CRUZE is now more "Holden" than ever before.
While using General Motors bones, the sedan and hatch variants have been given an Australian overhaul to better suit our conditions.
And Holden has also sharpened the bottom line. It has undercut the Toyota Corolla by $500 to start the range from $19,490 for the highly featured Equipe model.
Following in the footsteps of the VF Commodore to be released in May, the new model year 2014 Cruze (which is actually available before Easter) will feature a slick new colour touch-screen infotainment system.
While it does all the usual things like stream audio and offer plug-ins for your USB and MP3/iPod, the MyLink system has its own applications.
The Pandora and Stitcher apps enable you to stream music and podcasts using your smartphone. Pandora is dedicated to music and you can select from various genres. Once you give a song the thumbs up it will then find similar music.
Stitcher offers an array of podcasts on an array of topics.
Holden reports that while it does use some data, the consumption is minimal.
From the outside there are minimal changes…and it's hard to spot these variants from the previous models.
But get behind the wheel and the difference is stark.
The new Cruze is more confident, agile and feels more up-market.
New to the range is a 1.6-litre turbocharged powerplant, which is smooth and strong. It's not a fire cracker, but it's a rewarding and fun drive that delivers sharp acceleration combined with a sporting suspension set-up.
Sedan and hatch
Equipe 1.8L (m) $19,490
Equipe 1.8L (a) $21,690
Equipe 1.4L (a) $23,190
Equipe 2.0L (a) $25,690
SRi 1.6L (m) $22,490
SRi 1.6L (a) $24,690
SRi-V 1.6L (m) $26,490
SRi-V 1.6L (a) $28,690
CDX 1.8L (a) $24,190
CDX 2.0L (a) $28,190
Model: Holden Cruze.
Details: Front-wheel drive four-door sedan and five-door hatch.
Engine: 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 104kW @ 6300rpm and peak torque of 175Nm @ 3800rpm; 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol 103kW @ 4900rpm and 200Nm @ 1850rpm; 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol 132kW @ 5500rpm and 230Nm @ 2200rpm; 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel 120kW @ 3800rpm and 360Nm @ 2000rpm.
Transmission: Five-speed manual (1.8L only), six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Consumption: 1.8L - 7.0 litres/100km (m) 7.4 (a); 1.4L - 6.8L/100km (a); 1.6L - 7.9L/100km (m) and 7.4L/100km (a); 2.0L - 6.7L/100km (a).
CO2: 1.8L - 165g/km (m) and 176g/km (a); 1.4L - 160g/km (a); 1.6L - 175g/km (m) and 186g/km (a); 2.0L - 176g/km (a).