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Holden Z-Series pushes Cruze cause

Sporting chance: Holden will be hoping its new Z-rated Cruze models and their sportier theme will help boost the Aussie-built small-car range, sales of which were down 18 per cent last year.

Return of Z-Series for Holden Cruze as end of local small-car production in sight

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Holden logo22 Jan 2016

By TERRY MARTIN

IN ONE of its final Australian-built small-car salvos, Holden has brought back the Z-Series moniker for its Cruze sedan and hatch in an effort to bolster the range before a major realignment later this year.

The company is still to divulge full details of its future small-car strategy but is preparing to introduce the European-sourced Astra hatchback in the second half of this year and recently committed to bringing the next-generation Cruze sedan here, which will be a fully imported model.

The current Adelaide-built Cruze is a casualty of Holden’s decision to close its Australian manufacturing operations toward the end of next year, however the local small-car range could reach the end of the line earlier than that.

On sale from today, the 2016 Cruze Z-Series – using an unchanged 104kW/175Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine – sits above the entry-level Equipe and effectively replaces the CDX with a sports-themed package which adds unique two-tone 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, Z-Series badging, sill plates and Z-Series front floor mats.

Pricing starts from $22,640 plus on-road costs for the Z-Series manual sedan or hatch – the same mark as the previous CDX – while the Equipe sedan and hatch maintain their sub-$20K starting point at $19,890 plus on-roads.

A Cruze SRi-Z with the familiar 132kW/230Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol has also slotted into the range, replacing the SRi-V and offering unique 18-inch alloys in a “satin medium android” finish, rear spoiler for the hatch, alloy pedal covers, sill plates and Z-Series floor mats and exterior badge.

Pricing starts from $27,140 – the same as the previous SRi-V – and carryover features include a bodykit and sports suspension.

Automatic transmission adds $2200 across the range.

Holden has also introduced a new 17-inch alloy wheel design for the Equipe, and a new colour across the range known as ‘Slipstream Blue’.

The Cruze has performed below expectations in the small-car segment in recent years – the most popular category in Australia – and its 15,222 sales in 2015 was less than half the number achieved by the leading Toyota Corolla (42,073), Mazda3 (38,644) and Hyundai i30 (32,306).

It was also outsold by Volkswagen’s Golf (22,092).

2016 Holden Cruze Z-Series pricing*
Equipe$19,890
Equipe (a)$22,090
Z-Series$22,640
Z-Series (a)$24,840
SRI-Z$27,140
SRI-Z (a)$29,340
*Excludes on-road costs

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