The SRiV iTi with optional six-speed auto is the range-topper in a 14 variant new, Australian-built, Cruze line-up that includes a choice of 1.8-litre petrol, 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and 1.4-litre turbo-petrol, four-cylinder engines.
Prices start at $20,990 for the CD 1.8 with manual transmission.
Equipped with impressive levels of standard gear and safety items, the 2011 Cruze is well-placed to build on the sales success of its predecessor – one of Australia’s top selling vehicles of any kind.
Not all the Cruze range has the model’s new Watts linkage rear end, but the SRiV and SRi do. This performance-biased suspension complements the theme of turbocharged engine and sporty styling (front and rear fascia treatments, aero spoiler, sports rockers and 17-inch alloy wheels). So it looks the part, but does it walk the talk?
Well, the SRiV handles and rides impressively, though performance is more ‘adequate’ than ‘outstanding’.
A VW Golf GTi or Subaru Impreza WRX it’s not. Size and space are on its side, however, and the Cruze pushes the boundaries of what some might call a ‘small’ car (Holden’s categorization).
There’s plenty of smart technology on the SRiV: passive entry and start with sensor key, integrated satellite navigation with full-colour widescreen display and a premium multi-media audio/DVD system with 10 GB hard drive capable of storing some 2000 songs. The system also has the ability to pause live radio for up to 20 minutes.