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Old 4th July 2013, 14:56   #1
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Post Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

Hello to each & every one of you and the TeamBHP members who have taken the time to drop by here.

Before I begin, Let me start by saying that I have been visiting TeamBHP since early 2010 and have been engrossed with it ever since. Never considered becoming a member until just recently when I realized it was time I thanked this forum & community for the immense influence it has had on me towards formulating an opinion of Indian Cars & the rest of India in general.

Now let's begin.

Cars have been an obsession in me & my family(dad in particular) from the time we owned an early 1990's white Premier Padmini(Good Old Fiat). Then followed a white 1997 M800 STD. A breath of excitement in 2000 when we first bought the then 'new' california gold Esteem LX with the 1.3L carburettor motor. Next followed a 2003 starlite silver MPFI Esteem LXi(for reasons still unknown to me, as I thought I had convinced my dad that the Baleno was obviously the next in line.) It's ironic that I taught myself to drive on this very car when I was still 15(Whoever taught it was wise to write down 'how to drive a car' in the owner's manual, is a genius). What a blast of an engine! Anyway, thankfully, my dad got tired of the Esteem & finally in 2006, decided to book a silky silver Baleno LXi. Now, for me, at 17, not having a driver's license did nothing to stop me from grabbing the keys and having the time of my life on the secluded smooth roads of Goa(Yes, I now realize how foolish it was of me to drive on public roads without a driving license.)

Fast Foward to 2 more white M800s & a golden Suzuki Estilo later, to Christmas 2010. The Baleno was still strong at 26000 kms, save for a faulty central locking sensor on the driver's door and a clutch wanting constant attention. Long story short, Dad simply wanted 'more power' and 'quicker acceleration'.

Enter a Velvet Red Chevrolet Cruze LT in March 2011.

This photo was taken at my favorite beach.
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The reason we bought this car was; You guessed it right --> The Engine! And secondly because it burned diesel in light of the fuel prices in 2011. Now coming from the Baleno and having owned only petrol cars before, this car was well 'interesting'. Out went the instant torque of the smart-i Baleno engine, In came this unusual, irritating thing called turbo lag. Took some getting used to at the beginning, but after getting around the initial lag of the (now old) VM Motori engine, the car is a wildcat to drive! And for what it's worth, NO I did not stall the car, the first time I drove her! It might be a blessing in disguise that I live(used to) in Goa as the roads here are much more exciting that the typical Indian city(think bumpy & congested). For our state, I personally think we have the best roads in the country 'surface wise'. Planning & geometry wise is a whole different story altogether.

Back to the car, I began discovering the cars strengths & weaknesses with every passing kilometre. I figured, this car/engine can be driven in 2 ways only: Flat out or easy going. Mixing the two styles will leave you with a very frustrated driving experience because of the turbo lag at lower RPMs. For instance, if you are cruising along at 60kph in 5th gear stuck in a traffic convoy in both directions & suddenly spot a gap, unless you downshift to 3rd gear, you will not have adequate acceleration to complete the overtaking maneuver SAFELY. HOWEVER, work past the lag and once that turbo starts spooling, this engine can be the road devil you've longed for. It will keep on accelerating until top speed without looking back like Forst Gump! 3rd gear is where the beef lies and is where you will want to be in a high speed tight overtaking maneuver. It will very seldom let you down. Speaking of which, the gearbox is one of the best I've used. Very precise & short-throw box. I love how the mild refined pulsating feeling from the clutch perfectly complements the high heart rate on a spirited drive.

The NVH levels are exemplary for a diesel vehicle. If you have only driven petrols before, you will be hard pressed to tell that this is a diesel engine after cranking the engine. Vibrations are non existant and the engine has a nice booming hum when the revs start to climb. The aircon works like a charm and blower speeds are well spaced out. Being the older LT, this car doesn't have climate control; which is probably a blessing in disguise. The stock stereo setup is not bad at all and sound quality suits my liking.

Anyway, thousands of kilometres later, I can safely say that buying this car was one of the best decisions my father ever made. The way the Cruze looks at you even when stationary, the way the dashboard is designed & lit up, the way the car is engineered in a lot of areas down to the finest details, I think is outstanding. This car is no doubt designed for the driver and we knew this fact well before we purchased it. The back seat is not designed for a tall human/s. The stock JK Vectra tryes are an insult to the overall driving experience. The reason we haven't changed it is that the car is not going to see heavy usage and that fact is validated wherein the car has only run 15000 kms since March '11, so the investment is really not worth it. But we will seriously consider a change once the car sees usage in excess of 1000kms a month or extended time on the highway. On the Vectras, I feel confident to launch into a dry corner at 120kph. Anything above that and I can feel the car hesitating. But in a straight line, even the Vectras hold the road like a locomotive at speeds well above 150kph in dry conditions.

I really like how well GM has equipped the LT variant of the Cruze WRT safety features but detest how they omit useful features like a DTE, actual FE, avg speed on the DriverInfoDisplay. Surely it costs more to design 2 systems for the same car than have the same DID for both the LT & LTZ. In a state like Goa, I do not miss the fog lamps. Since we have the aircon running almost always, the sunroof is not missed at all(saves weight IMO).

