The first thing you’ll notice with the Cruze is how big it is. I was taken aback by the space throughout the vehicle. I have no doubt it’s bigger than its competitors. The boot has acres of space and passengers do as well. Still for me the space wasn’t filled enough. It felt a bit hollow inside. The interior and the dash were very nicely done. I just felt that they could’ve used the space available better. The design of the car doesn’t lend itself to the size. It’s as if a smaller car was expanded into a larger car. I wanted the dash to feel less barren. I wanted the car to feel less cold and almost more padded. The Chevy motor was good and I like that they have brought it out in a Diesel version. I am a big fan of the Diesel engines and I think the Chevy has done well here. This Diesel engine is effective; there are faster 2,0 and 1,9’s but the engine takes the heavy Chevy well, with nice constant torque.
I did enjoy the Cruze, it felt like a proper American cruiser. It wasn’t the quickest of Sedans but it felt so relaxing to drive. It was an easy, effortless car to drive. The gears weren’t quick but it wasn’t intended to be a sports kind of box. Instead it’s all put together to be a relaxed cruising drive. With all the road works it was slightly disconcerting with the walls appearing close but the size just takes a little time to get used to.
For its target market and its price bracket I feel the car does well. It will face stiff competition from Diesel hatches and lower range sedans but I think it’s a good introductory model for Chevrolet. The pricing is competitive in its class but I did feel like I wanted more for that price, not so much in what you get in the Cruze but more how the Cruze felt. I wanted it to feel more American, for me it was the softest American car I’ve driven. When I say soft I mean not aggressive or loud, it just didn’t feel like a Chevy.
I feel that for the competition it will face it lacks a little personality. I liked the added niceties such as Auto Headlamps and Auto Windscreen Wipers, which is standard. For a 2 litre Diesel I did expect a 6 speed gearbox, and I think the car would work better if it did have that 6th gear. It would save on fuel and make for a more comfortable highway drive. It has all the necessary safety features.
Specs Worth Noting:
- Price: R266,400.00
- Engine: 2 Litre Diesel Transverse Inline 4
- Gearbox: 5 Speed Manual
- Auto Traction Control: Yes
- Auto Headlamps: Yes
- Remote Side Mirrors: Yes
- Auto Windscreen Wipers: Yes
- CD Shuttle: Yes
- Multi-Function Steering Wheel: Yes
- Airbags: Driver, Passenger and Side
- Side Impact Protection: Yes
- Brakes: Traction, ABS, EBD and BAS
- Citroen C4 VTi 120 Seduction: R218,900.00
- Ford Focus 2,0 TDCi Si 5-dr: R270,640.00
- Honda Civic 1,8 i-VTEC VXi Â 4-dr: R262,576.00
- KIA Cerato 2,0 4-dr: R205,995.00
- Mazda3 2,0 Individual 4-dr: R279,620.00
- Nissan Tiida 1,8 Acentra 4-dr: R225,600.00
- Renault Megane Hatch 1,9 dCi Dynamique: R269,900.00
- Toyota Corolla 2,0 Exclusive: R264,700.00
- Volkswagen Golf 2,0 TDI Highline: R302,000.00