First drive: Chevrolet Cruze facelift
You may be a bit disappointed to see the Chevrolet Cruze here. After revealing the next-gen Cruze internationally, few months ago, GM says theres still a year to go before it comes to India. So, in the meanwhile they decided to give us this, the updated Cruze.
What we have here is not something spectacularly different from the outgoing Cruze. Upfront, theres a new two-part honeycomb grille, new DRLs sitting right above the fog lamps, while the front bumper now comes integrated with skirts – all of which help freshen things up, getting the Cruze up to speed with its modern rivals, with an otherwise ageing offering. Inside, few creature comforts like a reverse cam, new steering controls for the Bluetooth enabled media system and a new 7-inch touchscreen have been added to make life a bit more easing.
The Cruze was always pegged at people who enjoy driving and want a lot of power from their executive sedan. Back in the day, when it was just introduced in to the Indian market, it was a breath of fresh air, offering something that the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra – Cruzes closest rivals – wouldnt offer.
Over years of being around with no major change, the Cruze has been left far behind in the executive sedan game. But, despite that, it is still one of the quickest and powerful sedans in the segment. Powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel, developing a healthy 164bhp and 360Nm, it is available in both, manual and auto variants, and the one you see here is the latter. It has six ratios at its disposal. It isnt as smart as the dual-clutch ones, and feels a bit dated in todays day and age. And despite having so much power being sent to the front wheels, Chevy hasnt bothered sending it through the stringent eyes of a traction control system.
In the Cruze, 100kph comes up in 9.8 seconds, which is not bad by any standards, but could have been quicker had it been for a smarter gearbox. The fuel efficiency figures wont have you surprised, standing at 9kpl in the city and 12.5kpl on the highway. If you speak of handling and highway mannerisms, the Cruze is still a fun drive. The steering has good feel, but is dead at the centre, and it can handle fast bends without creating a lot of fuss. Wed have liked if it came with grippier tyres that would make it feel more composed through a series of bends. Ride, too, is good and keeps you away from the road irregularities.
The Cruze is one of the most expensive offering in this segment and the top-end AT goes up to Rs 17.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). If you have that sort of money and want a good handling sedan, you may want to look at the Volkswagen Jetta before putting your money down here.
Specs1998cc, 4cyl, turbo-diesel, 164bhp, 360Nm, 0-100kph\: 9.8s, city kpl\: 9, highway kpl\: 12, Price\: Rs 17.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
VerdictDrives well and is pretty fast too, but newer rivals take away its charm