Holden Cruze Z Series Diesel Review


Holden Cruze Z Series Diesel a roomy small car with strong performance.

Holden has added the “Z Series” nameplate to its Austrlian-built Cruze small car range, which offers consumers greater value over the standard Cruze models and is aimed at claiming a greater market share in a segment full of quality options including the popular Ford Focus, classy Mazda3 and of course, the venerable Volkswagen Golf.

Our Opinion

What we like:

  • Gutsy diesel power
  • Boot space
  • Ride quality
  • Reasonable stereo
  • Low speed manoeuvrability

Not so much:

  • Quality niggles
  • Hard to read gauges
  • Lack of interior storage space
  • Seating comfort
  • Ergonomics
  • No driver footrest

Price and Equipment

The Z Series badge has been applied to two variants of Cruze: the based sedan tested here and the sportier SRi models. The package adds a rear reversing camera, leather seats with a heating function for the front chairs, special “Z Series” floor mats and exterior badging, alloy wheels and push button start and a keyless central locking system, climate control, unique door sill plates and a rear lip spoiler onto the standard Cruze equipment list, which includes: Holden’s MyLink infortainment system with auxiliary and USB input and Bluetooth streaming for audio devices and a suite of passive and active safety features. Unfortunately, satellite navigation was absent. As tested, the recommended retail price of our car was $28,190. A steel spare wheel is a no cost option.


Holden Cruze Z-Series dash

Slip inside the Cruze, and one of the first things that is to be noticed for a small car it is reasonably spacious inside. There is ample room for four-five at a pinch-and the front row feels especially airy. The Z Series black leather seats with contrasting white stitching look sharp. There are acres of dark grey plastic but these are broken up by swathes of a brushed aluminium effect and black gloss trim which prevent the cabin from being overly sombre.

The dash design is modern and, a lot of the switchgear such as the indicator and wiper stalks along with the steering wheel buttons are shared with the Commodore range, which is no bad thing as they are simple and efficient to use, along with adding a family connection to the large car.

The MyLink infotainment system offers Stitcher and Pandora music apps, a USB port to plugin in audio devices, as well as Bluetooth streaming,

While the overall driving position is comfortable, a lack of driver’s footrest is irksome. Dashboard gauges are a little difficult to read and the supplementary digital speedometer was found to be most helpful.

Storage space throughout the cabin is a little tight, with the centre console, glove box and door bins all on the small side.

That said, at 445 litres the boot is large and is notably bigger than the Ford Focus sedan’s 421 litres.

Holden Cruze Z-Series boot

Engine and Transmission

Press the engine start button and the 2.0 litre four cylinder turbo diesel engine that produces [email protected] and [email protected] rumbles into life.

Admittedly not the most refined of diesels with the little lump being heard and felt throughout the cabin, it is a very likeable engine. A muscular 360Nm is offered from a lowly 2000rpm with minimal turbo lag, translating into sharp and almost sporty performance which came in handy when overtaking.

The six-speed auto generally works well to ensure progress is as efficient as possible but can be noisy and lack poise on occasion.

Holden claims a combined fuel consumption of 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres, however we found 8.2litres on an urban cycle to be more realistic. It must be mentioned, however, that the test car had a mere 2,000 kilometres on the odometer and we expect that fuel consumption will become more closely aligned with the manufacturer’s figures.

Holden Cruze diesel badge

Ride and Handling

Ride quality is arguably the Cruze’s party piece. It’s surprisingly comfortable and it makes light work of shielding occupants of sharp undulations and road imperfections. Handling is secure is complimented by a steering system that offers satisfying feedback whether it be navigating through a shopping centre car park or a twisty back road.

Although generally communicative, the steering can feel a little numb in the straight ahead position and there was noticeable road noise from the tyres. But, a generally decent drive.

Safety and Servicing

The Cruze has been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP. Holden has fitted its small car with a suite of airbags including: driver and passenger front SRS airbags, side impact airbags for the driver and passenger and full-length curtain airbags.

Active safety features such as an anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA) are all standard.

Servicing is scheduled at every 15,000 kilometres or every nine months, whichever occurs first. Capped priced servicing applies for the first four services and 60,000 kilometres or three years. Each serviced is capped at $335.


A strong performing and spacious small car that is great to drive and is reasonable value but is faced with talented rivals in the small car market.

Overall score: 15/20

Make and model: Holden Cruze Z Series diesel sedan
Engine type: 2.0 litre (1998cc), 4-cylinder 16 valve common rail turbo diesel engine
Power: 120kW @ 3800rpm
Torque: 360Nm @ 2000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel consumption: 6.7/100km combined cycle
Dimensions: 4615mm long, 1797mm wide, 1477mm high and 2685mm wheelbase
Weight: 1563kg
Suspension: Front: McPherson strut Rear: Compound crank axle
Steering: Hydraulic rack and pinion
Country of Origin: Australia
Price: $28,190

The founding father of The Motoring Guru, Matt has been a lifelong car enthusiast and a passionate writer. Back in 2013 when The Motoring Guru was first launched, Matt wanted to combine his two passions whilst offering readers sound motoring advice.