Holden Cruze Equipe
- It costs: $20,990
- It has: A 104-kilowatt 1.8-litre four-cylinder with six-speed auto
- We got: 11.6 litres per 100km in the city, 7.4 in the country. The official combined figure is 7.0
I thought Rod was hard on this car. The seats are extremely comfortable and the interior is pleasant. It’s a little noisier than some other cars and a bit sluggish off the mark and up long hills, but that’s nothing you can’t deal with.
There is audible rear parking assist, but I wondered about paying for a centre dash screen when a reversing camera and navigation are optional (and the touch screen can be frustratingly difficult to use).
The real world fuel economy is nothing brilliant going by our experience, otherwise there’s nothing to upset anyone here.
Except for the spare wheel. It’s not just skinny and speed-limited to 80 km/h; you have to inflate it with the supplied compressor before you can use it. This is not something you would ever want to have to do, so keep your roadside assist paid up.
You can access Pandora by pairing your phone with the car – a nice touch.
So far this year two-thirds of all Holdens have been imported from overseas and the Cruze, Holden’s third-biggest seller, is one of them. It comes from Daewoo in Korea and, while this helps keep prices down, the Cruze doesn’t have the same quality feel of, say, a Mazda 3 from Japan or even a Hyundai or Kia, also from Korea.
If you can live with this and an engine that works hard for everything it achieves then the price is definitely right. The five-speed manual starts at $19,990, the auto is just $1000 more. The cheapest Mazda 3 auto is $26,000.
It’s a bit slow off the mark but winds up OK and cruises comfortably at the legal limit with enough in reserve for overtaking.
You feel the bumps and jumps in the road but the ride is acceptable. The handling can get a bit loose and vague when pushed but if you want to drive fast you won’t buy one of these. It’s a car for people who aren’t into cars, who just want to go from A to B.
- Good value for “A to B” driving