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by Jez Spinks

General Motors has released the first official picture and details of the Cruze wagon that will be imported to Australia in early 2013 to bolster Holden’s locally built small car range.

The third variant will make its debut as the Chevrolet Cruze wagon – pictured above – at the 2012 Geneva motor show in March before giving Holden the opportunity the offer the most practical version of GM’s global small car.

The 4675mm-long Cruze wagon gains 165mm in length over the hatch and 78mm over the sedan, both of which are assembled at Holden’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia alongside the Commodore.

There’s a cargo space advantage, as expected, with the Cruze wagon offering boot space of 500 litres compared to the sedan (445L) and hatch (413L). The figure triples to 1500 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Holden won’t reveal what percentage of Cruze sales the wagon could account for, but it would be expected to be about the 10 per cent mark if the Volkswagen Golf wagon is any guide.

The Cruze wagon will be imported from Korea but could eventually gain a ‘Made in Australia’ stamp like the hatch and sedan if it proves successful in the local market.

“By importing [the Cruze wagon] we get a great opportunity to test the market’s reaction to a wagon of this size while maximising the production efficiencies of our world-class plant in Korea,” says Holden spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale. “However we have the capability to build the wagon at our plant in Elizabeth so it’s certainly something we can look at in the future.

“We’re confident the wagon will resonate with a different type of customer than its hatch and sedan siblings, one who is looking for a stylish small car with more versatility and flexibility.”

The Holden Cruze was the fifth most popular vehicle in 2011, and in the first month of 2012 it even outsold the Commodore.

 




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