 was fitted with a Watts-link rear suspension, the 2014 Cruze CD 1.4 gets the same rear axle as the 1.8 and 2.0 diesel. The SRi and SRi-V retain the rear Watts linkage.
Starting with the entry-level Cruze Equipe, the feature list has been expanded for 2014 with the addition of front fog lamps, 17-inch alloys and rear parking sensors. That's on top of the already-standard auto headlamps, trip computer and cruise control.
The CDX gains a reversing camera, keyless entry and ignition, climate control and leather upholstery on the seats, steering wheel and gearshifter , while the SRi-V adds 18-inch alloys to that list.
The SRi goes without the leather seats, climate control, rear vision camera and proximity key.
All models come standard with Holden's new MyLink infotainment system. MyLink offers the usual audio functions of a CD player, USB auxilliary input and radio tuner, but also has integrated Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming.
Not only that, but MyLink can also connect to the internet via a phone's 3G data connection, and in its present form is able to stream music through Pandora and Stitcher music "apps".
The system is also expandable, with Holden expecting new apps (not necessarily music-related) to become available in the near future.
By mid-year MyLink will also be able to integrate with the Siri voice-activated assistant on iPhones, and the SRi-V will gain satellite navigation as standard.
Safety equipment includes stability control, traction control, ABS, EBD and brake assist, along with a suite of six airbags (front, front side, full-length curtain.
The Cruze retains its 5-star ANCAP crash safety score.
PRICING (excludes on-roads)
The 2014 Holden Cruze officially goes on sale at the start of April.
- Cruze Equipe 1.8 MT - $19,490
- Cruze Equipe 1.8 AT - $21,690
- Cruze Equipe 1.4 AT - $23,190
- Cruze Equipe 2.0 AT - $25,690
- Cruze CDX 1.8 AT (sedan only): $24,190
- Cruze CDX 2.0 AT (sedan only): $28,190
- Cruze SRi 1.6 MT - $22,490
- Cruze SRi 1.6 AT - $24,690
- Cruze SRi-V 1.6L MT - $26,490
- Cruze SRi-V 1.6L AT - $28,690