2011 Chevrolet Cruze


When the manufacturer has experienced serious commercial and financial difficulties over the past year, its leaders were constantly talking about the Chevrolet Cruze as one of the cars able to help them recover. Yet when the Cruze was unveiled in the Auto Show in Paris in 2008, I must confess that I had not been so impressed. This newcomer was surrounded by a pack of journalists who stopped to photograph every angle but I can not say that she had me excited. I even disillusioned by closing a rear door that had then made a sound of "cacanne." Oupelaye!
Anyway, this model has been marketed for several months in other markets where it has had great success. In fact, we even said it was the best seller in its class almost everywhere. It is now the turn of the United States and Canada to receive this Chevrolet that is so important. Does GM kept its promises? Too often in the past, the advertising campaign announcing the arrival of a new model was more than impressive. But after we have promised the earth, the finished product was very disappointing.
As the title of this essay has already unveiled the final punch, you know that the operation was successful. Now the question is how it happened.

Elegant but sober
It is certain that the designers who designed this car renounced bang. Indeed, this sedan lines are simple, very simple even. They are somewhat in the same breath as the new Volkswagen Jetta. Do not misunderstand my statement. The car is elegant, pretty even, but its silhouette plays discretion. In fact, it is his grille crossed by a broad cross-bar in the middle of which stands the famous Chevrolet bowtie is the single most visually important. The beltline is high enough, as is the current fashion, while the rear roll up somewhat. This presentation provides better odds aerodynamic while providing a larger luggage. It should be added that the taillights are relatively large and interconnected by a chrome bar running across the edge of the boot lid. This tip can give an impression of width to the car.

The interior is a bit more daring any design. For example, the three dials are located in a pod whose upper to the contours of the circular dials. This adds a little more depth at a relatively wise together. These instruments are backlit by LEDs projecting a bright light ice-blue, in addition to informing other domestic orders.
As is now the tradition in most products of this manufacturer, a center console accommodates audio controls that are framed by two air vents, one on each side. A wall of silver needed to define spaces. As for the climate controls, they refused to play the card of the three buttons. This time it uses only two, one for temperature and the other to adjust the fan. The other settings are made by placed between the two keys. The console between the front seats of course welcome the shift lever whose handling was relatively easy. By cons, we placed the pad system off lateral stability on the right side of the console, so the passenger side. I think it is too exposed to the passenger off the system by mistake. All versions of the Cruze have audio and phone controls on the horizontal spokes. The flange it is a good size and takes very well in hand.
And is now common in General Motors, the quality of plastics was excellent as well as the interior finish. A downside, however. I had the opportunity to drive a basic version which included the portion of the dashboard facing the passengers a wall covered with fabric. It seems to me that this approach is not so reassuring because this tissue may change color under the influence of sunlight and even raise dust and other dirt. On other models, this wall was covered with leatherette, a much more interesting long-term solution.
The front seats offer good lateral support for a car of this class and thigh support is also good. For cons, the file does not seem to be in harmony with the anatomy of some people. During my test ride, my co-driver complained that the upper part of the back leaning the wrong place. Personally, this is on the bottom of my back as I felt some pressure part. But over the miles, the seats proved comfortable. As for the rear seats, the seat is a good seat and backrest angle is correct. By cons, it will take the front seat occupants are collaborating to enable people to benefit large enough legroom. Of course, the comfort of the rear central square is pretty random.


The new and still new
Those who follow the latest automotive news for several years, know that General Motors had a tendency to tinker platforms already in use for several years, and coupling them with upgraded engines somehow. We know that this practice repeatedly gave. Customers have known better with the Japanese competition and abandoned products giant. This has made amends and offers us a car whose platform is new Delta as the rear suspension and engine. As for the front suspension, it is new too, but how much because it is a MacPherson strut suspension, a configuration that leaves little room for originality. For cons, the rear suspension is really innovative. It is true that it uses a torsion beam, but has arranged this beam with trailing arms and one transverse support to balance everything. This has the effect of ensuring a significant comfort and handling very honest way.
Both engines are in the catalog. He who equips the LS most economical version is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with an output of 138 horsepower and 125 lb-ft. As for the other versions, they are equipped with the new 1.4-liter turbo engine also produces 138 horsepower. By cons, its torque is higher because it offers 148 lb-ft. And this couple is very linear and occurs at low revs. This engine is mated to a turbo running at very high speed and very easily applied, which avoids almost completely the response time that usually affects the engines of this type. Two transmissions are offered, automatic and manual, and they are both six-speed.

Winning bet
So far everything looks good. The car is elegant and well made, it also has an above-average category as passenger in regard to finishing that presentation. In addition, its habitability is among the best in the compact. But he also had this car stands out in terms of driving. I admit that I was somewhat concerned at this small displacement engine. In fact, 1.4-liter, even with a turbocharger, it is "econobox" and we suggests modest performance.
As part of the presentation of the car, we were able to test models powered by this engine associated with the automatic transmission. A version with the 1.8 liter engine should be in the game, but beyond the control of the organizers circumstances made that impossible. Anyway, I was impressed by the consistency of the car as much in terms of performance, that comfort and handling. This is not a sport, there are probably other more pleasant compact in terms of pure conduct, including the Mazda3, but the overall balance is impressive.
First, the engine is not at all sickly and performance is very good. You can also give high marks to the six-speed automatic transmission which shifts are almost imperceptible. Furthermore, this allows the automatic passages in manual mode and it is also intuitive and fast. Soundproofing is a point to point. Indeed, an engine of this displacement and with a turbocharger running at a high speed is usually noisy combination. By cons, engineers have placed a lot of deadening material under the hood to reduce the noise level and it's effective. It suffices to raise the hood to realize how we used because it is very heavy.
The well-tuned suspension allows keeping honest way and not surprisingly while absorbing road imperfections without firing a shot. It is true that our trial was conducted in Ontario, where the roads are much better than in Quebec, although most degraded sections to conclude that we will not be shaken too much. Finally, the rigidity of the body and the platform is noteworthy.
In short, it is not surprising that Chevrolet has been so successful in other markets. It is a well designed and executed both in terms of road behavior that comfort and design of the passenger car. In addition, the quality of the finish is good. But the best reason is probably the price. Indeed, the most economical model in the range, a LS with 1.8 liter engine with a manual six-speed gearbox is selling $ 14 995, which is cheaper than a Honda Civic DX 2010. And no more than some subcompacts. But do not be daunted by the price, because the various other variants are not sold at prices sold off. Personally, a Cruze LTZ Turbo whose suggested retail price is more than $ 24,000 would make me look at something else, for example a Malibu. It seems that the model of balance is the LT with 1.4-liter turbo engine coupled with automatic transmission.
The future will tell, but this first contact with the Cruze suggests that this newcomer will be as successful in our market than in other countries where it has been marketed. This will do that GM manages to convince buyers that the past is no guarantee of future vehicles that do not have much in common with the products of the past.


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