Holden has decided to reincarnate the Holden Cruze. For those who remember it from the early noughties, it was a boxy-looking rebadged Suzuki, popular with young girls, but not many others.
In 2009 the Cruze is Holden’s weapon to take on the small car market. It’s brand new from the ground up and sits between an Astra and Epica in size.
Built in Korea, it’s stylish-looking, with the best features being space and safety features. There are a couple of models to choose from, the CD (in manual and auto) and the fully equipped CDX (also in manual and auto). There’s also a choice of petrol or the more fuel-efficient diesel (CD models only).
Our review focuses on the top of the line CDX auto petrol.
The CDX comes standard with leather seats that feel and smell like the leather in more expensive European cars. The dash layout is modern, simple and stylish. At night, the dash lights glow blue, reminiscent of what you would find in a VW Golf. Visibility is great out of the front and rear, with reverse parking sensors making those backward manoeuvres even easier.
We took the Cruze for a long cruise down the NSW south coast. Speaking of cruise, the CDX comes with cruise control as standard, with controls mounted on the steering wheel. Audio controls for the CD player are also conveniently located on the steering wheel.
The auto could be a bit more energetic, particularly up long hills. I managed to get my hands on a manual diesel, which provided the grunt I like up hills and a more seamless drive along the freeway. The car feels really firm on the road, with good braking and cornering ability.
The Holden Cruze has received the top five-star ANCAP safety rating. Standard features on the Cruze contributing to this include electronic stability control, six airbags, electronic brake distribution and ABS brakes. This is one of the few non-European cars that can boast the achievement.
The boot looks deceptively small from the outside. But it easily swallowed four overnight bags, jackets, snacks and wine for a picnic. The rear seats are 60/40 split, if you need even more space. There’s good leg and head room for adult passengers. Even for someone over six foot tall, travelling in the back is not a problem. The centre armrest with two cup holders kept my two rear passengers happy as they sat sipping lattes.
The diesel models offer the best fuel consumption with the manual consuming 5.7 litres per 100kms. The auto petrol wasn’t far off, consuming 7.5 litres per 100kms. Its greenhouse rating is good, achieving 7/10. It’s worth noting, as you get something for free! There is a complimentary inspection at 3,000km or three months (whichever comes first).
The Cruze offers a lot in a small car. No longer do you have to pay the big bucks to get leather, the latest safety technology and the little features that make life more comfortable on the road. It’s good for four adults, because of the generous rear seating and boot space. It’s great if you live in the inner city where parking can be tight and perfect for those on the road all day where fuel economy is important.

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