March 01, 2012

Horse 1281 - Back to Future - Australia's Driving Future



30 Years seperate the VB-VL Commodore and the J300 Cruze. Yet something in the nomenclature tells a different story and wonder to myself... why?

The Cruze was touted as the first "small" car Australia has built in a long time, yet when I saw a Cruze and a VC Commodore parked next to each other I failed to see why it should be called "small" at all.

VC Commodore vs Cruze

Wheelbase - 2668mm vs 2685mm - The Cruze is about 2cm longer.
Length - 4705mm vs 4597mm - The Cruze is an East-West 4cyl as opposed to a North-South inline 6
Width - 1722mm vs 1788mm - The Cruze is 6.6cm wider
Height - 1371mm vs 1477mm - The Cruze is taller.

The Cruze is in almost every respect a very marginally larger car. Also the 1.6L four-cyl in the Cruze puts out 101kW of power as opposed to the VC Commodore's 83kW for the 3.3L inline six. This means to say that in 30 years an engine roughly half the size puts out one and a fifth times the power.

According to wiki (which isn't reliable) and Holden themselves, the VC Commodore was a Mid-Size or Family Car. As the Opel and Vauxhall Senator and even the Vauxhall Royale, it was called a Full Size Luxury Car.
Yet the Cruze is touted in Australia by Holden as "Australia's Small Car" and in the United States the Chevrolet Cruze is called a "Compact".

Can someone honestly tell me what's going on here? How did a car which is empirically bigger than a Mid-Size or Full-Size car ever deserve to be called a Small or Compact? How does that make sense?

And while we're at it, Holden, can you please put either a VC "egg crate" or a VK "three slat" on the front of the Cruze? You've already put that little window in front of the C-Pillar and that little black insert which VB-VH had.
Actually Holden, could you just please make the VC with the Cruze engine in? We know it will take it because they're virtually the same size car. It's just that the VC was styled far far better.

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