Chevrolet Cruze was a successful product in every respect and it changed the face of premium sedans in India. It was powerful, feature rich and reflected American muscle from every nook and corner. But as it happens with most of the cars, competition catches up and you lose your grip. Cruze was no different and amidst the arrival of Toyota Corolla Altis and Hyundai Elantra, this performer lost its charm.
Well, not anymore, as Chevrolet has decided to update the Cruze with refreshed looks and an updated features list. While the all-new Cruze will still take some time to launch in India, we get you our exclusive review for the Chevrolet Cruze facelift!
The previous generation Chevrolet Cruze was nothing short of stunning with all the straight lines and muscle all around. Chevrolet decided to retain all the lines and basic silhouette while giving minor cosmetic updates to the Cruze. Take for example the new face, which looks a lot better now, thanks to the revised bumper and new grille.
The rectangular head light unit is borrowed from the Trailblazer while there's a chrome touch to both the fog lamps, which again are completely new and LED DRLs. This gives the updated Cruze a much premium look as compared to the previous one. Chevrolet has also added a skirt to the front bumper and an integrated minor spoiler lip on the boot to give it a sportier look.
Chevrolet call it the Corvette inspired dual cockpit and we couldn't agree more. The Chevrolet's Cruze interiors is one of the best and sportier in the premium as well as executive sedan category. The updated Cruze gains a 7-inch touchscreen MyLink infotainment system that houses a Stitcher SmartRadio (internet radio streaming), Siri compatibility with an iPhone/iPad, voice recognition control and controls for the AC. Although, Chevrolet missed out on navigation system which even cars from the lower segments offer now-a-days.
As far as the overall layout and quality of dashboard is concerned, it's the most sportier and refined looking cabin, as discussed above. Talking about the seats, the front seats engulf you like you are sitting on a bucket seat and has ample bolstering, with a decent enough space. Sadly, that's not true for the rear seats and you have to literally beg for both legroom and headroom. But then, Chevy Cruze is a driver's car and that's where you will end up spending most of your time!
Engine, Performance and Gearbox
The primary reason why everyone loves Cruze, including us, is not the looks or the cabin, but the engine. The updated Cruze is powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit that produces a stunning figure of 165 bhp and 360 Nm of torque. We are amazed to see that even after so many years, the motor is as refined and as powerful as it was before. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Talking of which, one has to appreciate the engineering done by Chevrolet in refining both the gearbox and the NVH levels. No matter how hard you push, you won't notice much diesel clutter inside the cabin and the gear shifts are also barely perceptible. While this is a boon for many, we considered it a bad influence on us, for we pushed the car too much without realizing how fast we were going a couple of times.
Ride and Handling
While the engine is something everyone will swear by, the ride and handling department will leave you with split opinion. The steering on the updated Cruze is a bit on the heavier side, which is a good thing when you are driving on the highways, but a pain if you are in the bumper to bumper traffic. Which means that the Cruze is a decent city car, but out-an-out highway performer. As for the ride quality, there's hardly any bad surface that will trouble you, but then again, it can't match the sheer driveability of Toyota Corolla Altis or the ride quality of the Hyundai Elantra for the matter.
The updated Cruze is not everything you expect from a D-segment sedan, but it's the best bet if you are someone who loves driving. Add to it the updated styling, refined NVH levels and new features, the facelifted Chevrolet Cruze is all the premium sedan you will ever need. And why you shouldn't buy one? If and only if you are willing to wait for the all-new Cruze till 2017!
Images by Mohd. Nasir