All-new Cruze tops, say auto journalists
Dubai, March 21, 2009
Leading motoring journalists from across the Middle East, who recently visited Spain for a test drive of the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, have hailed the sedan as a major competitor in the segment.
“The Chevrolet Cruze is an extremely well put together car,” said Bakur Azher, publisher and editor-in-chief of Saudi Auto.
“The engine sizes this vehicle offer are particularly suited to this market. This is the car that can really give Japanese car makers a run for their money,” he added.
The dramatic and dynamic exterior design, expressing Chevrolet’s global design language, is pinned to have serious appeal with the younger consumers.
Conveying a sporty yet warm ambience, the five-seater cabin is typified by harmonious, flowing lines and the application of grained, soft-touch materials. It is a high quality execution that transcends the compact value segment.
The line-up comprises of four-cylinder, 1.6 and 1.8-litre, all-aluminum, gasoline engines. Both gasoline engines feature variable valve timing (VVT) on both the inlet and exhaust sides.
The 1.6-litre engine develops 109 hp (net) maximum power at 6,400 rpm and peak torque of 150 Nm (net) at 4,000 rpm. The 1.8-litre version offers even more responsive performance, with 140 hp/ 6,300 rpm (net) and peak torque of 175 Nm (net) at 3,800 rpm, including 85% from 2,000 rpm right up to 6,300 rpm.
Transmission choices include a five-speed manual gearbox and an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission, offering a smoother ride and greater fuel efficiency than its peers.
Wider and roomier than most of its competitors, the Cruze has a bold stance with its wheels located at the outer edges of the tautly drawn bodywork. Exceptionally close body panel fits that you normally see on luxury vehicles, and a modern, clean and uncluttered exterior add to a high quality, 'hewn from solid' appearance.
“General Motors are probably a bit tired of hearing criticism that they should ‘build cars that people want’,” commented Philip Moore, publishing director of Middle East Car.
“The next time someone says it, GM merely needs to say ‘have you driven the Cruze yet?’ This is a vehicle right at the heart of the product portfolio during these recession-hit times and the sort of car that will make sure GM goes the distance.'
The sedan’s dramatic profile is matched by bold front styling, with large headlamp housings that wrap around the front corners and sweep up, arrow-like, into the fenders and sculpted hood.
Other distinct design themes include a concave shoulder line, the two-tier grille. It is also backed by a high level EuroNCAP crash safety rating and an all-new powertrain line-up.
Ahmed Aldarazi of Arabia Motors said: “The Cruze is definitely a big breakthrough for Chevrolet and indeed GM. This car is a huge leap, be it aesthetically, or in terms of quality and road manners.
“The car feels sure footed even on motor ways making it feel bigger than it actually is and driver and passengers alike can take solace in knowing the interior is just as pleasing on the eyes as the exterior. Chevy finally has a compact economical product to compete with the Japanese,” he added.
When it comes to body structure, the Cruze is among the stiffest in its class, with a great torsional rigidity.
The tight, strong structure is key to suppressing noise, vibration and harshness, as well as securing a good crash safety performance and optimal ride and handling properties. The Cruze is backed by a high level EuroNCAP crash safety rating and an all-new powertrain line-up.
The Cruze will officially hit the Middle East market in June, a statement said. – TradeArabia News Service