Holden will begin selling the new Cruze, based on the same Delta platform that will underpin its own small car planned for release in late 2010, in Australia from early June with both petrol and diesel engines.
The Cruze will compete with rival Ford's imported Focus small car, which also has a five-star safety rating from EuroNCAP.
Independent crash testing by the ANCAP laboratory in Sydney showed that the Cruze scored 35.04 points out of a maximum of 37.
Holden says that a combination of high-strength structure and a host of active and passive safety systems make Cruze one of the safest cars in its class.
Cruze has been designed to provide maximum protection including front and rear crush zones engineered to collapse in a controlled manner to absorb crash energy.
A collapsible pedal assembly helps to reduce the chance of lower extremity injuries to the driver in a frontal collision.
Holden says that in addition to its extremely strong passenger compartment, Cruze includes a full range of active and passive safety systems as standard across the range including; electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, six airbags, seatbelt reminders and pretensioners with load limiters.
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Reuss, said safety was at the core of the vehicles global development program.
“We know that today’s motorists want many things from a small car and that includes no compromise on safety,” Mr Reuss said.
“Incredibly high benchmarks were set as the Cruze was being developed and the results show.
“This is a world class car with a safety rating to match,” he added.
Mr Reuss said GM Holden welcomed ANCAP’s response to the strong safety features of the Cruze.
Holden says that Cruze is the first vehicle in General Motors’ new portfolio of global products and enters the Australian market with bold looks, a high level of standard features and advanced interior styling and comfort.
Cruze will go on sale in early June powered by a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, Ecotec petrol engine on CD and CDX models or a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged, common-rail, diesel engine in the CD model.
CarAdvice will be attending the media launch of the new Cruze next week and look for our First Steer of the entire range next Wednesday.