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Old 6th October 2009, 11:05   #1
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Default Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2.0 Diesel : TestDrive & Review

What you'll like:

- Funky front-end styling
- Stonking performance; most powerful diesel sedan (in this segment. 0 - 100 in 9.8s)
- Solid build quality
- High level of standard equipment (top variant)
- Respectable fuel efficiency at all times
- Excellent braking ability
- Excellent Fit and Finish (exterior)
- Price (10.99 for LT and 12.45 for LTZ ex showroom Delhi) dsegcars.xls

What you won't:

- Significant Turbolag (annoying in bumper-to-bumper traffic)
- Interior space not class leading. Cosy for the C+ segment
- Interior fit & finish have rough edges
- Firm ride at low speeds
- Aggressive clutch pedal (return action)

*Updated* Cruze

A review of the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze with the new engine can be found at this link (2012 Chevrolet Cruze : Official Review).

Reported Fuel Efficiency:

- 10.7 (City) / 14.5 (Highway)




Last edited by GTO : 17th August 2012 at 15:49. Reason: Adding link to 2012 Cruze Review
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:06   #2
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This is an important car for GM India. The 20+ lakh Captiva has sold about 800 units from Jan – Aug this year, proving that a premium Chevy diesel has a certain amount of market acceptance. The Chevy Optra sold respectably in its early years too, but 7 years later, sales have dwindled to meagre numbers today. Of course, GM India needs to price the Cruze extremely competitively. The Cruze is slated to be positioned bang in the C+ segment & has the Civic, Altis, Laura and Jetta to slug it out with. It’s pretty evident that the competition is distinguished. The Cruze’s USP? The most powerful diesel in its segment and a high level of kit. The Cruze has been designed by GM-DAT (Daewoo) in Korea.

By introducing this radical looking (by GM standards) saloon, GM has taken a shot at the upper C+ and lower D segment. The Cruze is a good looking car, quite a departure from the regular mundane saloons that you’d normally expect from the American conglomerate. The Cruze has presence on our streets and is aggressive, with sharp headlamps, the twin-port grille and a bonnet crease above the Chevy logo. Simply put, the front end is a love-me-or-hate-me design. The side profile hints more at a coupe than a large saloon, and the rear has design elements borrowed from the BMW 3 as well as the civic (rear lights are nearly identical). Even though it’s a new design, the car does not necessarily stand out on our roads. Unless you really stop and look, this car gels in with the crowd. Unlike the Civic, for example, that screams for attention. Apart from the aggressive looks, Chevrolet has also decided to shod her with great looking 16” alloys, but in a flash of idiocy, decided to give it JK Vectra rubber (size 205/60/16)!! For a car this fast and capable, the obvious upgrade is to a set of good grippy tyres.

Another area in which the Cruze excels is the build quality, exterior fit & finish and paint job. This is a car which feels as if it’s built to last. The paint finish is excellent and there are no ugly panel gaps here and there. Attention to detail is very good and the body reeks of quality. Our test car had 7500+ kms on the odometer, and it had probably been subject to all sorts of abuse by countless reviewers, yet there was not a single rattle. The car felt brand new. This may well be their comeback vehicle post-recession & all the trouble at its parent company’s end in the United States.

The ground clearance is unimpressive. At 165mm, it’s easy to scrape on bad roads. However the short wheelbase helps in some respects, and she clears out most obstacles with ease, but be wary of the front where it’s easy to scrape the bumper.

NOTE : All the smaller pictures are thumbnail impressions. Clicking on them will open up a larger version of the picture (in a new window).













Last edited by GTO : 12th October 2009 at 17:30. Reason: Adding tyre size
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:09   #3
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Default Interiors

Walk up to the car and merely pull the door handles. As long as the key is in your pocket, the doors will open (without the need to insert any key or press any button). Though this is a low slung car, you do not really crawl inside; the ingress is pretty good for a car that’s relatively low, and the initial impression is “wow”. There is attention to detail in everything. The door pockets can take in big bottles and there are countless small cubbyholes / storage spots for the oddities. The driver also gets a sun glass holder, but the problem is that it is positioned toward the side, right above your head. So if you are tall, it can be a bit of a bother to use it properly.




