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Holden Cruze wagon spreads its net wide
Handsome Holden Cruze holdall aims to skim rival compact SUV sales
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28 Nov 2012
HOLDEN is hoping to lure compact SUV as well as small and medium wagon buyers into its new JH Cruze Sportwagon.
Out in January with a $2000 premium over the equivalent hatch and sedan models, it marks the return of the first Holden in this end of the small-car class since the demise of the Daewoo Lacetti-based JF Viva in mid 2009.
Like the earlier JG Cruze sedan, all Sportwagons will be sourced from Korea. Holden ships the Australian-specific nose cone to the former Daewoo facility in Gunsan, before returning it attached to the finished car.
Along with the thematically similar Hyundai i30 Tourer out early next year, the Sportwagon aims to steal sales from larger wagons such as the i40, Mazda6, and Ford Mondeo, while the popular two-wheel-drive iterations of the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail and new Honda CR-V are also in the Cruze carryall’s crosshairs.
In European Chevrolet guise, the Sportwagon offers 1478 litres of total cargo capacity – 1024 mm long – and up to 500 litres up to the window line with the rear seats up.
Sitting on the same 2685mm wheelbase as the other Cruze variants, total length is 4681mm, with height and width coming in at 1484mm (or 1521mm with roof racks) and 1797mm respectively.
Unfortunately, price constraints means that no 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol models will be made available for now, since the engine is made in the United States and shipped to Korea.
It also means that the electric power steering and Watts link rear suspension upgrades that the turbo petrol engine brings to the 1.4iTi-equipped Hatch and Sedan models will also be absent in the Sportwagon. They must make do with hydraulic steering and a simpler torsion beam arrangement.
“For the projected volumes, it would just be too expensive to bring it in to Australia,” a Holden spokesman told GoAuto.
Consequently, Holden is introducing three Cruze wagon variants for now – the $25,790 CD in 1.8-litre petrol or 2.0-litre diesel (the latter commanding a $4000 premium), and the petrol-only CDX from $29,040.
The 1.8-litre Ecotec four-cylinder twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder petrol unit dates back beyond the Viva to the early Astra days, and in this incarnation is expected to produce about 104kW of power at 6200rpm and 176Nm of torque at 3800rpm (Holden has yet to confirm specific outputs).
Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre twin-cam turbo-diesel CD ought to provide around 120kW at 3800rpm and 360Nm at 2000rpm. Like the petrol, the diesel is only offered with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions ratings have yet to be finalised for the Aussie Sportwagon.
Standard features in the CD include ESC, ABS, traction control, six airbags (dual front, side and curtain items), CD/MP3 audio with six-speakers, 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, powered windows and mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth telephony with voice recognition, rear parking sensors, auto-on/off headlights, and roof rails.
Heated front seats, leather trimmed upholstery, climate control air-con, 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, and fancier trim denote the CDX.
“We expect the Sportwagon to incrementally add sales to the Cruze,” says Holden small car manager Emma Pinwill.
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