The Cruze has been the one of the biggest players for Chevrolet in India. Ever since its launch in India in 2009 it has been the choice for many Indian buyers. The car was first in class to offer the most appealing package combined with aggressive looks, dynamic road presence and performance. It has been doing quite well lately but with the arrival of new age competitors such as Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corolla Altis and Hyundai Elantra, the competition is getting even stiffer. To tackle these modern rivals, Chevrolet has once again given Cruze a mild facelift in-order to maintain its strong foothold in its segment. Will it be able to do so? Let's explain it you in detail.
The major changes are made at front and are noticeable at once. The changes include a new design for its front grille and housing for fog-lights. The front grille now features horizontally placed slats adding to wide presence of the car and suits the swanky headlights of Cruze. The fog lights are now also placed in vertically positioned housing surrounded with chrome finishing which surely manages to grab your attention instantly. Cruze now also get side turn indicators integrated on ORVMs which are best noticeable when seen from front.
Move to the side, zoom closer and you will see a new 10-spoke design pattern for its 16 inch alloy wheels which adds to the sporty stance of the car. There are no changes made at the back and Cruze retains its wide chrome bar placed between its horizontally placed tail lights which are same as before. With all these exterior changes, Cruze continues to be the most aggressive looking car in its class but we still feel, Chevrolet could have done more to add to its fresh appeal.
The wide opening doors give you good amount of space to get inside the car packed with all black colored interiors enhancing its sporty appeal. Most of the design layout, quality of buttons and fabric give you the sense of familiarity. The compact design of central console packs everything together with usage of minimal buttons making it easy for you to operate features inside.
The 3D looks of its instrument console finished with chrome rings enhance the aura inside and look premium with three spoke Multifunction steering wheel. The MID positioned in center gives you vital information from gear position to fuel economy. All doors now have key sensors and offers decent storage space as well.
The front seats use high quality of fabric and leather quality and offers good thigh and back support although things are a bit different at the back. However at the back amount of leg room is short especially keeping its competitors in mind. The car even lacks rear a.c vents which most of the chauffeur driven customers do expect.
The biggest and the most important change is the addition of two side airbags at front. Now, Cruze features dual front and side airbags which makes it one of the most safest car in its class as its solid built quality is also an additional passive safety for passengers. Apart from these, Cruze continues to be stuffed with features such as automatic climate control, push button start, steering mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, powered driver seat, cruise control and many more.
The most powerful 2.0L diesel engine in its class continues to be the plus point of the Cruze. The car we drove was equipped with a six-speed automatic gearbox otherwise the car comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. This 2.0L VCDI diesel engine pumps out a maximum power of 164bhp which comes as soon as 3800 rpm. Cruze also has the class leading torque output of 360Nm which starts coming from 2000 rpm.
There is a hint of lag but it only prepares you for the strong performance coming after that. The gear shifts are quite quick and smooth and gives you access to its immense power and torque output. The cabin insulation is also fantastic as you can rarely hear this engine inside at idle rpms and you only experience it at high rpms and that's not disturbing either.
Despite being on the heavier side, the car is quite impressive and takes off without any hesitation however you have to keep your throttle response under check while driving in city as it always feel eager to march ahead. Undoubtedly, Cruze performs best on open roads and give you enough confidence and power boost to play with it. In terms of efficiency the AT variant of the Cruze delivers 14.81 kmpl.
Ride and handling
The strong built quality of Cruze is best suited for highways, the straight line stability and poised stance makes it a good high speed runner. The car deviates marginally while changing lanes at high speeds and holds the road firmly around corners. The steering also weighs appropriately at high speeds and keep its nose straight and precise however you might find it slightly heavier while driving in city traffic. Suspension is on the stiffer side so performs best at high speeds and bothers you least when driven over rough patches and potholes.
Priced at Rs 16.30 lakh ex-showroom Delhi for the AT variant as tested here, the question is, should you buy the Cruze? Yes; Cruze has always been favorite of those who look for performance over anything and this updated car is the same.
The city driving has also improved significantly thanks to ignorable turbo-lag and precise gear shifts. Undoubtedly, it's not the best chauffeur driven car available in the market but is certainly one of the most entertaining drivers cars which never grows old on you. The additional safety features now make it even more safer than before and hence Cruze can be chosen for being a power packed, stylish and sporty looking premium sedan.