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Holden cruises to five stars

First class: The Holden Cruze scored 35.04 points out of a possible 37 to breeze into a five-star safety rating.

All-new Holden small car gains maximum five-star ANCAP crash test rating

12 May 2009

HOLDEN’S all-new Cruze small sedan will be as safe as the Commodore sedan and wagon and the current Astra hatch when it goes on sale early next month.

By achieving a maximum five-star crash safety rating from Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the Cruze also out-paces the Viva small-car range it will replace – as well as the Suzuki Ignis-based compact SUV that wore the same nameplate between 2003 and 2006.

While the original Cruze came with a three-star ANCAP rating and the Daewoo Lacetti-based Viva achieved a four-star result – the same as the Korean-built Epica mid-sizer – the imported four-door Cruze also out-performed Holden’s smallest model, the Barina.

The latter, which started life as the Daewoo Kalos, lifted its ANCAP score from a lowly two stars to four following structural upgrades in 2008, similar to the way in which the VE Commodore’s four-star ANCAP result was upgraded to five stars in late 2008 following running changes including the addition of a passenger seatbelt reminder, new steering column shroud and revised rear doors.

Holden said the Cruze sedan scored 35.04 points from a total of 37, thanks to its high-strength steel structure and a host of active and passive safety systems.

13 center imageThey include a collapsible pedal assembly and standard driver aids including electronic stability control (ESC) with traction control, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), seatbelts with reminder warning and load-limiters, and six airbags including twin front, front-side and side curtain airbags.

“We know that today’s motorists want many things from a small car and that includes no comprise on safety,” said GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Reuss.

“Incredibly high benchmarks were set as the Cruze was being developed and the results show. This is a world-class car with a safety rating to match. We welcome ANCAP’s response to Cruze’s strong safety features.”

As previously reported, the JG-series Cruze will go on sale in early June powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder Ecotec petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission (for CD and CDX grades) or a 2.0-litre four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engine, (CD only).

GoAuto has learned the former will return official ADR 81/02 fuel consumption of 8.0L/100km.

Built in South Korea by GM affiliate Daewoo since last November, the Cruze is expected to be priced around the same as the Holden Viva it will replace, meaning a sub-$19,000 starting price.

The Korean-made Cruze sedan made its Australian public premiere at the Melbourne motor show in March, brandishing a spacious five-seater cabin with a 60/40-split folding rear seat.

It is based on the same global GM Delta II platform that will form the basis of Opel’s next-generation Astra, the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and GM Holden’s unique-to-Australia small-car derivative that enters production in September 2010.

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