Regular readers will know how impressed I was with the MY14 SRi Cruze when I reviewed it so you won’t be surprised when I say that the SRiV Cruze equally impressed me when I reviewed it.
I’ve always been more of a hatch then sedan fan so I wasn’t expecting to like the sedan as much as I did part of that could be attributed to the beautiful blue paint work Perfect Blue is one of my favourite colours on the Holden colour chart at the moment and it really goes well with the shape and sporty body kit of the SRiV.
The aggressive looking front sports bar complete with chrome surrounded fog lights combined with a lip spoiler, new look oval shaped chromed exhaust at the back to give the SRiV a sporty look to that the newly designed 18inch alloys that it rides on and to me you have a very attractive package.
Slip inside and while there a familiarity from the previous model you also notice a couple of differences, the instrument 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 Leather wrapped steering wheel is comfortable to hold and has all the usual buttons for cruise control, audio and voice recognition.
The leather appointed front sports seats are very comfortable and supportive even when cornering hard they hold you in place, for convenience they have a heating function for winter, the rear seat 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.
The boot offers a great amount space of 445 litres which is slightly more then the hatch version this stretches to 1254 litres with the rear seats folded.
The SRiV has keyless entry and start, the new start button is better looking and looks more into the car then previous model where to me it looked like a bit of an after though.
The Centre stack and console have new metal finish around it which to me looks great, the centre of the dash is dominated by the Holden Mylink system which you will know from my previous reviews I’m a massive fan the Mylink system features 7” full colour touch screen, AM/FM radio, In-dash CD player, Audio streaming via Bluetooth (compatible devices), Phone integration, Phone book support, Pandora and Stitcher apps, Voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free Integration and Satellite Navigation.
Under the bonnet the SRiV features the same 1.6L turbo 4 cyl as the SRi which puts out a healthy 132Kw and 320Nm of torque and I found the engine rather nice indeed. The 1.6 turbo develops it’s torque low down which 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. On the freeway it it cruises very well in 6th gear it just lopes along, there is plenty of power in reserve though for overtaking.
Fuel economy will vary depending on how much right you use if you drive it nice and sedately it will return decent economy figures use more right foot and as any other car does it will use more. The problem I found with this car was it’s so entertaining to drive I issues driving it sedately.
The automatic transmission is the same 6 speed auto as the SRi and it works extremely well, for the MY14 model year the Holden engineers totally reworked the transmission and added some new features, the sport shift with active select works extremely well. The big new feature is called Performance Mode Lift Foot or PMLF. Now I could go on for ages about this feature but to give you the short version what it basically does once you put the transmission into sport shift it senses how you driving and it changes gears appropriately.
Now while I do like using the sport shift to change gears myself I’m a massive fan of the PMLF function, 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.
Handling wise I found the SRi amazing but for some reason I found the SRiV slightly better that could be attributed to the slightly bigger 18inch bridgerstones.
The SRiV can be best described as a train because it handles like it was on rails, my test loop winds itself down Wisemans ferry road from Gosford to Wisemans ferry, and is 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.
The SRiV lapped up every corner and asked for seconds no matter what I threw at it the Cruze, 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, like the SRi the SRiV 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.The brakes were very good indeed they copped a beating on my test loop and there was no fade at all.
As you would expect from any Holden the Cruze has received a 5 Star NCAP rating and is packed full of safety features including ESC, ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control, Brake Assist, 6 airbags (driver, front passenger, front side and curtain), Collapsible pedal release system, Driver and front passenger seatbelt reminder, Four-way adjustable headrests for whiplash protection, Three-point seatbelts in all five seating positions, Seatbelt retractor and lap pre-tensioners in driver and front passenger position, Front seatbelt load limiters, Child seat latching system at rear seating positions and rear parking sensors the SRiV also scores bonus points for reverse camera which is standard.
After a week in the SRiV I was sad I had to hand it back to Holden that’s how much I loved it, The SRiV just like it’s SRi sibling is a hoot to drive.
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.
The SRiV has everything you could want in a car 5 star safety rating, it goes and stops well, decent fuel economy, fun to drive.
While I don’t like to recommend cars if your looking for a small car with heaps of features, safety and decent performance then you would be mad not to have a look at the SRiV Cruze go on 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