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Old 6th July 2011, 07:32   #1
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Default Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!

Hello All,

I was driving a Scorpio since June 2006 and early 2011 have decided to change my vehicle - Two reasons, the Scorpio was getting heavier for me to clean (I usually clean my car) and also the gear shift was getting heavier for me as my travel has increased. However, I enjoy doing long drives and not enjoy city drives. I had two thoughts, keep the Scorpio and buy an automatic Santro to take me around in the City or hire a driver for all my city drives. I was not keen on both as I am single and it was not making sense for me to either have 2 cars or hire a driver.

I was hunting for a Car (There is no SUV in the price segment I was looking) and as usual like all of you, landed with only four options - VW Jetta, Skoda Laura, Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze. After 5 months or speaking to people, test driving and reading through TBHP site over and over again and last but not the least speaking to two colleagues of mine who have a Civic and Cruze, I decided on the Cruze. It is exactly 5 days I got the car delivered, did 1,200 KM and I should confess, that I have no regrets of owning the Rocket. Yesterday, I was driving from Salem to Bangalore and at one stretch, did not even realize that the car was doing 160 KMPH until my dad who was peeping at the speedometer mentioned it to me...


Here is the synopsis of my journey in choosing to Cruze.

Having read the title of this post, am sure you know by now what I am going to rave about. But, before that, wanted to dedicate a paragraph for my earlier beast and king of India Road, the Mahindra Scorpio.

What do I say? In one line, there is nothing to beat a Scorpio for the price range and for the comfort even today and I am also sure that there will be no competition in the near future too. Mahindra struck the right chords when designing that car. When I was buying it, friends and family said that it is too big a car to drive in Bangalore, but I did not give in. Went ahead and today, I have no regrets of having bought it. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the last five years. As I was closing in to 80,000 KM, the only thing I was not enjoying is that the Clutch was getting heavy (or rather the traffic is increasing).

I wanted to move to a car as there are no SUV’s in the price range I was looking Started my research in January 2011 and it took me five months to close in to Cruze.

Available Options
Not many, but just three – VW Jetta, Honda Civic, Skoda Laura and Chevrolet Cruze.

Check out the video comparison between the three cars from AutoCar.

VW Jetta – Apologies, but a straight NO. They do not have an automatic variant in Indian market and does not even come with 50% of the features what its competitors have to offer.

Skoda Laura was always out of my lists as I personally believe that it’s prized high above it’s true value. Also, the reviews I have been reading of the after sales service kept me away. Adding to these, the maintenance costs are High too. Also, Automatic transmission is close to 20 Lakhs, which is way above my budget. Also, the true comparison is with the L&K 2.0 TDI AT which is way beyond in the price for me.

Honda Civic was in my mind. Like many other reviewer’s, I was also skeptical about the ground clearance. Let me share my experience. One day, in December 2010, I went to Magnum Honda at Mekhri Circle and was speaking to their sales person, Mr. Santhosh, a wonderful sales person. When I talked to him about the ground clearance, he said only one thing, “I will give you the complete list of Civic owners in Bangalore and Bellary (a mining area in Karnataka where the roads are very bad and this I heard and I have never been there), you randomly pick any 10 numbers, call them and ask them if they have spent any money on the car maintenance because of the low ground clearance and even if two out of the ten you choose say yes, then I will get you the car at an unbelievable price for you” are the exact words he told me. I was really impressed with his challenge. Also, if there are people spending around 15-17 Lakhs on the car and if this was a real big problem, there would not have been any sales for the car was my thought. Also, he bough the car and took me for a long drive and made me drive in places where there is no road and also ensure that i went on all the speed breakers. I did hit the bottom of the car when was crossing few speed breakers, but it was only scratching my heart and not the car I was very impressed with the confidence of Mr. Santhosh. My parents liked the car and especially, my mom was very impressed because it had a very large rare door which was making it very convenient for her to get in and out. My mom loved the silver colour and her pick was the Civic with Silver colour.
Chevrolet Cruze – I test drove this car way back in November 2010 and was very impressed in the first ride. My heart went to it, but somehow could not relate an American Car with a Diesel engine; Didn’t know the history of Cruze by then and now, I know. So, accepted

Comparing the Overview, Specification, Features, Other Features of all the Four Cars.

