Good level of safety equipment
It has a fairly standard safety kit of six airbags, rear-view camera with park assist, auto LED headlights and ISOFIX childseat points, but it lacks the advanced safety features necessary to achieve a five-star ANCAP rating.
For that, you need to step up to the LS+, from $32,990 plus ORC, which is equipped with HoldenEye, a forward-facing camera system that includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and departure warning, following-distance indicator and forward collision alert with heads-up warning.
The LS+ also provides blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist and a safety alert (vibrating) driver’s seat.
Poor transmission response
While our LS+ test car looked good on paper, in many other respects it proved disappointing. The 1.5-litre petrol engine, despite being turbocharged, generally felt lacklustre, an annoyance made considerably worse by the poor auto transmission performance.
A prod on the throttle to enlist a quick response for overtaking was accompanied by a lengthy hesitation while it found the right gear and then wheezed its way up to speed. Fuel economy overall was equally disappointing.
Comfortable and well-insulated ride
On the positive side, the locally tuned ride and handling package is very good and the seating is well shaped and supportive. Thus occupants in all positions enjoy comfort and a ride that’s well insulated from road shock.
From a driving perspective, we suspect the three higher-spec models fitted with the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine and nine-speed automatic – LT, LTZ and LTZ-V – would be much better propositions.
Priced from $36,990 in auto only, the LT is starting to look pricey against the competition, but it also brings a significant features upgrade, such as dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, multiple charging points including a 230-volt inverter, 18-inch alloy wheels and an eight-inch MyLink infotainment system with satellite navigation.
Stepping further up the range, the LTZ from $39,990 has even more kit, and offers the option of all-wheel-drive ($4300), while the LTZ-V ($46,290) is fairly bristling with nice-to-have features such as a dual-panel sunroof, a powered passenger seat to match the driver’s seat spec in the LTZ, and standard all-wheel-drive.