Since my mum & sis both drive the Cruze, they do find the clutch and the engine 'aggressive'. *sigh*

Since driving in Goa affords ample opportunities to let the car coast along gradients downhill, fuel efficiency even in the city has been a healthy 11-12kmpl. Out on the highway, pushed hard, I am satisfied with anything above 13. I usually average just under 14kmpl. Having said that, I must point out that I believe that you burn fuel to carry fuel. Hence, the only time I ever fill the tank to max capacity is when going on a very long drive. All other times, the tank is filled up to half full and refilled when it gets to quarter full.

Here's the 10000kms landmark. Happened in Jan 2012.
Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT-418423_2479217873309_1413287249_n.jpg

The car is running in stock condition except for DRLs fitted neatly into the blank fog lamp moulding. I personally am very satisfied with the way the front profile of the car looks with these DRLs.

Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT-432367_2583378117250_1139042636_n.jpg

+Likes
1. The engine. In the right hands, it can scorch the road. A perfect road bully.
2. The design of the car both outside & inside. It really grabs your attention.
3. The fact that the 5th wheel is a full size Alloy, not a rubbish spacesaver.
4. The Fuel Efficiency has been a healthy 11-12kmpl in the city.
5. The stock stereo is good.
6. After sales support of Chevrolet in Goa is reasonably good.
7. Value for money is excellent given that we paid 13L on road in 2011.

- Dislikes
1. The dead pedal is sorely missed in the old Cruze.
2. The lousy JK Vectras are a joke given the performance potential of the chassis.
3. The clutch leaves my left leg numb in stop & go traffic.
4. The position of the AC on/off switch is not at all ergonomic in the old LT.
5. The lag before the turbine starts spooling at 1300 rpm can ruin your day if you find yourself in a tight overtaking situation.

All said & done, I love the car for what it offers at that price point.


When it comes to servicing & maintenance, this car has been serviced by the book at Subrai Motors, which is the sole Chevrolet dealer in the awesome state of Goa. The standards are fair so far with no major complaints.

The only major defect we've had so far was in June '13 when the left rear wheel was dragging(not spinning) although the handbrake was fully released. On calling the Subrai Motors mechanic, the hub was opened only to find that the brake pad had broken in half with one half stuck to the brake disc. They replaced both rear brake pads free of charge since they have never before seen such an occurence in a Cruze before(ironically, another Cruze nearby has had the exact same failure a week after mine according to the mechanic who fixed the car at home). I also got Subrai to replace both rear calliper dampers free of charge as the car had been 'wheezing' everytime it was being reversed.

Bad things come in 3 so the stock battery also decided to call it quits after almost 2 1/2 yrs while the car was sitting at home without the left rear brake pads, so we installed a Bosch battery worth INR 11000 with a 4yr warranty (8000 after trading in the stock battery for INR 3000).

I can say with immense pleasure that I have driven almost 13000kms of those 15000 kilometres and have had wonderful memories with my Red Riding Hood (named by my grandmum by chance, seemed very appropriate). How we chose the Velvet Red color is another belssing in disguise as our initial choice was Light Gold. After being told it was discontinued, we chose Misty Lake. Discontinued again, we were left to pick a LT colored Atlantis Blue, Velvet Red or Caviar Black. The dad picked red because it was a less of a headache to keep shiny than the Black. The Atlantis Blue is not a color which appealed to any of us. But after seeing the looks the car gets and the way it performs, Red, in hindsight, is the most apt color for the Cruze IMO AND Red goes Faster!

It is a joy, every single time, to let loose that gem of an engine on the open highway in Goa and along the twisties. I love this car & it truly is an outstanding package for the price we paid for it.

I'd really like to extend my most sincere thanks & heartiest congratulations to mobike008 for his outstanding thread of his 'White Annihilator'. It has almost single handedly convinced me that the Cruze is not a big drain on the pocket.

I'd like to conclude this long term ownership report by saying the only grouse I have about the car is the lack of a dead pedal & that turbo lag below 1300rpm.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my first long term ownership report. If I get a good response to this, I'll also share my longterm ownership report of our Chevrolet Beat LS D.

Best Regards
ChoosetoCruze.

Last edited by Rehaan : 2nd August 2013 at 15:38. Reason: Adding likes/dislikes from your later post
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Old 4th July 2013, 21:08   #2
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChoosetoCruze View Post
Before I begin, Let me start by saying that I have been a visiting TeamBHP since early 2010 and have been engrossed with it ever since.

Hyundai's is not a brand our family even considers, and I am thankful for that.

the only grouse I have about the car is the lack of a dead pedal

If I get a good response to this, I'll also share my longterm ownership report of our Chevrolet Beat LS D.
Welcome to this most wonderful and illustrious community of automotive enthusiasts.


I wanted to ask politely - any particular reason for not being interested in Hyundai, don't mind, I know it's your personal choice, but just wanted to know the reasoning.

Disclaimer - Our family has so far used Hyundai's - Santro, Accent, i10 and Getz and are quite satisfied with the brand. We don't have any other interests in Hyundai as a company.