What I was looking for?
In the order of priority:
1. Sturdiness
2. Power
3. Safety
4. Ability to do long drives without tiring me
5. Value for my sweat and blood
Before I go into details of each of my requirements, let me share my shortlists – Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze.

What is Sturdiness and why have I rated this on the top?
sturdiness is the state of being vigorous and robust or the property of something that is strongly built or resoluteness evidence by strength of character.

Civic fails to impress me on this. It is delicate (looks delicate though).
Cruze looks like a leopard sitting on the ground with all four legs stretched (Not comparing to BMW et all)

Body Structure (Civic Vs Cruze)
Read the Civic Skeleton/Body structure details here. Honda introduces the Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure with the Civic.

Read the Cruze Skeleton/Body Structure details here.

I am sure you got the synopses of both the structures, both are well engineered and crafted to be sturdy. With my limited knowledge of detailed design of the structure, I rate Cruze 1 point more than the Civic in this category.

One of the most important factors for me. I got used to a bit powerful car and wanted my next one to be a bit more powerful, not just in the books, but in actual performance too. (Scorpio comes with a 122 PS @4000 RPM Power, but the wheel base and Torque of 290Nm @1800 RPM gives you the feeling of power).
  • Civic promises a 132 BHP powered petrol engine but losses it’s edge in the torque with 172Nm@4300 rpm.
  • Cruze comes with a 150 BHP 2.0 Ltr VCDi engine with a displacement of 1999 CC and 327Nm@2600 rpm. However if you test drive both, you will clearly see the difference in the initial pick up itself.
This was the killer. By now, I have almost decided on Cruze

Two categories to note – Passenger Safety and Pedestrian Safety (Because, it is common in India for people to cross the street suddenly, not because they want to, but because there is no other option).
Passenger Safety
Both Cars come with Driver and Passenger Air Bags. Outside India, Cruze also comes with Air Bags for the rare passengers and also the top. Unfortunately, they do not have this in India

Pedestrian Safety
In Civic, to help reduce pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision, the hood and fender areas are designed to deform if contacted by an adult or child pedestrian. Energy-absorbing collapsible hood supports, wiper arm pivots and fender mounts are designed to allow substantial deformation in an impact.
In Cruze, the protection design to the hood and relating hinge structure reduces the chance of pedestrians striking the engine block.

I am not going into the finer details, both cars come with ABS. However, Cruze comes only with ABS and Frond and Rare Disk Breaks, where as the Civic comes with ABS, EBD and BA along with Front Ventilated Disc Breaks and Disc Breaks for the Rare.

What is ABS and EBD? Read the definition here

Ability to do long drives, without tiring me
I love driving and my drives relax me. With the Santro (2003 May – 2006 May) and Scorpio (June 2006 – May 2011), I totally clogged 1,32,000 KM (55,000 KM in Santro and 77,000 KM in Scorpio), averaging about 1,375 KM per month.

Naturally, my next car should be something with should take me further and relax and provide more pleasure. Considering the Psychological aspects of the low ground clearance and not providing enough power to substitute, Cruze won more points.

Value for my sweat and blood…
This is quite natural for everyone and I am no exception. I earn my money and naturally, it should not go waste. For me, Car is an Investment (I am sure for any Man, it is), but a little more for me.
Somehow, my heart was not 100% ready with the investment on Civic, but definitely 101% for the Cruze.

