Years ago we decided to buy ourselves a 2011 Holden Cruze SRi-V hatch that we came across when we were looking for a new car. As we already had a large car, we thought that a hatch would be perfect for us as long as there was room for all of us front and back. There was something about the Cruze that drew our attention. Although there were some negative owner reviews on Holden Cruzes, we knew a few people that had them and they couldn't complain. We took our bet and bought the car, it was a great decision.
As we had the top spec SRi-V, it came with all the goodies (although missing some modern features) such as heated seats, sports body kit, punchy turbo engine, sat nav and a touchscreen. It does miss out on a few things that most top spec rivals came with, or were at least optional such as rear view camera, front parking sensors, dual climate control and rear air vents. This is just me being picky but I would have loved to have seen these features at least optional for a car that was around $30k when it was brand new.
The cabin is a great place to be with one of the biggest back seat spaces in the class, loads more than the Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30. Rear seat passengers have a centre armrest with cup holders but sadly no rear air vents. Front passengers also have loads of room and because the seats are quite low (height adjustable for both front seats) they give a rather sporty feeling. Generally, the inside of the car is a great place to be with few complaints from passengers and it feels quite solid, although a lot of the plastics are hard, but not as bad as the same model year of the Hyundai i30. Rear boot space is also above class average although with the sloping roof line, fitting tall things in may be difficult if you're unable to slide it in lying down.
The engine most of the time is good with good feedback from the 1.4-litre turbo making 103kW of power. The engine works rather well with the 6-speed auto. If you plant your foot though, the car will definitely make some noise and the cabin becomes rather loud. In saying that, it's best not to plant your foot as fuel consumption is already slightly above class average, so don't be expecting to quite get the claimed fuel consumption.
After 3 years of ownership, I've been pretty happy with it but there are still some negatives. At just over 99,000km, the transmission had to be replaced but as it was under 100,000km, we worked with Holden who paid for tow trucks to deliver the car where it needed to be and then replaced the gearbox free of charge. This did nearly take a month before we got the car back and this was definitely the biggest problem we had encountered with the car. Some other small issues (which are mainly cosmetic) include fading on plastic mouldings around the mirrors which were once black but have now turned a white colour, and the paint is starting to show its age, even with the car garaged every night.
Over three years and 45,000km (110,000km currently), this car has really been a delight to own and even after all the negative stuff that mechanics have said about these cars. Thankfully, parts aren’t that expensive either, as you may notice in the photo, someone knocked my mirror cover off just a few hours before taking this picture.