The chaps at GM always hook me up, and the latest presser (that’s what I like to call my test cars) from the brand was the Chevy Cruze 1.4T LS AT sedan. It’s a good-looking sedan, the angular front end reminds me of the more sporty stuff like the Lumina, but it’s actually taken inspiration from the Malibu, also a hot car. Up front the grille has been split in two, a look that works well and something I’ve never noticed before. Up front they’ve added DRLs in the same housing with the projector-style fogs down below and even lower down there’s a cool little spoiler. At the rear, the Cruze sedan has a new deck lid complimented with a new tail lamp design. Rolling stock looks ok, the wheels are 16-inches but buyers of the LS models have the option of 17-inch wheels, which I’d recommend because with wheels bigger is better (well, not on an old school car of course).
Inside the Cruze it’s pretty sweet too. There a full leather interior (optional) that’s been put together right, the quality is top-notch and besides the good looks, it’s a solid build and comfortable too. The dash design is good, both driver and passenger have a good view of it, it sort of wraps around the occupants. It works great for my OCD because it’s symmetrical (besides for one side having a leather bound multi-function steering wheel). The centre console is the same, symmetrical and it makes me happy. Up top there’s the screen for the MyLink infotainment system (which includes Colour Connected Radio and Bring Your Own Music), the sides and bottom part of it have a silver finish. CCR includes familiar icon-based menus like those found on iPad, it’s pretty cool. There’s a break in console and then the silver carries on down the sides before surrounding the gear lever. The silver and black theme is also found on the steering wheel, it looks upper class and sporty too. The My Link system is the same system found on various GM models, the interface is the same and it’s quite easy to use, intuitive. Many of the functions can be controlled from the steering wheel or the passenger can reach over and fiddle if you’re not a control freak and don’t mind that happening. Climate control is in play too, which was in full use when I had the car because it’s been cooking lately.
The Cruze features all the modern safety features and acronyms people have come to rely on for saving lives. ABS, EBD, TCS and ESP help keep things in control in case thing go tits up. There’s also cruise control, which is great for a long road trip, especially on the auto model like I had. In fact, the car drives so smooth and you sit so damn comfortably that it can actually relax you. Yeah, I said that, the Cruze can relax you, even in Jozi traffic.
While the Cruze isn’t meant to be sporty, the 1.4 turbo motor offers great performance. It’s not going to compete in performance hatchback circles of course, but it can hold it’s own against some cars with bigger engines. The 1400cc EcoTec lump makes 103kW and 200Nm and that makes the car capable of hitting 100km/h in 10.4-seconds and a top speed of 204km/h. GM claim the Cruze uses 6.8-litres/100km and I can attest to that, it gave me those exact figures, while my trip to Pretoria from Randburg saw that figure drop to 5.2-litres/100km.
The Cruze is a good car, it’s comfortable, efficient, safe and most importantly, it looks good. Ok, even more important than looks is price, and this thing is priced well for the segment, especially looking at all the features on offer. I had the top of the line model that retails for R272 400, but the base model starts at R248 300 and there's also the option of a hatchback version for those who have a thing against boots. With sales of the Cruze topping over 3 000 000 models worldwide, you can see that I’m not alone in my review of this car. Who would benefit from a Cruze? I reckon sales reps or anyone who travels for their job. It’s such an easy car to drive.
I must also just add in that these are the press images I used instead of taking my own like I usually like to do. I had the car during an unbelievably busy week that also included rain, so I simply couldn't get round to doing my own shoot. I know, I know, I have suitably punished myself for this gross indescretion...
Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 LS R248 300.00
Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T LS R265 200.00
Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 R230 400.00
Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 LS R247 200.00
Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T LS R262 500.00
Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T LS A/T R272 400.00
All Chevrolet Cruze models include;
5-year/120 000km Warranty & Roadside Assistance
5-year/Unlimited kilometer Anti-Corrosion Warranty
3-year/60 000km Service Plan