If you ask me, no customization required.
Music System – The music system in Cruze is not a very good one. It is decent one. I am still researching on the Stereo, will post after I find out a good fit.
Types – Cruze comes with JK Tyre, not the best. They should have given Bridgestone or Michelin. I am not changing them now, but if you are looking to customize, do read Choosing the right Tyre for your car (READ FIRST: Choosing The Right Set Of Tyres for your Car).
In Dash Multi-Purpose System – Caska is the one of the best which is custom made for Cruze. It includes DVD Player, Bluetooth Phone integration, GPS Navigation and iPod Integration. One Team BHPian has got it, check out pictures and his review here (Choosing to Cruze - Chevrolet Cruze LTZ AT. (First 500 kms)).
Choosing to Cruze
I booked the Car 6 June 2011 and got the delivery on the 30 June. Find picture above.

Last edited by .anshuman : 12th July 2011 at 00:29. Reason: Moved the thread.
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Old 6th July 2011, 10:00   #2
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congratulations on the rocket. The Cruze is a real rocket in all sense and I had an oppurtunity to drive one of my colleagues cruze which he had brought. I was bowled over by the power and the cockpit look.

Happy mile crunching and drive safely. Request you to post the pics in the forum itslef instead of a link. Its better to see that way.
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Old 6th July 2011, 10:09   #3
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Nice to see your review at last.I had visited Flickr and seen your car photos.
they are nice ones.

Congrats on your road rocket.It is nice to know that you have posted the details on your own blog and Flickr which we do appreciate.But for the benefit of your fellows here,please post them on team-BHP,will you?

Enjoy the adrenalin rush safely.

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Old 6th July 2011, 10:15   #4
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!

Wow amazing amount of thought & research has gone into the purchase. Kudos to you for that !! Hope you are enjoying the car in every aspect. Some pictures on the thread may be nice to have. I did see them on the Link, some are really brilliant.

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Old 6th July 2011, 10:31   #5
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Congratulations for the purchase of rocket!!!
you surely did a good lil research for your car according to your requirements.
I heard that rear seat is not of good comfort for long rides and some people find dashboard a bit cluttered. what is your experience, please do share with us.
Is there any Headlight upgrade or Seat covers you are planning?
keep updating the thread about your long drive experiences.
enjoy the speed with safe driving.

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Old 6th July 2011, 11:34   #6
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Congratulations on bringing the Cruze home, she surely looks ravishing especially in black. I wish you many a safe mile together.
How do you find the change in space moving from a SUV to a sedan?

Also, for our benefit can you please post the pictures here on tbhp? It would be great to have it in one place. I am not sure of the tbhp rules for externally hosted pics; perhaps you can verify with a mod?
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Old 6th July 2011, 12:46   #7
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Very nicely compiled up buying experience, harinath.
& Congratulations alot on your purchase.
Do try post some of the pics of your Rocket.
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Old 6th July 2011, 13:31   #8
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Post re: Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!

Thank you @ghodlur @charthom @Ricky_63 @Nicky @selfdrive @CRtorquefan for your wishes.

I uploaded the Pictures in my above post.

I went to Guruvayyor (~520 KM one way, 1040 KM both ways) during the weekend with my parents and was wanting to post the review on my blog, however, respecting the forum's values, am writing here Apologies in advance to the team for posting link to my blog and flickr account.

Review of the long drive
I took delivery of the car on Thursday, 30 June 2011 at around 1 PM and as per the schedule was supposed to leave on Friday morning for Guruvayyor. However, changed plan and left on Sunday morning.

I touched the Madiwala - ECity elevated highway and wanted to test the Cruse control. set it at 80 KMPH (speed limit on the highway) and it was a real good experience. This is my first encounter with the Cruse control system.

The highway until Coimbatore was truly amazing. Actually, the road from Avinashi is not good though.

My parents are over 70 and I was worried initially if they would be comfortable in the car. My mom has back pain and always used to sit in the front seat (beside the drive seat) as that seat can be kept straight and is comfortable. This time around, when I requested mom to check out the rare seat, she was completely comfortable. I do not drive without all passengers in the car have seat belt's and with the Seat belt on and with a small pillow behind her back for support, she was very comfortable. My dad always used to hate me for putting on the seat belt for him, but in this car, he volunteered to wear it himself when he was sitting in the front and also at the rare. So, this is a good sign for me.

