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Journeys : October November 2009
He says Darren Moody Holden Cruze CDX Driver training for all .drivers. Modern vehicles Expert instructors Individual driving lessons for learners and driver assessment Safety Drive Package includes ROADSIDE ADVANTAGE cover and discounts on vehicle inspections, car insurance and RACT Batteries. Defensive Driver Training with both private and business courses. Hobart 6232 6399 Launceston 6335 5644 Devonport 6421 1944 Burnie 6434 2944 L P 6253 www.ract.com.au With GM str uggling globally, Holden has shown the direction it wants to follow with the introduction of the all- new Korean-sourced Cruze. Pitched at the small car category, it immediately strikes you as anything but a small car. In fact it has some resemblance to its big brother, the VE Commodore. Inside the CDX the leather upholstery immediately grabs your attention, with heated seats for those chilly Tasmanian days. The dash layout reminds me of the Ma zda 3 -- auto headlights and multi- function buttons on the steering wheel for audio and cruise control. Interior plastics are soft to touch, adding to that quality feel. Not too many complaints came from the rear passengers when I adjusted the driver's seat all the way back, a further testament that this isn't a small car. Included on the standard equipment list is a CD player, alloy wheels, fog lights, air conditioning and a full suite of safety features, culminating in a 5-star ANCAP rating. Under the bonnet a 1.8L petrol engine coupled to a six-speed auto provides the for ward motion. A five- speed manual is also available. But after promising so much I was disappointed with the performance of the petrol/auto combo. It really lacked enough torque to propel the Cr uze efficiently around Hobart's hilly suburbs, especially coupled to a transmission clearly designed for fuel-efficient highway cruising. Gear changes were hesitant, even under moderate acceleration. Official economy figures have the petrol/auto at 7.5 l/100km, while in the real world I managed mid-eights. I did have a couple of days in the 2.0L turbo diesel version. What a difference an extra 140Nm makes! No more constant gear swapping or hesitation between gears -- it's definitely the pick of the engines. Handling and comfort was above average, with steering feel a little on the light side. On some of our bumpy roads around the suburbs, there was some clear transference of suspension rattle through to the cabin. This, along with road and engine noise, could definitely be better suppressed with some additional soundproofing. I don't think Holden has the model lineup quite right, particularly given the huge perfor mance differences between the petrol and diesel versions. You can't purchase a diesel version in CDX form, only in base-spec CD, which loses leather upholstery, heated seats, alloys and fog lights, making it the same price as the petrol CDX version at just under $26,000 plus on-roads. The base model CD petrol/manual sells for just under $21,000, plus on-roads. Holden has flagged that the company will be building this vehicle in Australia soon and it may appear in some differing guises -- maybe as a hatch or wagon. I also heard a whisper that a smaller- capacity turbo petrol engine might be on the cards. Cruze is certainly the best vehicle to come out of GM's Korean operations and if this vehicle becomes part of the future of Holden in Australia, then there is light at the end of the tunnel for Holden as a local manufacturer. Life on the move October / November 09 32
August September 2009
Dec Jan 2010