The steering wheel has an excellent design and is good to hold (adjustable for reach and rake). Another surprising, and welcome change, is the proper positioning of the wiper and indicator stalks. Instead of a left hand drive orientation, this is the first car that GM India sells with the indicator stalk on the right and wiper control stalk on the left. Apart from that, the right indicator stalk also has controls for the trip meter, cruise control and multi-information display. You can cycle between trip, distance to empty (DTE), fuel efficiency etc. Right from the extremely good looking steering wheel to the brilliant “always lit with blue lights” speedo / rpm dials, its wow all the way. The tacho, the speedo, the fuel gauge, the temp gauge, everything has chrome (dollops of it). Even the stubby gear knob has chrome. The hand brake button on the lever is chrome finished. The interior is more designer than engineer, and it shows. The dash wears a neat look and seems to wrap around the driver.

Party trick : The engine start / stop button (positioned to the left). Simply keep the key in your pocket, depress the clutch and press the “start button”! However, there’s an intriguing side to this feature. If you start the car and then walk away with the key, the engine will not shut off. It can be driven away by a third person! Whether that’s by design or accident, I have no idea. The key, which is actually not a key (except for an emergency attachment if your batteries die down) also serves as a sensor. As long as you are within a 2 meter range of the car, the doors will open with a mere pull of the handle. In fact, as long as you are within the stipulated 2 meter range, everything right from the boot to the fuel lid can be opened too. Once you move away from the car, the Cruze will lock automatically. Alternatively, you can touch the sensor on the chrome driver's door handle to lock the car.

However, spend some time inside the cabin, and you will begin to wonder whether there is much substance behind this beauty. Interior part quality is strictly average for 13 lakhs (expected price). Some rough edges and hard plastics are evident, and yet some more plastics feel outright cheap. Interior fit & finish leave room for improvement. Was it really a good idea to let the designer take charge of the cabin instead of the engineer? Think of it as your sneakers vs your party shoes. One is good looking, the other is comfortable. As you get into the flow, and start driving around, you start noticing the faults. First to complain will be your fingers. The steering compound is hard (very hard). That plush feel of soft (art) leather is missing. Next in line is your ankle. There is no dead pedal and the clutch is stiff to use. In fact, the back force (return action) of the clutch is pretty aggressive.

The front seats, though offering excellent lateral support and height adjustment (only for driver) are built of a firm compound. No electric adjustments here, all seat adjustments (including for the driver) are manual. I found the under-thigh and lumbar support strictly average. Though the seat travel is quite good, and even 6+ foot tall drivers will be able to fit themselves in, the overall seat design is such that it’s difficult to find “that comfortable position” to drive. Your left knee keeps touching the center console, and your right knee is uncomfortably close to the headlight switch (positioned to the right above the bonnet release). Dial visibility is also compromised, and if you are a tall driver, you cannot completely see the central trip and odometer. Only solution is to raise the seat height, but then your head is uncomfortably close to the roof. In fact, if you are tall, and also wear a turban, you won’t grow fond of this car. Due to this factor, I suspect, Chevy has alienated half of its potential customer base in north India.

Room at the front is decent, rear space only average. Fact is, the interior is not very intelligently packaged. Space is more C segment like, rather than the C+ segment. Even if two medium sized people sit in the front, whenever the driver uses the gearshift, the passenger gets elbowed. The situation is not impressive at the rear either. In order to liberate more legroom, the rear seat back has been made pretty upright in the Indian-spec Cruze. In fact, the rear bench is too upright for comfort. The end result is that, neither there is a lot of legroom at the back, nor is the seat overtly comfortable. Further, the swoopy roof line will eat into the headroom of tall passengers at the back. This is not the car to be chauffeur-driven in.

The Cruze has some amount of electronic wizardry! Let’s first start with the parking sensors. I have driven a lot of cars with parking sensors, but these take the cake. They detect everything, right from metal cages to thin poles to people standing at the back. Rearward view may be disappointing, and the reversing lights may be weak, but these sensors totally compensate. Normally, modern saloons with their high slung rear boots are a nightmare to park. With these sensors, it’s a breeze to parallel park the Cruze.