Both of them loved the seating and comfort. It took around 9 Hrs to reach Guruvayyor and they had no complaints of tiredness. While going, after Krishnagiri, I stopped for lunch in Coimbatore and they had no complaint for the 4 hour drive. Even the ghat section was comfortable for them.

Driving Experience
As @selfdrive mentioned, moving from SUV to a Car was a bit scary. I was having loads of apprehensions and talked to various people before I decided on this car (cannot make a 17.70 Lakh mistake though ) However, this car proved all my apprehensions wrong.

The handling of road was extremely good and the stability was very nice. The breaking at precision made me more confident while driving. Touch the break and the car comes to a halt even when you are at over 140 KMPH. On the way back, between Salem and Krishnagiri, I did not even notice that the car was going at 160 KMPH until my dad pointed it out.

I am happy for choosing Cruze, more happy to have move to AT transmission. The car was completely taking care of itself and I had no tiredness at all. To admit, I was getting a bit tired when I was doing long drives, but this is a very different experience.

The A/C is quite powerful. There were stretches on the drive when the outside temperature was 40 degrees and I set the inside temperature at 21 degrees and it was awesome. Again, my parents were very pleased with the A/C. I got the 3M dark shade sun film for the car and I think this helped a lot (you can see in the pictures below).

So, completed the 1000 KM mark and left the car for service today.

I am currently not doing any changes to the car. However, headlights need an upgrade and I am looking to add a good amp to the music system. I am not a frequent night driver, so can get along with the OEM headlights. But, amp is on priority.

I just got the side mirror indicator lights just because they were looking good

Last edited by Technocrat : 12th July 2011 at 22:09. Reason: Only 2 smilies per post allowed, Please read our board rules before proceeding, Thanks
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:05   #9
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Here are the Pictures of my Rocket

Attached Thumbnails
Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-100km.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-backlight.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-cockpit.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-engine.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-front-wheel.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-grill.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-headlight.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-front-seats.jpg  

Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!-side-mirror.jpg  

Attached Images

Last edited by .anshuman : 12th July 2011 at 00:26. Reason: Removed coversation
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Old 11th July 2011, 19:18   #10
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In my first post, I provided all information pertaining to why I chose to Cruze. It is 10 Days since I have had the Rocket power in my hands and I truly feel it deserves a review.

I took delivery of the Rocket on the 30 June and went for a drive to Guruvayyor (520 KM one way from Bangalore). I provided a synopsis of my drive in this thread earlier too

I complete 1,310 KM (813.99 Miles) as I write this post and completed the first PDI check at 1,000 KM on 6 July 2011.

Build Quality (Exterior)
This needs no explanation in detail. The Cruze has a very manly look and it does stand apart from the rest of the crowd. It does not look big, but it is definitely a big beast.

The plastic quality used inside is excellent. I do understand that every individual is different and their standards are different, however, I feel the plastics are sturdy and hard. This is most important. For instance, the plastic quality used in a Scorpio is not that great for the price of the car. However, Chevy did a pretty decent job.

The only thing I personally feel is, a little bit of cushioning for hand rest for drivers would add a lot of value.

There are many suggestions on the absence of the "dead pedal" for the AT version. I second this. What happens is that because of the seating position, you cannot keep the foot on the ground horizontally and hence keeping it vertically for long time hurts your ankle. I am sure GM would add this very soon.

The finishings are very neat and professional, especially the Jet Black leather seats look very dignified.

Leg Space
I should not complain on this. I have not measured in details of this with other cars, but this is what Cruze has to offer:

Front Leg Space (Seats moved to the max) - 22" (Inches)
Rare Leg Space (Front seats moved to the max) - 6.5" (Inches)
Rare Leg Space (Front seats moved to half) - 10" (Inches)
Front leg room (Seat moved complete behind) - 22" (Inches)
Front leg room (Seat moved to half) - 18"

Rare seat width - 51.50" (Inches)

As I mentioned the previous post, my parents were both comfortable with the recline and the seating comfort. When compared to the first version, I think Chevy worked on the recline and support for the rare seats. The best rare seating comfort is for the Civic.

