Car reviews - Holden - Cruze - CDX sedan
Holden's new Cruze throws out a stiff challenge on value ...
19 Jun 2009
IT MAY look odd up front, and the rear is almost comically Honda Civic-esque, but the Holden Cruze still has its own, and compelling, value story to tell. From the moment you open the door, all traces of the old ex-Daewoo Viva vanish. Only then does it become clear that the Cruze is an inexpensive – as opposed to a cheap – compact four-door sedan. We review the expected best-selling engine and gearbox combination, the 1.8-litre six-speed automatic, to find out what is right, what is wrong and what’s going on with this vital new small car contender.
Model release date: 1 May 2009 to 1 May 2011
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Holden JF VivaReleased: September 2005
Ended: May 2009
Family Tree: Cruze
ARGUABLY the worst new small car of its time, the “JF Viva” was actually a Daewoo J200 Lacetti, itself a rebodied version of the J100 Nubira sold successfully in Australia by the defunct Korean brand from 1997 to 2003 – and that car had roots in the 1980s GM J-car (Holden Camira, anybody?). So, against luminaries such as the Ford Focus and Honda Civic, the Viva didn’t stand a chance, and slow sales soon prompted Holden to price it in the light-car league. Three attractive body styles were offered – an Italian designed sedan, hatch and wagon – and all featured an 89kW/169Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, driving the front wheels via a sticky five-speed manual or sluggish four-speed auto gearbox. Only reasonable sizing and sufficient safety spec – anti-lock brakes, dual front and side airbags – saved the unreliable JF Viva from being a no-star small car.
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