The Climate control is very effective. Even when the outside temp is touching 40 degrees, it will chill you to the bones in no time. Just set the temperature and push the auto button. Do not bother with fan speed etc., this unit will decide what to do. Not only that, the Cruze also comes with an “Air Quality System”. When the outside air is clean, it automatically puts the aircon into fresh air mode, and when the air gets dirty, the system switches to recirculation mode. Not only that, this air quality detector even has multiple settings (high or low sensitivity), so depending upon your tastes and tolerance, you can set it to what you like. While on the climate control, note that air flow direction is not optimal for rear passengers (who do not get any AC vents).

Next on the line is the Stereo system. There is no USB or IPOD jack (though there is an AUX in). This unit is a 6 CD changer which takes in MP3 cds and is almost infinitely adjustable. The sound quality is top notch. If you listen to this unit, you can be forgiven to think that it’s an aftermarket unit. Right from the treble to the bass, the sound is rich. This speed-sensitive unit automatically compensates for road noise as the speedometer needle climbs. The cool looking center information screen stays bright no matter what (external light conditions). Even with polarized sunglasses on, you can read the blue/green LCD screen easily. There have been no compromises made here. If you are an audiophile, then this is your car. It’s very rare to find an OEM system this good in the C+ segment.

Another nice touch : Right above the center IRVM, there is a plastic plate to prevent the sun from hitting your eyes at that angle. Most cars have a tinted screen on the top of the windscreen which is not very effective. The Cruze’s thick black plastic plate works great.

Other than that you get a sun/moon roof that is big enough to slide out off. All the windows are one touch power down type (but not one touch up). The top end Cruze variant will come equipped with leather upholstery, climate control, keyless entry & go, 2 airbags, ABS, 16” alloy wheels, Sunroof, 6 CD audio system (with aux input), steering mounted audio controls, MID display, electric adjust + fold mirrors, rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors and cruise control (pointless in India)



Boot size = 450 liters. Rear seat splits 60:40 for additional load carrying flexibility

Last edited by GTO : 12th October 2009 at 17:25. Reason: Updating equipment list
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:09   #4
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Default Engine, Performance and handling

GM India will offer only the Captiva-sourced 2.0 common-rail direct injection diesel at the time of introduction (1.8 Liter petrol and an automatic planned for later). This diesel engine offers stonking outright performance and is rated at 148 BHP & 327 nm of torque @ 2600 rpms.


With a short turn of the starter motor, the engine murmurs to life. This is where you have your doubts. Is it really a diesel? Open the window, and the slight idle clatter is a give away, but sound deadening is so good that Cruze occupants will be hard pressed to tell what fuel powers this beast. Press the accelerator pedal and the well sculpted tachometer needle will quickly jump to the 4500 redline, but again, it will sound like a coarse American petrol engine (not your regular diesel). Chevy has done a great job with the NVH here!

Slot her into first and and release the clutch. You will stall. Yes, the clutch has such a backforce, and is so aggressive, that you will stall the car the first time that you drive the Cruze. This characteristic takes some getting used to. I drive no petrol hatchback (a Tata Safari at that) and still found the clutch pedal action requiring effort. Finally after you get the hang of it, and you floor the pedal, nothing really happens; atleast not until the rpm needle climbs slowly to 1700 rpms, and then there is an addictive whoosh. You are pinned to the seat with the Cruze pulling like a freight train, all the way to 4000rpm. Though peak torque is around 2650rpm, she starts pulling from around 1700rpm itself, and then there is no stopping this stonker of a car.

So what does all this mean in the real world? Quite simply, if you drive in bumper to bumper traffic in 1st & 2nd gear, you will find the turbo-lag terribly annoying. Once you get used to the turbolag, your foot will ache due to the aggressive clutch (after driving for a while). If your daily commute is mostly slow moving bumper to bumper traffic, stay away unless you are a masochist or wait for the automatic transmission variant. However, if you live in a less congested city like Chandigarh or Nagpur, or drive primarily on the open road, things are better. Just make sure you take a detailed testdrive first.

