Holden Cruze hatch arriving in NZ with five-star safety

October 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden’s Cruze hatchback will be arriving here in NZ shortly and will arrive with the highest possible five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Launching in November, the GM Holden designed and built Cruze hatch maintains the same safety standards set by the Series II Cruze sedan, which went on sale here earlier this year.

Like the sedan, the hatch receives the maximum safety rating thanks to a range of active and passive safety features included as standard.

Six airbags including driver and front passenger, front side impact and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control and a collapsible pedal assembly system all come as standard kit.

The entire Cruze range benefits from a robust body structure and a advanced chassis system, which delivers accident avoidance capabilities. There’s also energy-absorbing load paths that protect the passenger safety cell and offer optimum protection in the event of a collision. Continue reading “Holden Cruze hatch arriving in NZ with five-star safety” »

Holden NZ announces new features and pricing for Cruze range

September 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden NZ is preparing to add the hatch version of its popular Cruze to the model range and has announced updated pricing and features for both hatch and sedan variants.

Holden will introduce Bluetooth as standard for all models of the Australian-built Cruze sedan and hatch broadening the vehicle’s appeal.

The integrated feature, will now be standard as part of the 2012 Cruze, on sale from early next year. Holden General Manager of Marketing, Matt Woodley, said the addition of the technology was in response to consumer demand.

“I think it’s clear that Bluetooth has become an increasingly important feature for many motorists so it made sense to make it standard on Holden’s best-selling small passenger car,” said Woodley. “Bluetooth is now standard across a number of Holden’s most popular carlines including Commodore, the all-new Barina and now we are happy to announce, Cruze.”

Two new colours will be introduced in the model upgrade and will be available on all Commodore and Cruze. Perfect Blue, a bright solid blue based on Peter Brock’s Formula Blue, will replace Voodoo, and Chlorophyll, a metallic teal, will replace Poison Ivy. Continue reading “Holden NZ announces new features and pricing for Cruze range” »

Ford Mondeo Titanium Hatch 2011 Review

September 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Mondeo needs little introduction. Since it took over Ford’s medium size sedan duties from the Telstar in the mid nineties it’s become a popular fixture on NZ roads. With strong four- and six-cylinder engines and broadly appealing styling the Mondeo has clocked up impressive sales through the years. But at times during its four generations, the Mondeo has taken criticism for being dull, vanilla and a bland sales rep’s car. When the current model Mondeo was released in 2007 it neutralized these complaints with fresh dynamic design and new technologies scored during Ford’s ownership of premium brands Volvo and Jaguar. For 2011 Ford has pushed the Mondeo a step further into the fun zone with tweaked ‘kinetic’ styling a twin-clutch transmission and more equipment than the NASA space program. So will the facelifted Mondeo spin sales reps and private owners into a frenzy? Car and SUV saddled up a top dog Mondeo Titanium hatch to find out.

When it comes to exterior styling the fourth-gen Mondeo was already a looker, so Ford has understandably played it safe with the cosmetic updates. Changes on the Titanium include new front and rear bumpers, a new bonnet and grille, revised taillights and modernizing LED daytime running lights at the front. The result? It’s the meanest looking Mondeo yet. The front aesthetic is particularly aggressive with its bulging bonnet line, wide-mouthed air dam and thin, blackened-out grille. At the rear, jeweled two-piece tail lamps and a low air diffuser extend the kinetic design. Continue reading “Ford Mondeo Titanium Hatch 2011 Review” »

Hyundai drops covers off next-gen i30 hatch

September 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The current model Hyundai i30 has proved a global sales success for the Korean brand and the next-generation model will be unveiled at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new i30 has a fresh design and a more distinctive appearance compared to the outgoing version. The exterior styling follows the Fluidic Sculpture design language of Hyundai’s i45 and Elantra models. There’s a large hexagonal front grille, wraparound headlamps, a bulging belt line and pumped out front wheel arches.

The interior is also modeled on Hyundai’s current product with recessed sports-style instrumentation, a prominent centre console and curvaceous dashboard. Continue reading “Hyundai drops covers off next-gen i30 hatch” »

Holden commences local testing of Cruze hatch

May 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden’s much hyped and anticipated Cruze hatch has just entered its testing stage before the model is introduced later this year. In a statement Holden has announced the news and released two new photos of the upcoming five-door hatchback which was designed at Holden’s Port Melbourne studio.

