Volkswagen Golf Diesel Problems
Holden Cruze: Expensive oil filter
When we put your questions to Holden we were told that the diesel oil filter costs so much is that "it is designed to assist in the Cruze meeting Euro 5 emission standards. It contains a glass-fibre element, which is significantly different, and more expensive, than elements constructed from more commonly used materials." Holden wouldn't comment on the pricing, which does seem exorbitant to us, preferring to say that dealers set their pricing independently of the company and competitively in relation to the local market. As for the oil Holden told us that "Dexos is the Holden recommended oil, but dealers are currently not compelled to use that oil. If they elect not to use it then they have a responsibility to ensure the product they do use meets the Dexos specifications." Castrol Australia recommends its Magnatec MP 5W-30 for the Cruze diesel and says it is Dexos2 compliant.
Hybrid or diesel?
Both will give you good fuel savings in the sort of driving you're doing. The hybrid would likely be better in stop-start driving, the diesel better for open-road motoring. The diesel would be cheaper to buy and have a better resale value in the medium term. People are still sceptical about the life of the batteries in the hybrid -- though there is no evidence to suggest they are a problem -- but it has a negative effect on used values. You would also be tied to a Toyota dealer for servicing. The broader trade has yet to develop the expertise to look after the complex electrics of the hybrid.
RENAULT doesn't market a diesel engine here, so rule that out. You could consider a VW Golf diesel. Both the Peugeot and VW diesels are well built, reliable and economical so that would probably be the best overall option.