On the open road, 0-100kmph comes in just 9.8 seconds, and that too with the air-con in full swing. Speedo error is a mere 5% and at 100kmph, the speedo is displaying 105 kmph. Even after hitting the ton, the Cruze does not let go. Consider this, at 100kmph in 5th gear, you have just entered the peak torque zone. By the time you hit the crest at 2650rpm, you are almost at 150kmph and the Cruze is still accelerating like a torque machine. It’s quite easy to hit 180kmph. Given enough empty road, she will do an actual 207 kmph. Not only that, the mid-range is AWESOME. Can leave most petrol competitors for dead on the highway. For a diesel saloon, these figures are simply astonishing.

All these factors point to the obvious: The Cruze is more suited to the highway than congested bumper-to-bumper city driving. Thanks to the turbolag, its urban driveability is compromised. Expect to slip the clutch and keep the gearshift busy within the city. Also, at low speeds, the steering feels a tad tight, especially in a situation akin to the mall parking lot. Yet on the open road, there is no catching up with this car. She can put a smile on your face no matter what. There is no noise, no boominess and no diesel lumpiness either. All you get on the open highway is pure acceleration. Pure exhilarating acceleration that will frequently see you “cruizing” at 150+ kph. Chevy has left the 3rd gear alone, and at 100kmph you are actually above 4000rpm (out of the meat of the power band). This kind of torque characteristic calls for some fairly innovative driving (and working the gearbox) if you want to extract the max out of this car. The performance of which is substantial.

The best part is that all this power is not unbridled. To stop this pocket rocket, there are 4 ABS equipped discs all around, and a firm stomp on the center pedal will have you decelerating at close to 9m/s^2 (which is almost 1g of deceleration)! Even while braking at very high speeds, the car feels composed, nothing shakes, there is no tendency to move sideways, and during the entire braking sequence you can steer at will.

Most of the competition has a multi-link rear suspension. Not so for the Cruze and its solid axle rear (surprisingly). This car is not plush or softly sprung. At very low speeds, sharp bumps will filter into the cabin. Once upto speed, the ride is decently sorted. Stability is decent at high speeds on straights (not quite the Laura though). Grip levels are safe and predictable. Take any curve at speed, and the chassis gently starts losing control, giving you ample opportunity to correct. Even if you mistime, or overcorrect the corner, there is no tail swinging or twitchiness. Just lightly jab the center pedal, get your speed in order and correct the steering. It’s safe when you are within limits, push the pedal and she will understeer. A fly in the ointment is the hydraulic power steering at high speed. The Chevy seems to be predisposed to travelling between lanes. It feels vague at speed too. This could be due to an inherent problem with the car, or in my opinion, tendency of the tires to tramline.

A big negative are the JK Vectras that lose traction far before the chassis gives up. I suspect that with softer import rubber, the low speed jarring will be reduced to an extent, and the handling will be even tighter. Once you get the feel of the engine’s powerband, and learn to adapt, this is an enjoyable car to drive on the open road. This is the car you take up that twisty smooth mountain stretch. This is the car you take out for a wild ride, with music blaring and the sunroof open. Even after all testing, she managed a respectable 8.8 liter/100km (11.36 kpl)!

Again, it’s only the turbo lag that is annoying. Even a primitive diesel like the Indica NA (no turbo and only lag) pulls cleaner than the Cruze at low revs / speeds. To understand what I am saying, take a look at the roll on times. First up is the 5th gear 40-100 kph roll on. At 40kmph, as you stomp the pedal to touch 100kmph in 5th, it takes a whopping 38.8 seconds. No kidding here! 60-100 in the same gear takes 16.68 seconds. So actually in 5th gear, if you do 40-60, it’s over 20 seconds of pure agony since the turbo is taking its own sweet time to start spooling. Even in the 4th gear, 40-100 takes a whopping 18.8 seconds. The story is the same in lower gears, except for the third. 20-80 in 3rd comes up in a slightly decent 13.48 seconds, and 40-80 takes a mere 6.89 seconds. But the shorter third also means that if you want to keep accelerating, you need to shift to 4th at 90. In our 0-100 tests, staying in 3rd, the best time procured was 11.14 seconds. But a quick shift to 4th slightly after 90 yielded the stonking 9.8 second timing.

