1 Mar 2011
Holden launched the first Australian-built small car in over 12 years with the JH sedan in early 2011.
Representing a visual makeover as well as an evolution of the highly successful JG, it encompassed a fresh face, improved Euro-V emissions-meeting engines, and better performance and refinement properties.
Limited resources and tight timing meant that the company could not alter much visually beyond the plastics (bumpers – including different air intakes and fog light housings), wheels, and interior trim.
The 1.4 turbo delivered 103kW of power at 4900rpm and 200Nm of torque between 1850-4900rpm, and was paired to a six-speed manual or six-speed auto with a sequential-shift plane.
For even better fuel economy, Cruze buyers could choose the heavily revised 120kW/360Nm 2.0-litre Diesel, with double-overhead cams (instead of the older single-cam design) and similar six-speed transmissions to the 1.4 iTi.
The old 104kW/176Nm 1.8L Ecotec four-cylinder petrol engine remained, but with changes to improve driveability and refinement slightly.
While the 1.8L Ecotec and 2.0L Diesel engines retained the torsion beam rear suspension and hydraulically powered rack and pinion steering system, the 1.4 iTi’s Watts link back end and EPS electronic power steering components aimed to bring improved lateral control whilst cornering.
Finally, two sporty models were introduced – the SRi and flagship SRi-V – powered by the 1.4 iTi drivetrain.
In November 2011 the Aussie-designed Cruze hatch joined the line-up as part of a MY2012 refresh that brought new colours and standard Bluetooth connectivity.
The hatch was available in the same four specification levels as the sedan, with no difference in pricing.
Only available as a five-door, the hatch provided a cargo area of 413 litres, expanding to 1254 litres with the 60/40-split folding rear seats laid down.
When fitted with the no-cost option full-size steel spare, the boot space reduced to 325 litres but the space surrounding the larger spare wheel provided storage spots for storing wet items.