Compact Sedan’s Swan Tune
The Chevrolet Cruze is a compact sedan and hatchback with an attention-grabbing historical past. Now, it’s on the finish of its American presence, with the closing of the Lordstown, Ohio, plant the place it’s been made for U.S. consumption. The mannequin’s impression is definitely bigger, because it’s been constructed and offered in different components of the world—and nonetheless is.
I wasn’t planning to check a Cruze—and had by no means had the chance—however I bought an opportunity just lately when my Chevrolet Bolt EV was on the vendor for battery alternative surgical procedure. The dealership handed me a key to a Summit White Cruze rental sedan. Though the Cruze doesn’t look very similar to a Bolt, it was comforting to hold an similar key in my pocket.
It Got here from Korea
The Cruze began life as a
Daewoo—the Korean firm acquired by GM and that’s now generally known as GM Korea. The
2019 mannequin is the second-generation design within the U.S. Apparently, GM used
GM Korea for a lot of the design of the Chevrolet Bolt, and the LG battery from
the Bolt is Korea-sourced as nicely. So the Cruze and Bolt siblings each have
Korean origins, however are constructed right here. The Bolt is assembled solely in Orion
The 2019 Cruze has some visible and content material updates that made it look extra like its American siblings, together with the bigger Malibu and Impala sedans. The entrance fascia, grille, and headlamps are contemporary, as are the taillamps and wheels. There are additionally new inside colours and an up to date leisure heart.
Provided in 4 ranges—L, LS, LT,
and Premier—the Cruze has served within the function of compact sedan that Chevy has
provided for a very long time. Consider the lineage—Corvair to Chevy II to Vega to
Monza to Quotation to Cavalier to Cobalt. It’s additionally associated in mission and measurement
to GM’s grand experiment of the 1990s—the defunct Saturn model.
GM’s mainstream model has provided
economical transportation within the U.S. for half a century, however none of these
names stay, and now the Cruze is becoming a member of them within the automotive historical past books.
The Trendy Problem for Sedans
In the present day, the recent property is SUVs—particularly compact to midsize crossovers—and Chevrolet has a bunch of them, from the tiny Trax on as much as the large Suburban. It’s not laborious to attach the dots. As an alternative of choosing the Cruze, a younger household right this moment would possibly simply go for an Equinox crossover as an alternative. (Ed. notice: The numbers bear this out; Equinox gross sales are greater than 3 times these of Cruze for the primary 4 months of 2019.)
So, how was my time with the Cruze?
The inside appears nicely turned out, however supplies usually are not fancy. The plastic
panels are laborious, however there was some material throughout a part of the sprint that felt
good. There may be chrome sprinkled across the cabin, and loads of styling and
Mechanically, the automobile makes use of a
1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine matched with a six-speed computerized
transmission. With 153 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, and at slightly below
a ton and a half, it’ll take you from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. That’s not
sports activities automobile territory, however you gained’t really feel slowed down both. You possibly can hear the
engine working, and the street isn’t fully insulated from the steering wheel,
however general, it’s simple to think about driving a Cruze for years with out nice
enthusiasm however with no complaints both.
Official EPA gasoline financial system rankings are 28 mpg metropolis/38 freeway/32 mixed. My three-day largely freeway check interval earned me 26.2 mpg. The EPA Inexperienced numbers are 6 for Smog and seven for Greenhouse Gasoline—good for SmartWay designation. Emitting 277 grams of CO2 per mile, this can be a cleaner automobile than many different gasoline autos, and never a lot worse than an excellent hybrid.
Cruising within the Cruze
My Cruze check interval included a weekend
journey all the way down to Monterey—a few hundred miles round-trip. Whereas the driving
expertise was neither silent nor luxurious, the Cruze proved succesful for freeway
journey, and was maneuverable on the town as nicely. There are extra thrilling vehicles
round, however the general competence explains why it has offered nicely for years in
locations like China and Australia.
You possibly can choose up the bottom Cruze L sedan for lower than $20,000, together with delivery, which makes it sort of a cut price. My LT check automobile was higher geared up, and got here with the $1,200 Comfort Bundle, which incorporates keyless opening entrance doorways, energy twin exterior mirrors (heated), energy seats, keyless begin, heated entrance seats, rear park help, and two security options—rear cross site visitors alert and lane change alert with facet blind zone alert. Its value was an inexpensive $23,795.
The Cruze has served its time and delivered what clients wanted. However right this moment, as utility autos rise and sedans fall within the market, its time is over. If yow will discover one left on a Chevy lot now, it must be a wonderful deal.
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