Goods wagon

The Cruze car­rier is well­priced and well-op­tioned

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­guide.com.au

MUCH­like buy­ing land, in the Holden Cruze wagon ex­tra real es­tate costs more. The rate is about $25 a litre for the 80 litres of ex­tra space the Sport­wagon en­joys over the hatch. The South Korean-built wagon is stylish and well-ap­pointed but misses out on the 1.4-litre petrol en­gine in lo­cally built cars that is the pick of the Cruze pow­er­plants.

VALUE

For the $2000 pre­mium over com­pa­ra­ble sedan and hatch models, cargo space grows to a solid 500 litres and all vari­ants are fit­ted with a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The CD-spec car can be had with a 1.8-litre petrol en­gine for $25,790. The 2.0-litre turbo diesel adds an eye-wa­ter­ing $4000 to that price, mak­ing it $700 dearer than the high­er­spec (but petrol only) CDX. Price and spec-wise, they are on a par with ri­vals, in­clud­ing theVWGolf wagon and the Hyundai i30.

Blue­tooth with voice recog­ni­tion is stan­dard across the range, as are cruise con­trol and iPod in­te­gra­tion. The CDX ditches

the 16-inch steel wheels in favour of 17-inch al­loys, along with leatherette trim, heated front seats, cli­mate con­trol and fog lamps.

TECH­NOL­OGY

Cruze own­ers won’t get any sur­prises, in­side or out. GMhas put some thought into the wagon’s tail­gate, with the low load height and wide open­ing mak­ing it a smart choice for those who do need to lug a load. The auto trans­mis­sion is well cal­i­brated but, if you can af­ford it, opt for the diesel— the 1.8-litre petrol en­gine pro­pels the wagon at se­date speeds but in­ner-city stop-start driv­ing does it no favours.

DE­SIGN

It’s a Cruze, though stretched, which makes the of­fi­cially small-sized car al­most a mid­sizer. Cargo area is only 19 litres shy of the Mazda6 wagon. Rear seat leg and head­room are good for 180cm adults— they won’t sprawl around but they won’t be cramped.

SAFETY

The chas­sis rigid­ity, six airbags and soft­ware of its brethren earn the wagon a five-star rat­ing. It earned a re­spectable 35.04 out of 37 in crash tests, which puts it at the pointy end of the small car class.

DRIV­ING

I like driv­ing the Cruze and the wagon is no dif­fer­ent. It is pre­dictable, un­pre­ten­tious and well-balanced on the road.

It is far from a per­for­mance wagon but the petrol en­gine has enough mid-range urge to make it a de­cent drive once un­der way. The six-speed auto flat­ters it by keep­ing it mostly in the torque band. It tends to grab a high gear when it can but will quickly kick back down on in­clines or with a heav­ier ap­pli­ca­tion of the right foot.

The steer­ing is like­wise de­cently weighted if not the most pre­cise feel in this class and the brakes are solid.

As with all Hold­ens, the air­con­di­tion­ing is strong and kicks in quickly, which is much ap­pre­ci­ated at this time of the year. The con­trols are easy to op­er­ate and com­pre­hend and the seat­ing/steer­ing po­si­tion is good for ex­tended stints be­hind the wheel.

VER­DICT

Well-priced and well-op­tioned, the Cruze wagon is a good thing. A smarter petrol en­gine would make it a wiser choice but it is still well kit­ted out against the op­po­si­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.