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The Mercury Cars Guide : September 12th 2009
10--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, September 12, 2009 Easy Cruze to small car success REMARKABLE: The new Holden Cruze is sure to big a big star among Holden's small-car offerings.. firstname.lastname@example.org with KEITH DIDHAM HOLDEN has good reason to be feeling relieved. While big cars large- ly remain out of favour, new car buyers are queuing for smaller, more fuel efficient of- ferings, and that's where Hol- den's future now sits. The big-five sellers in the small market last month were all well entrenched: the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Mitsubishi's Lancer and Hyundai's i30. The fifth was Holden's Cruze, which comfortably outsold Ford's Focus. Holden has now sold more than 4800 of them in less than three months. It's a remarkable achievement from Holden be- cause the newcomer has to cover a lot of ground to lure buyers away from its rivals. Importantly, this model has to be a winner for Holden as it fills the gap left by the Vectra and will endanger the future of the Epica (see Page 11). The Cruze ticks most of the right boxes: the sedan-only styl- ing has a familiarity with the Commodore; it comes with a five-star safety rating; it's well packaged; and, in diesel form at least, is reasonably economical. The Cruze shows a level of quality and driving experience that indicates the Koreans are kicking key goals. The goal for Holden now is to match that level of build qual- ity when production of the Cruze switches to the com- pany's Elizabeth plant in South Australia next year. That will see the Cruze range being expanded with a hatch, perhaps a wagon and the intro- duction of an LPG variant. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. In the market now is the ''introductory'' model from Korea. You get a choice of 1.8-litre petrol or 2-litre diesel, a five- speed manual or six-speed auto and two equipment levels. Prices start at $20,990 and stretch to $25,990, plus on-road costs, which makes it cheaper than its rivals. on the road THE Cruze has much going for it and I really wanted to love it --- I ended up liking it instead and that's a shame. And its all to do with the marriage of the petrol and engine and the automatic gearbox. It appears they pay lip service to each other and don't communicate as they should. That is why, if you are looking at the Cruze --- and its well worth considering --- my tip is go for a manual trans- mission or the turbo diesel --- a much better car to drive. The baby Holden appears to be well put together and the ride reflects it. There's none of the harshness nor crude, wal- lowing ride we have seen in previous models out of Korea so Holden's engineers have done a good job in setting this car up for our conditions. There's some harshness on broken surfaces and the sus- pension, in the CDX-spec test car at least, can be noisy, almost as if it's lacking isola- tion from the cabin. Overall the Cruze is very liveable apart from some hard plastics in the cabin, shapeless rear seat and lack of a driver's foot rest. On the safety front, the Cruze comes with six air bags, anti-skid brakes, traction and stability control as standard fare. Add a spacious cabin and boot, well-designed and easy- to-read instrument panel, leather upholstery, air condi- tioning, power windows, six- speaker audio system, height adjustable driver's seat, steer- ing wheel mounted controls, cruise control, alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated front seats and park distance control and a trip computer --- you get the picture. For the money the Cruze is a real bargain. It's a solid, well-built entry into the small car market but performance is handicapped by the less than ideal match between the petrol engine, despite developing 104kW, and the six-speed sequential auto gearbox. You need plenty of revs to get moving at low speeds and then the engine becomes harsh. The Cruze can be caught out, especially on mod- erate slopes, as it tries to work out which gear is best. small torque Holden Cruze How much: $25,990 Engine: 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, 104kW, 176Nm torque; 2-litre diesel 110kW and 320Nm torque. Claimed fuel economy: 7l/100km. As tested 9.6l/100km. Greenhouse: 179g/km 118 Argyle Street, Hobart www.eurocentral.com.au HUGE SAVINGS THIS WEEKEND ONLY AT EURO CENTRAL USED! 6234 0350 $28,888 06 Ford XR6 Magnet Ute 18 Inch Alloys Premium Sound » » 4 Nissan Trail ST » Great Value » Popular SUV Subaru ester XS AWD Safety Perfect Service History Citroen C4 clusive Hatch » Automatic » Low kms Honda ord VTi One Owner Honda Reliability Ford itory TX All Wheel Drive 2 More In Stock Driveaway Peugeot 307 E Hatch » European Quality » Unbeatable Price $13,888 Driveaway $17,888 Driveaway $18,888 Driveaway $19,888 Driveaway $23,888 Driveaway $24,888 Driveaway 8 Holden Anniversary Mode » Only 9,500kms » Suit New Car Buyer $28,888 Driveaway 4 Subaru preza WRX » Only 43,000kms » You will not find better! $29,888 Driveaway (Just around the corner from Tilford)
September 5th 2009
September 19th 2009