Last edited by GTO : 12th October 2009 at 17:16. Reason: 327 NM of torque
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:10   #5
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Default Other points

Other Points:

• The Cruze LT variant pricing starts at 10.99 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi.

• 3 year / 100,000 kms warranty is standard.

• "Chevy promise" : Service costs will not exceed Rs. 36,000 total over the first three years. Service interval at every 10,000 kms.

• 60 liter fuel tank will ensure a realistic 700 - 800kms highway range. ARAI fuel efficiency = 18.3 kpl.

• We Indians are the first in Asia (after Korea) to get this car. Not even launched in Thailand which is the normal place for first launch.

• No matter how you wring her, or how much you floor the right pedal, she will always manage 10+ kpl!

• Indians love chrome. And the Cruze has dollops of it, inside out!

• Actually a replacement for the Optra worldwide. Sold as the “Holden Cruze” in Australia. Already on sale in Europe. North-American debut expected next year.

• The reverse light is disappointing (brightness), but the parking sensors make up.

• Clutch lock system : Engine won’t start until clutch is pressed.

• One of the most well built cars in the segment with excellent exterior fit and finish. On the flip side, interior fit and finish are so-so.

• No beige interiors!

• Boot size = 450 liters.

• The gearshift is smooth, especially by GM standards. Not quite Jap-slick though.


• On the highway, this car is a rocket, and in the city, even a snail will feel better. If you want to experience Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is the car.

• As long as you stand near the car, anybody can open anything (boot, doors, fuel lid etc.,). Not sure if this is a good feature to have in India!

• GM sells the Cruze with traction control in most markets (not offered here). Indian variant could have used it, what with all that torque going to the front wheels!

• Even though the engine itself is not very big, the compact dimensions ensure a cramped engine bay. Lift the heavy well-insulated bonnet, and you realize there is no hydraulic auto lift. There is no light inside either, which means that in the dark, you struggle to find where exactly to hook the long support bar in. The engine bay looks neat, albeit cramped. All parts are marked properly and reek of quality.


• The windscreen washer has three jets instead of normal 2. A nice touch.

• Engine feels very petrol-like at speed.

• Brakes are amongst the best in class.

• The central cubbyholes cum cup holders can’t really hold a coffee cup when the Cruze is in motion. Strange. If there is one thing American companies get right, its the cup holders

• Kit levels rival those of cars in much higher segment.

• Due to the cosy interiors, the center armrest cum storage bin (which sits underneath) has been put in such a position that it’s unusable by the driver. And is of limited use to the front passenger as well.


• Italian engine maker VM Motori has designed this 2.0 common-rail diesel.

• An after-market powerbox for the Captiva results in 170 BHP + 370 NM of torque. We’re already getting ideas!

• Expect 3 year standard warranty coverage.

Last edited by GTO : 12th October 2009 at 17:28. Reason: Adding price + warranty
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:11   #6
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Default Small but significant things

The smaller yet significant things:

• Plenty of storage spots. Full size bottles fit into the door pockets:


• But there is not a single “proper” cup holder in the car:

• Speed-sensitive stereo adjusts volume automatically at speed:

• Car detects external air quality to automatically select fresh / recirculate modes:

• As long as you are near the car, no need to press any unlock button:

• The toolkit is arranged neatly inside a thermocol holder and placed under the spare wheel. No need to hunt for tools and no chance of rattles either. A very innovative approach:


• The interior console lighting is very appealing, Acura-influence is obvious:

• The glove box is large and accommodating. Quite surprising, as airbag equipped cars usually have small glove boxes:


• No dead pedal:

• If you stall the car, you have to first press the start button to “stop” and then again to “start”:

• Tall drivers cannot see the trip / odometer display completely. Need to crane the neck:


• The car can putter along at idle in all gears, including 5th gear, the sign of a well balanced clutch and fuel delivery system:

• The most annoying factor about clutch/turbo lag is felt in lines of Toll gates. As you try to slowly inch forward, the spring back action can lead to stalling the car. Then you press start button once to switch off and then again to switch on the engine.

