Ok I’ve been sitting for ages trying to work out how I am going to write this review and not make it sound like a huge ad for Holden.
Well guess what I don’t really think I can that’s how much the MY14 SRi Cruze impressed me.
A lot of you would be aware how much the previous model SRiV impressed me but it did have it’s short comings mainly a lack of horse power.
Well Holden have addressed these short comings with the MY14 model in fact the only short comings I found with the SRi was I had to give it back to Holden after a week.
On the outside you really have to look hard tell the difference between this model and the last because the same aggressive looking front sports bar carries on from the previous model but I don’t have an issue with that because I like how it looks.
At the back you will notice the rear diffuser has changed which gives it a more sportier look and there’s an oval shaped chromed exhaust tip.
You will also notice the design of the 17 inch alloys have changed as well to a better looking design that really suits the look of the SRi.
The beautiful paint work is one thing you can’t miss, I have lost count of the favourable comments I’ve got this week about how good this colour looks.
The colour is called Regal Peacock which is a dark metallic green and is one of the 3 new colours that will be introduced to the Cruze range in conjunction with the release of the VF Commodore end of May/June.
I have never really liked green cars and would never buy one but I really like this colour a lot and it could tempt me, I like how it seems to change colour depending on the light it’s in. At night and in low light it looks black but the lighter the light gets the more it bright out the metallic green.
I think this colour is going to be a very popular colour indeed going by the reception this car got.
The instruments panel contains the speedo and tacho which are backlit in blue light at night in between is info screen which can show various functions which are accessed via a button on the stalk.
The change for the MY14 model is the addition of the new Holden Mylink infotainment system.
Mylink allows drivers to connect their smartphone or stored media with their car either by USB or Bluetooth, all functions including music, radio, phone are accessed via the 7inch colour touch screen.
If the device you connected to the Mylink system has a 3G data connection you are also able to live stream content via the Pandora music radio and Stitcher on demand radio apps. (In the next couple of weeks I will be taking a closer look at the new Holden Mylink infotainment system so check back for a more indepth view of it).
The jet black cloth sports seats with sportec side bolsters, (with the Perfect Blue and Karma exterior colours you get Sonic Blue cloth) are very comfortable and supportive even when cornering hard they hold you in place.
I really like how Holden have continued the jet black or sonic blue cloth continue across the door trims them in a strip across the dash.
The same theme is continued in the back seat with jet black or sonic blue cloth with sportec bolsters, the rear offers heaps of leg room and plenty of comfort even on a long trip I had 5 people in there without any complaints at all.
Being a hatch you expect it to have some room in the back and the Cruze is no exception with 413 litres of space in the back which grows to 1254 litres when the back seats are folded down.
The spare tyre is located under the false floor and there are some more smaller storage spots around the spare tyre well.
The biggest change from the previous model is the addition of the new 1.6L turbo charged engine packing 132kw and 230nm which is sourced from Szentgotthard Hungry.
The 1.6 turbo features a hollow frame cast iron block, dual overhead chain driven cams, roller-finger camshaft followers, piston-cooling oil jets and integrated oil cooler, variable flow oil pump, electronically controlled thermostat, turbo integrated into the exhaust manifold, reinforced crankshaft and stronger con rods.
Sorry I went off on a tangent and started getting a little technical, basically what that all means is the 1.6L Turbo is built for strength but features lots of weight saving features as well.
All of this combines to make the 1.6L Turbo an extremely potent little engine.
The 1.6 turbo develops it’s torque low down and helps make it extremely tractable you can tool along quiet happily in traffic, but when the situation arises you have a decent amount of power available with just a small push of your right foot.
Fuel economy really depends on how you drive the car, driving it economically we yield some decent economy figures, but like any car though if you drive it hard then the economy figures are going to suffer.
I was however quiet surprised with how good the figures were considering the way i drove it specially on my test loop.
