Pre-loved: Holden Cruze 2009-2016

2009 Holden Cruze 2
The Holden Cruze was introduced as a sedan in 2009.


Though it’s officially called  a small car the Holden Cruze is quite large and has good leg and shoulder room for four adults.

Three children in the back and parents in the front all have room to move. 

Cruze in sedan format arrived in Australia in June, 2009.

The five-door hatchback went on sale in November 2011.

The revised rear end to create the hatchback was virtually all done in Australia and is sold in many countries globally.

A station wagon further added to body options when it arrived in January, 2013.

Comfort is generally good and noise, vibration and harshness are well suppressed.

Rough roads do challenge the suspension at times, but for its class Cruze is acceptable.

Cruze has a fair bit of Australian design in its style and some Aussie changes under the bonnet.

Most Cruzes were built in Holden’s Elizabeth, South Australia factory from early 2011.

Prior to that they came from a GM (Daewoo) factory in South Korea.

Quality of build wasn’t particularly good in the Cruzes built by Daewoo.

The Holden units are better, but starting from a low base meant it was hard to get it up to the quality of big brother Commodore.

Holden Cruze is powered by a variety of engines: a 1.8-litre petrol engine that’s barely got enough power; a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with good grunt, and a semi-sporty unit in the form of a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol.

The Cruze 1.4 comes with the bonus of a more sophisticated suspension setup and is the best of the bunch by quite margin.

The early turbo-diesel engine in the Cruze was on the crude side and too noisy.

It also had more turbo lag than is pleasant.

Changes to the diesel in 2011 made it significantly better, but it still feels like an old-style unit in some ways.

Cruze was one of the first cars discontinued as part of the shutdown of local Holden production, with the last one running down the line early in October, 2016.

Some may not have been sold as a new car until early 2017.

There are Holden dealers just about everywhere in Australia, though you may not be able to get uncommon parts for the Cruze in remote locations.

Generally, parts can be shipped to the outback within a couple of working days.

Cruze is reasonably easy for good amateur mechanics to do routine work.

Keep clear of safety items unless you really know what you’re doing.

A workshop manual is a wise investment.

Insurance charges are often lower than average because a lot of components are made in Australia. 

Premiums don’t vary hugely from company to company, but it’s still worth shopping around.

Make sure you compare the fine print on what you’re being offered.

2012 Holden Cruze hatch 1
A hatch followed in 2011.



These weren’t the best cars every to come to the Holden lineup. So, it makes sense to have a full inspection by a professional, after making initial checks to the best of your ability.

Look for uneven tyre wear, particularly on the front wheels.

It could mean hard driving and/or that the wheels have been kerbed and knocked out of alignment.

Drive one on a bumpy road and listen for squeaks and rattles caused by poor quality components and the fact the Cruze was built down to a price.

We heard complaints of air conditioner breaking down in the earlier models.

Check that it works and try it on all settings during your test drive.

Make sure the engine starts within a second or so of it turning over. 

Diesels are slower to start than the petrol, but shouldn’t take more than three seconds. Any longer and there could be expensive problems on the way.

After running the engine on a light load for a few minutes floor the throttle and make sure it picks up with a minimum of fuss.

Automatic transmissions should change gear promptly and not hunt overmuch from gear to gear.

2014 Holden Cruze Sportwagon 1
A wagon completed the lineup in 2013.



Budget on paying from $3000 to $6000 for most 2009-2012 Holden Cruze variants; $5000 to $9000 for a 2012 SRi V or a 2016 Equipe; $7000 to $11,000 for a 2014 CDX or a 2015 CD; $8000 to $13,000 for a 2014 CDX Sportwagon; $9000 to $14,000 for a 2015 SRi V; and $10,000 to $15,000 for a 2015 CDX Sportwagon.

2016 Holden Cruze Z Series
The final 2016 edition was marked by an ugly double-decker family grille.



Take a friend with you when shopping for a used car.

That way they can keep the chattering sales person at bay while you check out the car without interruptions.

Used car prices have generally increased during the period of new car stock shortages.

Start looking at adverts for used vehicles several months before you intend buying.

That way you can get a feel for the price being asked and whether they are rising and falling, as dealers need to clear stock due to overcrowding.

Keep an eye on adverts for new cars that say there are specials on particular models.

This can lead to a lot of traded-ins taking up too much space in yards and they will be discounted to get rid of them.

Keep an eye open for ads of unpopular cars, as there can vary greatly in price.

Owners struggling to find a buyers may be forced to grit their teeth and drop their asking price.

If checking a used car at a dealership look at other cars on the lot. 

This can provide an insight into the quality of the vehicles in which the dealer specialises.

If buying privately ask for proof of ownership and make sure the insurance covers you for taking a test drive.

Take a slow walk around any car you’re considering, looking for obvious defects.

It amuses us how many people dive into tiny details, only to discover later a major ding somewhere on the other side of the car.

Ideally any road test of a car you’re getting serious about should be done with the engine stone cold. Early morning is best.

If you’re serious about buying a vehicle, tell the seller you would like to take it for a good long test drive.

If they insist on coming that’s understandable, but try to avoid them “selling” the car to you.

Put bluntly, ask them to shut up,

In their later years, cars with a reputation for being long lived and trouble free sometimes attract buyers who have no intention of ever servicing them.

The next owner may suffer as a result.

2016 Holden Cruze SRi Z interior
Sporty 1.4-litre turbocharged SRi models are easily the best of the bunch.



To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at:



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