By the way you'll be glad to know that my Rs. 5.45 lacs on-road Delhi Getz CRDi 2009 model has a dead pedal and I really appreciate it.

Another thing, I've been visiting Team-BHP since 2007 and was trying to be a member but was accepted only recently, from that point-of-view I would request you to not wait for the response to your thread and share as much as you can with this community as several non-members also visit this forum just to read long-term ownership review reports of the members. And you will be of immense help to those non-members who might be looking for a review of Beat Diesel.

Another Disclaimer - Please don't mind any of my words for any reason.
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Old 5th July 2013, 06:11   #3
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

Hi vishalchaudhary,

Thanks for stopping by!

To answer your question, the most immediate reason that comes to my mind is that the Hyundai showroom was about an hour's drive away from my place in Verna(place, not the car) whereas the Suzuki showroom was within the city & my father loved getting True Value benefits & peace of mind everytime we bought a new car. Add to that the Sales Manager of our nearest Suzuki showroom lives 20metres away & is a good friend of our family. But then in my personal experience, I was never inspired whenever I was in my frend's Santro. There was no BUY ME NOW factor involved. And, Suzuki always had the quickest cars in the C segment in the previous years (Esteem/Baleno). Again, these are MY personal opinions/observations, I don't claim to be an expert or have the final word in any matter.

Even our 2006 Rs 5.91L Baleno had a dead pedal which is the primary reason I sorely miss the dead pedal in the Cruze.

Thanks for these encouraging words, I'll post a thread on our Beat D next then.

As a Newbie to TeamBHP, I'm very tentative of posting any replies or new threads for fear of being told off by the Mods.
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Old 5th July 2013, 09:02   #4
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

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Originally Posted by ChoosetoCruze View Post
Verna(place, not the car)

Thanks for these encouraging words, I'll post a thread on our Beat D next then.

As a Newbie to TeamBHP, I'm very tentative of posting any replies or new threads for fear of being told off by the Mods.
Good that you specified about the distinction, because I actually didn't know that there is a place called by that name in India.

I'm glad that you find my words encouraging, I was saying because I myself am interested in the Beat Diesel and would like to know about it.

And don't worry about posts and replies, the moderators at Team-BHP are excellent, even if you make a mistake, they'll certainly tell you how to rectify it and they have an elaborate system of infractions as well, but that is if you break the rules of the forum, which I'm sure you won't.

All the best for your posts, especially the review of the Beat Diesel LS.
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Old 24th July 2013, 14:20   #5
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishalchaudhary View Post
Good that you specified about the distinction, because I actually didn't know that there is a place called by that name in India.

I'm glad that you find my words encouraging, I was saying because I myself am interested in the Beat Diesel and would like to know about it.

And don't worry about posts and replies, the moderators at Team-BHP are excellent, even if you make a mistake, they'll certainly tell you how to rectify it and they have an elaborate system of infractions as well, but that is if you break the rules of the forum, which I'm sure you won't.

All the best for your posts, especially the review of the Beat Diesel LS.
Thank you for your words of encouragement & I will be sure to keep them in mind.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 09:47   #6
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

Here's a pic of my tiny trophy after a 3rd place finish at a Team Goa Drag Race event in Dec 2011.

Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT-386008_2201501330569_1331729749_n.jpg
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Old 2nd August 2013, 15:39   #7
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th November 2013, 09:41   #8
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

A sad update, the LH rear view mirror was shattered to bit by a reckless motorcyclist who overtook from the left. We got it replaced for INR 10000 and all the dents & scratches repaired on the left hand side of the car for another INR 10000. So the total hole in the pocket was INR 20000. Note to other Cruze owners, please be careful with the side rear mirrors as evidently, they cost a bomb.

The motorcyclist was uninjured but agreed to pay only INR 5000. @#$%!! Oh and should I add he was riding without a license?!
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Old 4th January 2014, 07:04   #9
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT



All I can say is you can't really help it and as the ceat tyre ad puts it 'there are idiots on the roads'

It really hurts when such a thing happens and one has to bear such exorbitant repair costs for no fault.

Drive 'Idiot' Safe in future.
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Old 12th January 2014, 06:35   #10
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Default Re: Red Riding Hood: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT

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Originally Posted by ChoosetoCruze View Post
A sad update, the LH rear view mirror was shattered to bit by a reckless motorcyclist who overtook from the left. We got it replaced for INR 10000 and all the dents & scratches repaired on the left hand side of the car for another INR 10000. So the total hole in the pocket was INR 20000. Note to other Cruze owners, please be careful with the side rear mirrors as evidently, they cost a bomb.

The motorcyclist was uninjured but agreed to pay only INR 5000. @#$%!! Oh and should I add he was riding without a license?!
Why not claim insurance ???

I always suggest people to go for Zero Dep. insuarance with No limit on number of claims for D or higher segment vehicles as these kind of tiny things cost alot.
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Old 12th January 2014, 08:39   #11
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Why not claim insurance ???

I always suggest people to go for Zero Dep. insuarance with No limit on number of claims for D or higher segment vehicles as these kind of tiny things cost alot.
Yes we did claim insurance.
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