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Car reviews - Holden - Cruze - Sportwagon

Overview

The roomy Holden Cruze Sportwagon fills a niche, but its engine is off the pace

Holden logo3 Dec 2012

HOLDEN ought to be commended for bothering to bring in a small-car wagon, since most others (namely Ford and Toyota) don’t bother. And the Cruze Sportwagon to be launched in January 2013 offers plenty for smaller families and fleet buyers looking for an intelligently designed and versatile workhorse. Too bad the optimum drivetrain package available in other Cruzes has gone AWOL …
Model release date: 1 January 2013 to 1 December 2014

Previous model

Viva wagon

Released: September 2005
Ended: May 2009
Family Tree: Cruze

REALLY, one of the worst new cars to be released in the 2000s was the TK Barina – based on the 2002 Daewoo Kalos (and derived from the 1997 Lanos before that), and sorry replacement for the ageing but still competitive XC Barina that was built by Opel for Holden. Anyway, compared to that, the JF Viva – a deeply ironic moniker – wasn’t completely awful, since it provided space and the option of three reasonably attractive body styles (hatch, sedan and wagon) for new small car buyers, albeit ones totally oblivious to harsh drivetrains, tacky interiors, rubbery dynamics, listless performance, and flaky durability.

Driving the front wheels via a notchy five-speed manual or spirit-sapping four-speed auto was a variation of GM’s ancient 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, producing an unremarkable 89kW of power and 169Nm of torque. At the time we recommended forking out the extra for the unbelievably superior AH Astra, or looking elsewhere (including used car options like the 1998 TS Astra). But, as we said, Viva was better than the TK Barina…

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