The Holden Cruze SRi-Z is a little upgrade to the Aussie car maker’s smaller car line-up. Is it worth creating a new flagship?
What it’s got
The Holden Cruze Z-Series which comes in either a hatch or sedan is an incremental improvement in the Holden Cruze small car line. The SRi-Z is the top-of-the-line model. It’s powered by a turbo 1.6L inline 4 cylinder which trundles out 104kW over six-speeds in automatic transmission.
In the middle of the dash is the Holden MyLink infotainment system that comes standard. An excellent addition, it has an intuitive, easy to navigate menu and syncs with all your favourite phone apps using a clear, high-resolution colour touchscreen. The touchscreen also accesses the satellite navigation and reversing camera functions.
The SRi-Z is decked in leather, with the hatch’s rear seats able to be split folded. It’s also got a sports body kit, sports suspension and a rear spoiler on the hatch. Suspension and traction control can also be adjusted into various modes, such as sports mode.
What to expect
The SRi-Z with its sport tuning in the suspension and traction when toggled performs admirably, handling ably over windier, non-suburban roads. The smoothness of the ride is silky as can be on this variant’s 17” alloy wheels, eating up bumps and divots along the way. Braking is fairly standard and steering tends toward the “does as it says on the tin” variety.
The six-speed 1.6L turbo does well for a car of this class, capably handling the school/work commute and trips out and about. The mid-range is a bit of a fizzler and it seems to plead for your foot to ease off when it approaches the higher ranges. Gear shifts are a bit clunky, too. Fuel economy is rated to about 7 to 8L/100km, so there’s not much advantage in that department.
Especially in view of the 6-or-so-L benchmarks set by the VW Golf or Toyota Corolla. The cabin is roomy enough for four adults and the hatch variant of the SRi-Z can handle a week’s shop and other clobber in the boot without a problem. The fixtures and other parts feel rather cheap compared to the other models in this category vying for your dollars.
Coupled with higher running costs as well as increased overall servicing costs without much to show for it, the Cruze is a decent little performer without anything that can only whisper “pick me.” Worth a test drive, but there’s better cars in this market segment for those looking for more bang for less buck.