• Storage bin under the driver / passenger arm rest. This also contains the aux-in port

• Tire pressure is 32PSI for comfort, and 39PSI for ECO, its rare to see such variations! We tested with 35PSI in all tires


• Sun roof lining is excellent:

Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th October 2009 at 11:44.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:11   #7
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Default A lady drivers perspective

A Lady driver's perspective:

• The clutch is hard, hence the choice of footwear has to be made accordingly. Make sure you carry your party shoes in the large boot, and wear sneakers while driving.

• The steering wheel is tight at low city speeds; for some women it may be a good workout for the arms, for the rest it’s a pain in the neck.

• The vanity mirror is excellent, so you can actually get ready for the party in the car itself!

• At high speeds, the Cruze is a pleasure to drive, You can just whisk through traffic and leave everyone else behind.

• Very smooth and light gearshift.

• Excellent braking ability.

• Parking sensors are a boon, especially for us women who have epics written on our parking skills.

Last edited by GTO : 6th October 2009 at 11:46.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:22   #8
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Sir, excellent review. Right, its time to wait and watch for the price. So much inner details. I doubt even the GM guys would have covered all these points. Esp those like toolkit arrangements

Last edited by mjothi : 6th October 2009 at 11:23.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:31   #9
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Sounds to me like this is the first "American" car that Chevrolet has brought into the Indian market. Previous versions of the Optra etc. were largely re-badged Daewoos. I am all the more convinced by the liberal doses of chrome in the interiors, the aggressive double-grille up front and the generally large proportions of the car, combined with average attention to details that you have pointed out, e.g. under-thigh support, elbowing the passenger upon shifting gears, etc.

My comments are based largely on having driven typical rental cars like the Chevy Malibu, Chrysler Sebring, Pontiac G6 and Grand Prix over the last few years. All these cars had decent power (except the 4-cylinder Sebring), but poor handling. The Chevy Impala is a whale wallowing on the road, and the Pontiac Grand Prix, while powerful, exhibits body roll when you push it round corners.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:34   #10
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Mind blowing review TSK! Covered every bit of the car. I'm impressed by its stonking performance, yet not surprised as the car has more BHP (though lower torque) and weighs lighter than my highway express the Merc C220. I can't wait to take her for a long spin of my own. The turbolag seems to have been carried over from the Captiva (same engine!) too. I think purely city drivers would do well in waiting for the automatic. GM could have worked better on the outright interior quality too.

I have always liked a car with good brakes. Going by your review, the anchors are confidence inspiring. Good stuff. Long list of standard equipment too.

Can't wait to see how GM India prices the car. This is their second shot at the 13+ lakh sedan segment (last one was the Vectra, though they had the Forrester too). Better price it right, GM! Competition is very "distinguished" in the C+ market segment.

Thanks for TD'ing and sharing such a detailed report with us.

Last edited by GTO : 6th October 2009 at 11:36.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:37   #11
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Excellent review and a well packaged car! Just love it! Hope GM provides a good extended maintenance plan along with a killer pricing and then they will have a Fortuner phenomenon in hand.

From the review i feel that the car is performing like any other modern turbo charged diesel engine, where one really needs to downshift 2 gears or more, to keep the engine in the boil for good acceleration. It took me couple of days and a long drive to adapt to this in my puny DDIS. Good part as mentioned in the review is, this wont kill the mileage

All the very best GM! Bring it on with a killer price tag!

EDIT: Your pics are awesome too!

Last edited by Jaggu : 6th October 2009 at 11:39.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:39   #12
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Great review! The front looks great. The rear tail lights look more Civic-ish, but, high slung. The times you have commented about the Turbo lag and reactive clutch pedal, I hope GM sorts them out before it becomes a decision maker for the average Joe. I almost fell in love with the console and the interiors. The exterior color on the test mule is nice. I thought there would be Cruze/Cruise control in this one. Thanks for the review. So how did you get your hands on her ?
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:42   #13
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Excellent review Tsk. Think it covers everything from a buyers perspective.