Air Conditioning
The Air conditioning is very good and powerful (Chevy is an American brand and for them A/C is very important). Even at temperatures at over 35 Degree Centigrade, the AC ensures that you are comfortable inside the car. However, I highly recommend having Sun film to enjoy the A/C more.

Music System
In this Cruze, the 6 CD Changer is replaced with a USB port. Personally, I love to hear from the CD's just for the clarity they provide. MP3's provide the convenience of carrying your music, but only CD's give the best output.

The music system can be rated "average". However, if you listen to just Radio and once in a while use CD/USB for listening, then you can keep the OEM system. But, if you are into detail and need more clarity on the bass and treble, move on. Go for an Amplifier and replace the speakers, it's worth it. As I mentioned, I am currently researching on this and will keep this forum if I find something noteworthy. Suggestions are highly appreciated

Engine Performance and Handling
Awesome! This is the only word I can think of to describe the engine and its performance. This is the ONLY reason this car is called the Diesel Rocket. The Torque displays all the difference between the Cruze and other cars. In the City, navigating the bumper - bumper traffic is the major hurdle for any driver and this car delivers exactly what you are looking for. I use an AT transmission and it is really amazing. The initial pick up makes all the difference when you are driving this car.

Why should you pick an AT?
Indian driver psychology is always a manual transmission - One; because it is cheap and other, will give more mileage.

Let me explain the analogy about the AT. In the AT, the engine takes care of providing the appropriate power to the vehicle at the appropriate time and in a stick shift, we tend to think that we providing the appropriate power, but we do not (at least quite a few times). Why do luxury cars come with only AT transmission? Because, to enjoy the pleasure of driving, you should leave the optimization to the vehicle. Most of the cars which cost over Rs.20,00,000 (~$,44,000) come only in a AT version (there are exceptions though).

Stick shifts are important when you are driving in hills and deserts. This is because, you, the driver would feel confident when the control is in your hand. The AT Transmission vehicles also come with gears, and Cruze also offers that. If you need power or more control in slippery or steep roads, move to the gear (Cruze offers 4 gears in the AT version) and drive. This is not required all the time, just use it when you feel that you need the control.

AT helps in keeping the engine stable and optimized all the time. Usually, in traffic we see people driving in low gear and trying to pull the car. The driver does not realize (instead feels happy that he/she can pull off in a low gear), but the vehicle behind can clearly see that (lot of smoke coming out is the direct implication of this kind of driving).

Also, when you are in slopes, and when your car is in N (Neutral) mode, the car does not move. This provides safety.

The frustrations of the drivers are because of the tiredness in changing gears. This causes stress which leads to road rage. All these can be avoided by the AT.

Turbo Lag
This is one of the most talked about topics of the Cruze. Definitely they have improved the lag in the Cruze (I did drive both the old and new versions of Cruze Stick shift), but in AT, you will never even realize that there is a lag (if there is any).

Fuel Efficiency
Till date, I have been getting 10.75 KMPL with A/C running (City + Highway)

Ride Quality
I once sat in a BMW 5 Series and thought to myself, this is the car I want to buy (My dream car is the X5 though) for the ride quality it has given. I am not exaggerating, if not 100%, Cruze provides 75% of the same ride quality.

Ground clearance is very good and it handles the pot holes very well. You need not worry that it would scratch the car at all.

Somehow, I do not feel the Cruze comes with a very high quality Headlights. If you are a frequent night driver on the Highway, I recommend that you evaluate and change the headlamps. I am looking out, so if you have any suggestions, do let me know

Breaking and Stability
Just relax, Cruze breaking is really very good. This powerful car delivers on it. You need not worry when doing high speeds, the breaks are pretty responsive and bring the car to a halt very quickly and keep you safe.

