GET ON THE BANDWAGON
STATION WAGON REVIVAL ROLLS ON
STATION wagons, it seems, are 'in' again, and the one we were driving turned more than a few heads with its handsome lines.
It was a Holden Cruze Sportwagon, the sole Cruze not bolted together in Australia. This one comes from the former Daewoo works in South Korea, now operating as GM Korea, and under its surprisingly heavy bonnet was a 2.0litre turbo-diesel.
At $4000 it's a fairly costly option though, lifting the price for the CD-spec petrol model from $23,690 to $27,690, as tested.
Several makers had a go at marketing small wagons in Australia in the past and most went home after a few years. But in recent times half a dozen new players arrived, with some attractive wares.
Wagons are essentially sedans with extra cargo capacity. So they retain the style and comforts of a car and simply add versatility.
The Cruze CD Sportwagon has a 120kW/360Nm diesel that drives the front wheels through a sixspeed automatic transmission. The trannie has sequential mode that allows the driver to swap cogs manually if taken by the mood.
Diesels are noted for their longevity, strong torque and frugal fuel needs. But this one was not especially frugal. Rated at 6.7litres/100km, we drove in and around Perth for a week and never got below 8.2 - a figure bettered by many petrol-powered vehicles these days.
The CD is the base model in the two-model wagon line-up and comes with a fair bit of kit. But missing is a reversing camera. For that, standard on many sub-$20K cars these days, you need to stump up a few more grand to get into the CD-X. C'mon guys, get real. What you get isn't bad: 16inch alloys, six airbags, Holden's MyLink infotainment system and the whole shebang of electronic driver aids, and yes, it does score five stars in crash safety.
The interior is pleasant, the seats comfy, the room generous and we liked the driveability.
It certainly can get a move on, sits nicely through corners and rewards a mildly sporty driver.
A bonus is the excellent handbrake, a proper lever instead of a stupid foot-operated 'parking brake' or an electronic button affair that feature in so many cars these days.
Verdict: An attractive, wellfinished vehicle with a lot of class. Well worth a look.
Holden's Cruze Sportwagon diesel has a lot of appeal.