Up until now all of Holden's Cruze small sedans have come to us from Korea, but starting from late March 2011 the Cruze switches to local production. Accompanying the switch in origin is a very mild facelift (think redesigned grille, bumpers and headlights) and a new turbo petrol engine.
Standard features throughout the range include stability and traction control, cruise control, six airbags, air conditioning, power windows and dusk-sensing headlights. All audio systems come with steering wheel controls, a CD slot and iPod/iPhone-compatible USB port.
The range-topping SRi-V comes well equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, a Watts-linkage rear suspension, body kit, fog lights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, keyless entry and start, and rear-parking sensors. Sound emanates from a premium audio system with a 7-inch screen, sat nav and DVD playback, as well as a 10GB hard disk that's able to rip and store CDs and pause live radio.
Buyers have a choice between three engines and four trim levels. The entry-level CD and mid-range CDX can be had with either the 104kW/176Nm 1.8-litre petrol or 120kW/360Nm 2-litre turbo-diesel.
A new 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine with 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque is optional on the CD, and the only offering on the SRi and SRi-V. When paired with the six-speed manual transmission the 1.4-litre engine drinks 6.4L/100km in official testing, rising to 6.9L/100km with the six-speed auto.
The locally produced Cruze goes on sale at the end of March. The CD 1.8-litre kicks off the party at AU$20,990 and tops out with the SRi-V at AU$27,990. Metallic paint is an additional AU$500, while a six-speed automatic transmission fattens the bill by AU$2000.