The Road Ahead : April 2013
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU THE ROAD AHEAD APR/MAY 2013 48 KEY STATS Holden has expanded its popular Cruze range with the inclusion of a Sportwagon, sourced from Korea. However, the choice is limited compared to the locally-built Hatch and Sedan: CD, with either 1.8-litre petrol engine ($25,790) or 2.0-litre turbo-diesel ($29,790), and the premium 1.8-litre CDX -- as per our test vehicle -- for $29,040. A six-speed auto is the only transmission offered. Among the Hatch and Sedan models, the 1.8-litre CD is the volume seller, but performance is more mid-pack rather than class-leading, and this is the case with Sportwagon. Cruze is big for what is categorised as a small vehicle, and Sportwagon is 157mm longer than the Hatch and 60mm longer than the Sedan. There is slightly more headroom in the front and rear, but it is in the cargo area where the Sportwagon excels with 686 litres of space, compared to 445 for the Sedan and 413 for the Hatch. Drop the split-fold rear seats, though, and it expands to a significant 1478 litres. (Note: these numbers are with inflator tyre kit fitted, not no-cost optional full-size spare wheel). So much for the obvious differences. Sportwagon drives very much the same, offering a supple ride and handling attributes that would satisfy most buyers in this segment. The standard equipment list is impressively extensive. MLP: $29,0406^ SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability/traction control. FEATURES: Immobiliser, keyless entry, alarm, 17" alloys, bluetooth with voice recognition, cruise control, rear park sensors, six-stack CD player with MP3, USB, heated front seats, leather, climate-control airconditioning. ENGINE: 1.8-litre, DOHC 16-valve, petrol 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 104kW @ 6200rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 176Nm @ 3800rpm. 0-100 KM/H: N/A. 80 KM/H-STOP: 24.7m. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 7.4 litres/100 km. ANCAP SAFETY RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Space, safety, equipment level. AGAINST: Engine lacks oomph, warranty not as good as some. holden cruze sportwagon cdx 1.8 Mazda6 has always been highly regarded and a leading light in the mid-size segment, and the latest model raises the bar significantly higher. Our Atenza diesel wagon test vehicle impressed as an enjoyable to drive and classy package, and we were sad tohanditbackattheendofaweek of testing. Listing for near $51k, the top specification Atenza isn't exactly cheap, but there's a plentiful standard features list and a bundle of advanced safety technologies collectively dubbed iActivesense by Mazda. It includes active cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, high-beam control, rear cross-traffic alert and Mazda's autonomous braking/ forward obstruction warning system, Smart Brake Support. The 2.5-litre Skyactiv petrol engine performs solidly, but the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is an even stronger performer. It, too, features Skyactiv stop/start and iELoop brake energy regeneration, plus an ultra-low (by diesel standards) 14:1 compression ratio, all to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. And now, with a standard six-speed auto, wider appeal for the 'oiler' should be assured. Ride and handling are very sophisticated, though the new electric power-steering doesn't quite have the road feel of the old model, more apparent at lower speeds. There's good space inside both for passengers and cargo. mazda6 atenza diesel wagon KEY STATS RRP: $50,960 (auto)^ SAFETY: dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability/traction control. KEY FEATURES: Dual climate- control, 19" alloys, keyless entry/ start, bluetooth, Bose 231-watt audio system, power sunroof, leather trim, power and heated front seats, bi-xenon adaptive headlamps, reversing camera, park sensors. ENGINE: 2.2-litre, common-rail turbo diesel Skyactiv-D 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 129kW @ 4500rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 420Nm @ 2000rpm. 0-100 KM/H: N/A. 80 KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 5.4 litres/100 km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: N/A. EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Safety, enjoyable to drive, quality, fuel consumption, space. AGAINST: Price, temporary use spare. MOTORING | NEW CAR REVIEW ^ MANUFACTURER'S LIST PRICE. REVIEWS BY BARRY GREEN AND JOHN EWING.