I did not notice the agressive reverse action of the clutch when I drove the cruz for a bit. Could it be the car clutch settings?
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Sir, excellent review. Right, its time to wait and watch for the price. So much inner details. I doubt even the GM guys would have covered all these points. Esp those like toolkit arrangements
Quote:
Originally Posted by shiraz View Post
Sounds to me like this is the first "American" car that Chevrolet has brought into the Indian market.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Can't wait to see how GM India prices the car. This is their second shot at the 13+ lakh sedan segment (last one was the Vectra, though they had the Forrester too). Better price it right, GM! Competition is very "distinguished" in the C+ market segment.

Thanks for TD'ing and sharing such a detailed report with us.
Yes, Price is the key. For example, if they price this variant at 14-15Lakhs, it will go head to head with the Sonata Transform. Head to head, with larger room and better comfort, both for driver and rear seat passengers, the Sonata will look like a more VFM package. If GM has the Civic and Altis in sight, then they better price it closer to 10-12 rather than 14-15.

As for being an American car, point to note, we are the first to get this car after Korea! Even the Americans do not have this Cruze missile yet
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Excellent review and a well packaged car! Just love it! Hope GM provides a good extended maintenance plan along with a killer pricing and then they will have a Fortuner phenomenon in hand.

From the review i feel that the car is performing like any other modern turbo charged diesel engine, where one really needs to downshift 2 gears or more, to keep the engine in the boil for good acceleration. It took me couple of days and a long drive to adapt to this in my puny DDIS. Good part as mentioned in the review is, this wont kill the mileage

All the very best GM! Bring it on with a killer price tag!
Yes Jaggu, Turbo Lag is the bane of Turbo diesels. But in swift etc. peak torque is produced closer to 2000rpm, here its 2650rpm.
So in 5th gear you reach "peak torque zone" around 150kmph.

Imagine yourself on a single road around 80kmph in fifth gear behind a volvo. Most modern CRDs can overtake in a blink even in 5th gear, but for this chevy, the engine will be at an ultra lazy 1400 rpm, and unless you downshift to 4th, overtaking will be tough.
Compare these roll on timings with other diesels. 70bhp hatchbacks post similar roll on timings. The cruze is a 150PS car, you expect much better than this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Great review! The front looks great. The rear tail lights look more Civic-ish, but, high slung. The times you have commented about the Turbo lag and reactive clutch pedal, I hope GM sorts them out before it becomes a decision maker for the average Joe. I almost fell in love with the console and the interiors. The exterior color on the test mule is nice. I thought there would be Cruze/Cruise control in this one. Thanks for the review. So how did you get your hands on her ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Excellent review Tsk. Think it covers everything from a buyers perspective.

I did not notice the agressive reverse action of the clutch when I drove the cruz for a bit. Could it be the car clutch settings?
The car we had for test had 7500kms on the odo, and had been tested by a lot many reviewers. So its entirely possible that the clutch for this test mule was harder than normal, but even in a brand new car, the clutch is a little hard for a car of this segment, and people who are used to driving cars like Civic/Altis/Jetta(The competition) will find it tough.
Come to think of it, I drive a safari, and I found this annoying!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th October 2009 at 11:47.
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Old 6th October 2009, 11:46   #15
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Fantastic review Tsk with killer pictures to match. I feel this is GMs best car yet in India. For the first time I feel that the Chevy badge suits the car. It does have those typical American sedan looks. The interiors look very futuristic and resemble a cockpit. I like the blue lit instrument cluster. The Optra diesel was a stonker in terms of performance and I am not surprised that this is too. I hope they get the AT box in the diesel model and that too a 5 speed one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
The ground clearance is unimpressive. At 165mm, it’s easy to scrape on bad roads. However the short wheelbase helps in some respects, and she clears out most obstacles with ease, but be wary of the front where it’s easy to scrape the bumper.
GM could have done better in this department. With our roads the 165mm wont help much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
There is no USB or IPOD jack (though there is an AUX in).
It would have been nice to have a USB or Ipod jack, something that comes on the facelift Civic now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
Indians love chrome. And the Cruze has dollops of it, inside out
Indians love beige interiors too.


Pricing is very cruicial and GM has to get it right the first time if the Cruze has to be a runaway success. A yummy price tag will have the others worried.

Last edited by Dippy : 6th October 2009 at 11:53.
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