The Cruze sedan has been with us for a couple of years now and it has always been a sensible option for the medium size family sedan segment. It does, however, compete against more expensive vehicles and seems to be doing very well in terms of sales. The Cruze hatch was launched during the middle of last year and there is not much different from the sedan to the hatch, apart from the one being a hatch, or a sort of fastback.
In the heart of the 1.6LS, which is the bottom of the range, is a 1.6l DOHC engine producing 91kw and 155nm. Chevrolet claims that this engine is their most powerful 1600 naturally aspirated to date and on paper it’s impressive. Where it is a bit of a let-down, however, is in straight line acceleration as the heavy weight of the vehicle comes into play. 0-100kph is claimed at 12.8seconds. However, once up to speed, the Cruze will cruise the open road with no trouble. Overtaking acceleration between 120-140kph does require you to drop a gear or 2, depending on how much of a hurry you are in. Average fuel consumption is around the 8l/100km mark and not bad for a petrol-powered 1.6l.
The interior, which is pretty much on par with the competition in terms of quality, is super spacious. It’s probably one of the largest seat-to-pedal distances I’ve come across and I’m 1.95m tall. The Cruze also features things like cruise control and radio controls, which are all neatly placed on the multi-function steering wheel. The audio system supports USB, plays mp3 and there is Bluetooth available on this base spec model. There is a lot of kit in the car and a lot of space, which is always a bonus.
The Cruze also features ABS brakes with Electronic brake force distribution and stability control is also available in this model. There are 6 airbags; driver passenger, curtain and seats and, as usual, Chevrolet has not skimped out on the safety equipment. There is also a collapsible steering column and side impact protection bars. An alarm and immobilizer comes standard.
The 1.6 Ls rides on 205/60/16 inch wheels and also has the industry standard McPherson strut front and torsion rear beam suspension setup. The ride quality is plush and comfortable, as a family hatch back should be.
The Chev Cruze 1.6Ls retails for R215 600 and has a 5 year 120 000km warranty with a 3 year 60 000km service plan and a 120 000km 5 year anti-corrosion warranty.