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Old 10-12-2010, 07:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Default Holden Cruze

Early in the year, our faithful office car, a beat-up Holden Astra, broke down. Our zone manager took the opportunity to purchase a new office car, and had his heart set on the Holden Cruze (Chevrolet in the US).

Well-marketed as a small car with big car dynamics and lots of technology, I thought it would be great. It is a pretty attractive car with good build quality. However, it still sucks.

I was the third person in the office to drive the Cruze and decided to tune the radio and set it to some popular stations as it had not been done previously. I realised why, as it is incredibly time-consuming. Searching for the appropriate frequency takes about twice as long as it does on other cars.

The worst part about the Cruze's technology is that all the car's computers combined think that they know best. The lights cannot be turned off with any permanence. Any hint of darkness and they will light up. Convenient, yes, but it really only saves a slight twist of thumb and finger. The central locking also has a mind of its own. Start driving and the doors will lock. Place it into park and the doors will unlock. This is quite logical, but slightly disturbing, and yet again, no real practical gain.

All this technology, yet an internal release for the fuel filler cover is not deemed necessary.

The technological marvels of General Motors were also not involved in crafting the driving experience ofthe Cruze. The brake pedal is extremely sensitive. Mere touches will result in heavy braking. The accelerator is worse. It has a mind of its own. Sometimes, you press it and it thinks for a couple of seconds before deciding that you actually need to move forward. Other times, it will respond at once with aggressive revving.

All with not much gain. The engine is not terrible: 1.8 litres with 104 kW of power. This is only marginally lower than the larger 2.0 litre engine of the Mazda 3. Howeer, with the car loaded with useless electronic crap, it feels severely underpowered, not helped by the temperamental accelerator.

The Cruze does have decent handling for a car of this class. The power steering is precise and firm. It doesn't wallow about when engaging in vigorous turns.

This is just as good as it gets. Handling is forever compromised by the crap engine and imbecilic accelerator. The driving experience is made unenjoyable by the useless technology.

Don't buy this. Don't rent it. Avoid if you can.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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Location: Detroit
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100% agree. It's a horrible car.

GM has long been making vehicles with those annoying features. Thankfully, it's only on most of the non-luxo/sport cars.

Electric throttle control is designed to "learn" how the driver responds and adapts over time. So if you were the only person driving the car, it would learn how you expect it to behave... somewhat.
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