1 Jun 2002
By CHRIS HARRIS
HOLDEN had a hand in the design of the 2000-2005 Suzuki Ignis, as the 1999 Suzuki YG concept car from the Tokyo Motor Show, which became the Cruze, revealed.
It featured a similar body but a different nose and rear treatments.
There were also other differences between the 1.3-litre Ignis and the Holden.
Powered by a 74kW/138Nm 1.5-litre DOHC 16V four-cylinder Suzuki engine, it was mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.
Holden also widened the track by 20mm front and rear to fit a bigger 15-inch alloy wheel and tyre package, as well as tuned changes to the dampers, while the ride height was boosted to 180mm and the steering was recalibrated.
But despite negative press reviews concerning this car’s lack of dynamic finesse and poor refinement, the Cruze found a strong and steady following.
Helping it our was keen pricing, a lack of serious rivalry, and healthy equipment levels – including dual front airbags, air-conditioning, remote central locking, alloy wheels, power steering, electric windows and mirrors and – from April ‘04’s trim upgrade – standard anti-lock brakes.