One of the TBHPian put it in very simple words "It is a full time pass car" LOL, but it is very true. Think of the feature and it is there, right from Key less functioning of the car to sun glass holder, you name it and you have it.

I thoroughly enjoy the tilt-able steering, powerful reading lights and the Sun Roof

Before you choose to Cruze
Test drive and feel it before you buy

Yes, it is an expensive car, but it is worth each and every penny you put in. You will not regret your decision.

Buying the Insurance
This is the only topic I wish to share from my personal experience. Do not buy Insurance from the dealer, it is very expensive. At least, for me, they quoted Rs.58,000 for Insurance (for 10% less than the ex-showroom price). Visit various Insurance providers and request for quote and then start bargaining. It works

For my Scorpio, I was with Tata AIG and I had NCB (No Claim Bonus) for 5 Years. If I had gone with Tata AIG, they were offering me the Insurance for Rs. 25,000 (Ex-showroom price of the car + Towing charges + Bumper to Bumper coverage). Since the dealer's preference is Reliance, I went on to get them and my final Insurance cost was Rs.31,000 (100% Ex-showroom, Bumper to Bumper + Towing charges).

Please note that you can transfer your NCB to another Insurance provider too. This is how I got the discount from Reliance. You will need to submit the letter of NCB accumulated in your account to the new provider and they will take care

I hope my review helped, do share your thoughts and let us keep discussing....

Last edited by Technocrat : 12th July 2011 at 22:12. Reason: Only 2 smilies per post allowed, Please read our board rules before proceeding, Thanks
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Old 12th July 2011, 00:27   #11
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Note from Support: Thread moved here from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 12th July 2011, 01:08   #12
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Congrats, but the Cruze AT has 6 gears and not 4.

Also another member drpullockaran has upgraded the headlights in his Cruze with Philips HID, and it had a very good cutoff. Search for that.
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Old 12th July 2011, 07:16   #13
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!

Congrats man!

A lovely car on the highway, this. Must be quite a change in stance from the high 'arial' position of the Scorpio. I spent some time driving it on the highway and loved it. A lot of power always on tap.

Another reason people like to opt for a stick shift is the seense of control it gives. That in itself can be a joy for many.

Happy motoring. Drive this beast safely
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Old 12th July 2011, 07:27   #14
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!

Congratulation on the fantastic car. The all black interiors really look awesome. Contrast that with white (or is it silver, my monitor is playing up) exterior color. Nice.

Originally Posted by harinathpv View Post
let me share my shortlists – Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze.

Body Structure (Civic Vs Cruze)
I am really impressed by your nonpartisan analysis. Finally it is great that you took the decision based on the analysis (101% vs less than 100% !!) One question though, if we compare the 0-100 between a Cruze AT and Civic AT, which is the faster car? What about roll on figures comparison?

Originally Posted by harinathpv View Post
For me, Car is an Investment (I am sure for any Man, it is), but a little
more for me.
Well it is not really true, but I can understand what you meant. Enjoy the white leopard for many thousands of kilometers.

Last edited by dot : 12th July 2011 at 07:31.
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Old 12th July 2011, 09:18   #15
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Default re: Chevrolet Cruze - Experiencing Rocket Power!

@.ansuham Thank's for moving the thread...

@akshay1234 Thanks. I am referring to the manual gear **** and not the AT part. AT is 6 gears. Move the Gear knob to the left and you have option to change 4 gears

Also, thanks for the info on the Philips HD. Will check them out.

@Positive Thank you

@dot It's Silver Colour Thank you for your kind words... For the question you asked, it is Cruze with moves faster from 0-100 than the Civic. Test it for yourself, by the time you realize, you are already touching 100 in Cruze, but Civic, you will know it. However, the differentiation is very minimal and if you are not paying close attention, you might not know as well

Last edited by Technocrat : 12th July 2011 at 22:13. Reason: Only 2 smilies per post allowed, Please read our board rules before proceeding, Thanks
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