The first part of my test loop involves a decent free way run in which the Cruze averaged in the 6’s litres per 100km, the second half involves a trip down Wisemans ferry road from Gosford to Wisemans ferry 64km of heaven for drivers and bike riders from the amount of bikes we saw along way. Wisemans Ferry road can be quite a rewarding drive, it’s not flat, the road surface in parts is not smooth the speed limit is not exceptionally high. But what it does have is whole lot of corners tight low speed, faster sweeping corners it’s a whole mixed bag which makes it the perfect road to test drive cars down as if there is anything suspect about the cars handling or suspension it will come out on this road.
For the MY14 model year the Holden engineers have really excelled themselves this time around and should really be commended for their efforts.
Because they have changed what was a nice handling car into something that a can I best describe as a train dead set the Cruze seemed to handled like it was on rails.
No matter what I threw at it the Cruze ate it up and asked for more with a cherry on top, slow corners, sweeping corners and anything in between the Cruze never felt out of step even when I was pushing it a little harder then maybe I should of. The turn in is just amazing, the electronic power steering has been tweaked to provide a near perfectly weighted feel this car literally goes where ever you point it as soon as you point it the Cruze SRi is extremely nimble on it’s feet.
The suspension has been tuned to the new sticky Bridgestone Potenza’s tyres the MY14 Cruze is fettled with and you can tell big time not once did I get any tyre squeal at all.
I had a mate along for the ride and he couldn’t stopping talking about how well it handled it completely surprised him in fact even after 2 days he was still raving about it.
In the hands of a better driver the Cruze SRi will blacken the eye’s of quite a few more expensive cars.
The brakes were very good indeed they copped a beating on my test loop and there was no fade at all.
The automatic transmission has also been reworked by the engineers, featuring sport shift with active select it also has a new feature called Performance Mode Lift Foot or PMLF which is used by Cadillac in the U.S. basically once you put into sport shift you can leave it there and the transmission senses how you driving and it changes gears appropriately.
I was a bit unsure about it and decided to use sport shift the normal way changing gears when I wanted, but half way along decided to try it out for a section of road and just basically left it that way for the rest of the trip.
Time after time it picked the gear I wanted like it was reading my mind if I wanted it to hold the gear longer coming out of a corner then it would hold the gear only changing when it was at the red line and could sense I hadn’t lifted my foot.
I am totally impressed by how well it worked while it is fun to change the gears yourself in sport shift it was so much fun to just keep my hands on the wheel and concentrate on steering, accelerating and braking.
As you would expect from any modern day car the Cruze is packed full of safety features and has received a 5 Star NCAP rating.
The SRi does come standard with reverse sensors but no camera to get the rear view camera you have to step up to the SRiV model so it does loose some points there.
So what do I think of the MY14 SRi Cruze, well first words that string to mind is I Loved It.
The Cruze is just so much of a hoot to drive I had an absolute blast every time I drove it. It handles well, is packed full of tech, very comfortable, the new reworked auto transmission is a delight, it has plenty of room for my family and has a 5 star safety rating, I tried really hard to find faults and I just couldn’t.
So would I buy one well put it this way if I could afford to buy a car right now I would have already been down to my local Holden dealer and put my order in.
This car has basically everything I want in a car it has a 5 star safety rating, it goes and stops well, can return decent fuel economy but more importantly for me it’s amazing fun to drive.
The Cruze SRi pricing starts at $22,990 for the manual and $24900 for the auto so it has to be the best bang for your buck going around you certainly would have to spend a lot more money to get a car that could rival it’s performance on paper.
If your looking for a small car with heaps of features, decent performance then don’t look any further get your butt down to your local Holden dealer and take one for test drive, you will be amazed at just how well it does go.
For more info on Holden’s Cruze range visit their website http://www.holden.com.au
If you are in the market for a new Holden and want to get a great price surf on over to bid my car https://www.bidmycar.com.au/special-offer/?utm_source=kts350&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=kts350-lead