General Motors previewed the Cruze hatch in Chevrolet form (for global markets) early last year and then the production model made its world premiere at this year’s Geneva Salon.

Holden is still to release full technical details on the Cruze hatch, but it’s very likely the hatchback’s engine range will mirror that of the Cruze II sedan. The model pictured in the official photographs is equipped with a diesel engine, possibly the same 2.0-litre turbo diesel currently offered in the update four-door Cruze. Continue reading “Holden commences local testing of Cruze hatch” »

Kia Cerato Hatchback LX 2011 Review

April 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Cerato is proving to be the slow burner of the Kia range with another variant now on offer – a hatchback. The four-door hatch will join the sedan and Koup in the Cerato range. But there’s more to this story than just whacking a different body shape on to Kia’s well serving Cerato platform. Kia’s new hatchback represents its full-scale entry into the most popular and hardest fought market category in NZ. Facing down more established rivals like the Mazda3, Ford Focus and VW Golf is no easy task, so how can the Cerato hatch expect to hold its own? By implementing the same strengths that run throughout the entire Kia range, distinctive design, high equipment levels and aggressive pricing. Car and SUV spent some seat time in the new Cerato hatch LX to see if its got what it takes.

In the past few years Kia has become intensely design-focused with very good results and the Cerato hatch doesn’t let the side down. While it uses the same wheelbase as the sedan, the hatch body is 190mm shorter due to less rear overhang.

At the front the two variants look almost identical both using a chrome-ringed Kia corporate grille and recessed fog lamps in a wide lower air dam. From the A-pillar back the hatch is its own car and has been styled with a modern, sporty focus. Broad shoulders, an upswept window line and bulky bumpers give the Cerato hatch a wide, athletic look and genuine road presence. At the rear the angles sharpen, and there’s attractive features like large two-piece taillights, a hatch spoiler and a black plastic diffuser. Continue reading “Kia Cerato Hatchback LX 2011 Review” »

Citroen shows off new DS5 hatch in Shanghai

April 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Citroen has given the motoring world its first look at the much anticipated DS5 with its official launch at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The changes from the standard C5 on which the DS5 is based, are substantial. The new model comes with a crossover styled body, dual exhausts and modern LED lights.

The DS5 is a five-door hatchback, with a coupe-like sloping roofline and raised driving position. It’s measurements are 4.52 m long and 1.85 m wide – still fairly compact dimensions but firmly within the mid-sized segment the DS5 will compete in.

But the crossover/coupe body style will separate the DS5 from many competitors in the mid-size segment making its design a key factor in potential success.

In terms of power the DS5 that will debut at the Auto Shanghai comes with the PSA Group’s HYbrid4 technology which featuring a 120 kW 2.0 litre diesel engine matched to a 27 kW electric motor turning the rear wheels. Continue reading “Citroen shows off new DS5 hatch in Shanghai” »

Holden displays first 2012 Cruze hatchback images

March 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden has just released the first images of the upcoming 2012 Cruze hatchback.

The all-new Cruze hatch is set to go into production at Holden‟s Vehicle Operations in South Australia later this year.

The hatchback variant of the Cruze was designed by Holden‟s Port Melbourne design studio and will be sold as the Holden Cruze in New Zealand and as a Chevrolet Cruze around the world.

It’s a modern looking machine with a sweeping coupe roofline and short overhangs. It was first shown as a concept at the Paris Motor Show followed by the Chevrolet production version which made its world premier in Geneva earlier this month.

Holden Design Director, Tony Stolfo, said Cruze hatch highlighted the breadth of skill in the Holden Design Studio.

“The Holden design team works on a range of global design projects from small hatchbacks like the new Cruze to large wheel drive performance vehicles and also a number of exciting vehicles yet to be revealed,” Mr Stolfo said. “In designing the new five-door hatch we wanted to retain the sporty Cruze proportions and bring the same Holden appearance to the hatch that we developed for the new Series II Cruze sedan.

“Holden is very proud of the global design work it does for other brands and countries around the GM world – but it’s especially gratifying to work on a new vehicle designed and built in our own back yard.” Continue reading “Holden displays first 2012 Cruze hatchback images” »

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