Cruze’s good oil

The com­pact sedan di­vides opin­ion but spend a lit­tle more on the turbo diesel

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Review -

re­ac­tion to fall­ing Com­modore sales as buy­ers showed a grow­ing pref­er­ence for smaller, more fuel-ef­fi­cient mod­els. The first model in the new line was the JG, which was a re­badged Dae­woo from Korea with some mi­nor tweak­ing for the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

It was a stop-gap model to get Holden into the mar­ket with a com­pet­i­tive en­try un­til the lo­cally built Cruze was avail­able in 2011.

The JG was only avail­able as a four-door sedan with two vari­ants, the CD and CDX, and petrol and diesel en­gines. The styling was pleas­ant enough with­out be­ing par­tic­u­larly strik­ing, it was quite roomy for four and quiet. The 1.8-litre petrol en­gine was ad­e­quate once it wound up but get­ting up to speed wasn’t pretty. It jumped away ini­tially, then strug­gled through the mid-speed range.

The turbo diesel on the other hand was a bet­ter driv­ing car, a lit­tle bit slower at the start, but it then got go­ing nicely. The slight lag at the start meant get­aways were smoother than they were with the petrol en­gine. Buy­ers could choose a smooth sixspeed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion or a five-speed man­ual. On the road the Cruze’s ride was firm, but com­fort­able, and it han­dled well.

Both mod­els had plenty of equip­ment. The CD got cruise con­trol, multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel, air­con­di­tion­ing and power win­dows and mir­rors. The CDX range-top­per got leather, heated front seats, fog lamps and rear park­ing sen­sors.

Over­all, the Cruze did ev­ery­thing rea­son­ably well with­out threat­en­ing to raise the bar in any area.

NOW

The ini­tial im­pres­sion of the Cruze was that it was well built and solid, and that ap­pears to be play­ing out in real life as the ear­li­est ex­am­ples head to­wards the 50,000km mark. Few own­ers com­plain about rat­tles, squeaks and vi­bra­tions. Lack­lus­tre per­for­mance is the sin­gle most fre­quent com­plaint about the Cruze, in both petrol and diesel forms. Most own­ers cite in­dif­fer­ent ac­cel­er­a­tion, enough to make one owner ap­pre­hen­sive when over­tak­ing.

Some also com­plain the en­gines are harsh and noisy. But most also agree that the Cruze is eco­nom­i­cal, which was one of the main rea­sons they bought the car. An­other sub­ject of com­plaint is the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which tends to hunt and ap­pears un­cer­tain of which gear it needs to be in when tack­ling in­clines.

A cou­ple of own­ers re­port they reg­u­larly ex­pe­ri­ence the diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter warn­ing com­ing on, re­quir­ing a spe­cific

Pay $21,500$37,500 2.5 stars driv­ing rou­tine to en­sure the fil­ter is cleaned and re­gen­er­ated. It shouldn’t hap­pen in nor­mal driv­ing, but if it does it’s a real pain in the back­side— it was enough for one owner to sell his car af­ter just a year of own­er­ship.

Over­all, opin­ion is di­vided. As many like the Cruze as dis­like it.

SMITHY SAYS

Not the bench­mark in the class and lack­lus­tre per­for­mance spoils the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Best to

shop around.

Con­sen­sus: The Cruze is eco­nom­i­cal, if un­ex­cit­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.